After 18 years, Bethel Christian College will close its doors after a drop in enrolments.October 31, 2012 4:22am
The Tatura community was dealt a blow on Thursday with the announcement Bethel Christian College will close.
Principal Peter Nelson told The Guardian after 18 years of service to families in Tatura and the surrounding district, Bethel Christian College would close its doors at the end of the year.
In making the announcement Mr Nelson reflected on the faithful community that had gathered as early as 1993 with the desire to see a Christian school develop in the area and the successive teams of people who have developed that vision over the years.
Bethel Christian College opened in 1994 and had 45 students at its peak. This year 18 students attended the school, which had two full-time and a number of part-time staff. Enrolment in 2013 was expected to be 19.
‘‘Now, after careful reflection, the school board is united in believing it is time to respectfully close the school,’’ he said.
‘‘In doing this we give thanks for the many blessings experienced over the years, while not ignoring that there have been times when all has not gone well.
‘‘The past couple of years have been difficult for the school with staff changes and falling enrolments. 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.’’
Mr Nelson said the board believed it could meet all of its obligations, complete the year relatively normally for the students and conclude with a time of celebration as a school community.
He and the team was committed to there being a gracious end for Bethel this year and to supporting the greater vision for Christian education that would now be carried forward by others in the region.
‘‘While there is never good timing for parents, children, staff and families to receive news like this, we will be aiming to support them in whatever ways we can as they look for alternative schools and employment,’’ Mr Nelson said.
The last student day will be on December 11. Mr Nelson said the Bible had been of central importance to the school since 1995 and ‘‘will be for many of us into the future’’.
He pointed to proverbs 3:5 and 6 ‘‘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.’’
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Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
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