Ambatoharanana is one of the many small villages located in the hilly countryside of the Merina region, 27 kilometres north 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 Reverend F.A. Grégory (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
Throughout a visit in 2007: Reverend Jean-Jaques Ranaivojaona