Schools and the Gospel
From Monday to Wednesday I attended the Clergy Conference at College House. During his address to clergy Bishop Peter also spoke about the Anglican Schools, some of which are part of the Diocese. He acknowledged that there was some discomfort among many Anglicans at being so closely associated with schools that seem elitist and exclusive. The Bishop could see this problematic aspect of Anglican schools, but then reminded clergy that the Gospel is for everyone, including the elites. Through the work of chaplains at Anglican schools young people got to hear the Gospel.
Over 2,000 students in Canterbury attend Anglican schools, and if schools like Waihi and Medbury are included it is over 3,000 students.
Schools independent of the government can indeed provide a different educational setting that encourages children to follow Christ and can instil values that are not just determined by worldly trends. That is good. However, from the experience of one teacher at these schools, they can also inoculate students against the Gospel, giving them just enough to turn them away. There may well be ways to teach the faith more effectively in schools. Still, I see the point that through these private schools, the church can reach students and their parents.
As the Bishop spoke about these numbers, I remembered the figures we had heard at the LOOP service at Papanui Baptist Church. The youth centre has youth workers in schools that together have almost 4,000 students. These youth workers do not present the Gospel in the way that chaplains do. But they also bring the Good News of Jesus to students. They impact many young people. It’s a different model, but that little youth centre at the back of the St Paul’s Hall is having an impact that can compare in some respects to the many Anglican schools with all their expensive property.
It’s not easy to raise children in the faith and show children the love of God. We should support it in whatever way we can.
Kia Ora Koutou,
Our Youthwork Team is made up of Hamish Flynn and Jeremy Adams who manage Loop, Dan Carter, Tom Linklater and Julz Ngaia who are our senior team. Along with Skye Fuller, Jamal Sygrove our youth-workers and our interns this year Shontae Bingle, Charlotte Carrell and Izaak Adams. We are supported by a fantastic Trust, our incredible accounts manager (Sue Wallace), prayer team (come along on Mondays at 11am to join us) and a number of volunteers and other organisations who support us.
We are currently working in 9 schools on a weekly basis and have impact with almost 4,000 young people. We work with all ages from primary (year 1-6), intermediate (year 7-8) and high school (year 9-13).
We also run holiday programmes (check out pydt.org), after school hangs, BeatOne (music,
live sound and lighting), Pep (our disabilities programme), IWS (Intensive Wraparound Service), Band Nights, Events, Neon (Intermediate programme on Fridays from 3-4pm), much, much more.
Thanks so much for your continued Prayers, Support and Grace. We are incredibly grateful to both St Paul’s Anglican Church and Papanui Baptist Church for being the vision holders, young-centric and generosity of spirit to dream.
Jeremy Adams and the team from Loop.