Updated: May 13
‘I take this new destination of those books as a providential provision of God to be used by people who share my trust and vision'. These were the reflections of Geoff Thomas, minister of Alfred Place Baptist church in Wales for over 50 years, as he astonishingly donated 8,000 of his own books to the seminary. Geoff owned the largest private theological library in Wales and amongst the books is a rare 8-volume Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and an 80-volume set of Martin Luther’s works. In receiving the extremely generous donation, Paul Austin remarked “As a librarian I’ve received many library donations in the past but this is undoubtedly the finest’.
It was quite an operation to transport the books to the seminary. Executive Director at Westminster, Jonathan Winch, and his wife made a three-day round trip to Aberystwyth in a large truck to collect the books. Once they arrived back in Newcastle, they were unloaded into All Saints Church and then hoisted up through the roof of the baptistry into a newly designed library hidden in the tower of All Saints church. This ‘Tower Library’ will become a second site for the seminary library, in addition to the books housed in Alderman Fenwick’s House.
Now shelved in their new home Jonathan said “We pray that these books will be a means of rich spiritual blessing to generations of students at Westminster, that the word of God will dwell in them richly as a result, and that through their spiritual leadership thousands will be blessed”.