Children and staff the Pattaya Orphanage in Thailand, have a special cause for celebration this Easter, after learning that the threat of closure has been lifted. The centre, founded by the late Fr Ray Brennan, which has cared for thousands of abandoned babies and children over the last 25 years, was in danger of being shut down, ,after the local diocese took it over from the Redemptorists in January and evicted a number of workers and volunteers. At one point the media in Thailand reported that there were plans to sell the buildings. The main funders of the orphanage, the UK-based Pattaya Orphanage Trust, were obliged to stop their support, in order to comply with charity funding regulations. More than a thousand supporters signed an on-line petition urging the Bishop of Chanthaburi to keep the orphanage open. The charity's director Andrew Scadding and trustee Fr Marcus Stock traveled to Thailand to discuss a new agreement. On Monday, Mr Scadding told supporters in a letter: "I am delighted to be able to tell you that the new management at the Orphanage and the Pattaya Orphanage Trust have reached an agreement that will enable the Trust to continue to support the Orphanage with confidence and enthusiasm. "At a meeting on February 12 Fr Marcus Stock and I had the opportunity to discuss matter thoroughly with the Bishop of Chanthaburi and the new management team. Our Thai colleagues, once they properly understood our situation, were happy to agree to report on the use of our funds, and to adopt and implement a child protection policy. Our support for the Orphanage has now resumed. "The very widespread support for the Orphanage and the children which was evidenced by the petition is a great encouragement to all of us, and we thank you most warmly for caring. Nothing else could have pointed up the urgency of achieving a solution so effectively as these very many signatories from so many different countries. For more information, visit www.pattayaorphanage.org.uk .
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