Christian work in Padawan area began as a result of evangelistic outreach from Kuap. The first visit to Anah was made by Catechist Reuben in 1923, when he tried to open a school.

He made some catechumens but gave up two year later after objections by the elders. However, in 1939 the Orang Kaya of Anah sent a message to Reuben asking him to come again and give the remaining 13 catechumens a chance again. Gereno was sent to Anah and he opened a school with 35 pupils in June, 1939. The school, not an official Mission school, failed because of inadequate fees paid by the villagers. Howes came to investigate in 1940, and arrangement was made to send Reuben there again. But there were some protests from the non-Christians, and the plan was dropped.

In 1949, Orang Kaya Pemancha Bateh asked Howes to take over the school at Annah Rais. Thus in 1949, Ahtos Joshua was sent there. He reopened the school and included Christian teaching in his syllabus. Occasionally a priest would visit to celebrate communion. A new site was found in 1952 at Padawan, and this was preferred to Anah because the former was outside the pagan taboo area. The school in Anah, now handed over to the Church, was moved to Padawan and rebuilt in 1950. A small school had earlier been built at Pangkalan Ampat and Saden stayed there thrice in 1951. The faithful Saden spent half of his time in Upper Sarawak and the other half at Duras.

In 1956, Howes suggested a development scheme be implemented in Padawan to uplift the livelihood of the people there. The Government agreed to finance the programme, and thus the Padawan Community Development Scheme came into being. It covered 15 villages and involved close to 4,000 people. Howes was seconded to Government service, and together with Sister Gwynedd Nicholl and George Green, formed the initial staff of the Scheme in 1957. At the end of 1960, Howes finished his contract as the Government Development Officer in Padawan, and shortly thereafter was made Archdeacon. He was replaced in Padawan by Peter Menon and the Scheme was taken over by the Government. Green left in 1959, and Nicholl was replaced by Miss Fanny Storr in early 1960.

Meanwhile, James Gunyau was appointed priest in charge of the Padawan Parochial District and went to live in Padawan. Green also helped direct the building of the church (St. Philip) at Padawan.

When Bunuk became a parish later, Padawan became a district of Bunuk, although a catechist continued to be stationed at Padawan. Padawan became a separate parish in January 1984.


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