Ambatoharanana is one of the many small villages located in the hilly countryside of the Merina region 27 kilometres... of Tana. Due to its idyllic and peaceful surrounding, Ambatoharanana is a very nice destination for day excursions by foot or bike. Suitable starting points are Ambohimanga, Merimandroso or for a longer trek Ivato International Airport.
Ambatoharanana is known for its Anglican Theological College, also named Saint Paul Theological College, which opened in 1878. Already from a distance one can see the roofs of the Library Building, which houses a library, a 968kg bell from England, a museum, as well as classrooms and a private chapel for prayers before and after the studies. In 2014, nine students attended the college where the priest training is done for five dioceses of Madagascar. The college is an annexe to Saint Laurent Ambohimanoro College. Once a year the students, teachers and headmaster of Ambohimanoro College undertake a trip to the Saint Paul Theological College.
The museum displays items of the first missionaries, such as clothes, a still playing gramophone with records, slides, baseballs and bat and original correspondence between the king and the bishop. The walls are covered with photos of Malagasy bishops including the 1st Malagasy bishop who studied in England. A Madagascar map from 1889 is supposed to be the first map ever of Madagascar. The college is an annexe to Saint Laurent Ambohimanoro College. Once a year the students, teachers and headmaster of Ambohimanoro College make a trip to the Saint Paul Theological College.
Just next to the Library Building and surrounded by eucalyptus trees stands the St. Paul Chapel. This Anglican chapel as well as the Library Building were built by missionaries under the guidance of Rev. F.A. Gregory (english). Rumors say, that slaves from Mozambique helped with the construction of the buildings. In 1882, St. Paul Chapel was inaugurated. Today the church is open every Sunday for worship service.
A few steps from the church, on the other side of a garden one can find the Saint Paul Primary School and Saint Paul Secondary School.
Just down the road are small bungalows, where married theological students can live.
A white house surrounded by a veranda terrace used to be the home of the bishop. R.G. Vernon was the last bishop who lived in this Bishop Palace. From the middle 1940's to 1950's he was rector of the college. Later the house was used to accommodate the reverend.
Today, only a few missionaries visit the church and college throughout the year.
Rectors at the college since its reception
1874 - 1882: Reverend Francis Ambrose Grégory 1882 - 1884: Reverend G. H. Smith 1884 - 1892: Reverend Francis Ambrose Grégory 1892 - 1894: Reverend Frédèrick Fuller 1894 - 1900: Reverend Francis Ambrose Grégory 1900 - 1905: Reverend Francis Ambrose Grégory 1905 - 1915: Reverend J. V. Yonge 1915 - 1921: Reverend Allan Neil Webster 1921 - 1926: Reverend C. Redman 1926 - 1930: Reverend Caleb Razafimino 1930 - 1939: Reverend Monsignor O' Ferrall (1930 -1941: Reverend Jean Marcel, tutor) 1937 - 1943: Venerable A.G.Jackson 1944 - 1946: Monsignor Vernon (1942 - 1957: Reverend Jean Marc Razafimanjato, tutor) 1946 - 1948: Reverend Whensey 1949: Venerable A. C. Jackson 1950: Monsignor G.R.Vernon 1951 - 1952: no rector 1953 - 1965: Reverend Thomas Hudson 1966 - 1969: Monsignor Jean Marcel (Vice rector: Reverend Keith John Benzies) 1969 - 1979: Reverend Keith John Benzies (1982-2002 Bishop of Diego, tutor Théogène Jaovita) 1987: Reverend Samuël H. Speers (1972-1978: Vice rector: Reverend Lala Andriamiharisoa) 1987 - 1990: Monsignor Donald Westwood Smith 1990 - 1996: Reverend Florent Ravelonorana 1996 - 2000: Reverend Vincent Rakotoarisoa 2000 - 2002: Venerable Jean Baptiste Arsidiakona Jaomandiny