Bethel Christian College closed its doors for the final time on December 10 after dwindling numbers.By Bob Nicol
Tatura’s Bethel Christian College closed its doors for the final time on Monday, December 10, with the unveiling of a plaque by principal Peter Nelson.
Mr Nelson said for the final session of the day, the school gathered for a ‘‘Chapel’’ time to sing, reflect on God’s presence, to encourage one another and to pray.
‘‘The 21 students, staff and a number of parents and friends that had gathered for the time, then moved outside to the adjacent Presbyterian Church building wall, where a plaque had been mounted to recognise the presence of the school,’’ he said.
The plaque read:
‘‘Bethel Christian College
In memory of the faithful people who gathered together in 1993
with a vision for a Christian School in this district.
Bethel Christian College then served the local community on
this site and saw many young people develop from 1995 to 2012.
This key scripture for the school will forever remain true;
‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your
own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5 & 6.’’
Mr Nelson said students spent the following day in orientation at their new schools, while staff made final preparation for the school celebration evening on the Tuesday and final student reports.
He reflected on the sadness experienced by many at this time but also the appreciation for the privilege the school has had, to be involved in the lives of so many young people for these past 18 years.
‘‘An added joy at this closing time is the opportunity to be a blessing to some other Christian schools by sharing some of Bethel Christian College’s resources, according to the needs that were understood,’’ Mr Nelson said.
Mr Nelson flagged the school’s closure because of dwindling numbers in October. Bethel Christian College had been operating in Tatura since 1994.
‘‘It is with sadness the school has closed,’’ he said. ‘‘Sadness because we will miss serving the local community in this way, and thankfulness for the development in many young people over the years.’’
Bethel Christian College, which had 45 students at its peak, was a Prep to Grade 6 school providing an environment where young people could achieve their best and establish a sound Christian faith foundation for their lives.
Mr Nelson said the past couple of years have been difficult for the school with staff changes and falling enrolment.
‘‘While this year has been one of greater stability, the school board could not be confident of enough funds to suitably see the school through the time needed to rebuild the student community,’’ he said.
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