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14 December 2023

Greetings all

The year is nearly done and so are you we imagine!

The application to the Ministry of Education has been processed by the Hutt Office and has moved to National Office for consideration. National Office will write a report for the incoming Minister.

Thank you to all of you who have cooperated with communications from Miramar Christian School seeking clarification on your intention to follow through on enrolment in the new school assuming the application to the MoE is successful. We now have excess demand for the number of places we expect to have available. The school is developing an enrolment policy to provide transparency, fairness and certainty to parents as decisions are made around who gets places and who doesn't. 

We are encouraged that roll numbers are on the increase at Miramar Christian School.

Due diligence on the conditions associated with the sale and purchase of 19-21 Broderick Street are proceeding in a timely fashion. HOT OFF THE PRESS - We have been advised that the Wellington City Council has approved the site for use as a school. This is amazing news because it now confirms that a long and costly Resource Consent process is not needed. We continue to consider options close to the present buildings to provide extra space for school growth.

Over the summer, Rhonda and I expect to largely step back from the day to day business of progressing this project. It has been a privilege to play our part to this point. We will remain enthusiastic supporters. Early in the new year we expect that Miramar Christian School and the Peniel Trust will pick up and coordinate communications going forward.

Christmas blessings,

Mark



27th September 2023

Greetings all

Since our last email update on the 13th of September, the great work has continued progressing due diligence on 19-21 Broderick Street, monitoring our application to the Ministry of Education and fundraising. 

The project is at a point where there are now four well functioning teams doing the vast bulk of the mahi. 

The school board is communicating with parents to firm up their interest in enrolment. I urge you to make your intentions clear as it is looking more and more likely that there will be many more applications than places available.  The board is also planning a name change process, reaching out to manawhenua and working through all the operational matters related to shifting and growing. They are well placed to manage all this very well and we thank them for the work they are doing.

A property team led by Stephen Gueze (architect and long time supporter of Christian education in Wellington) reports to the Peniel Trust and is well on schedule to meet the conditions of the sale and purchase agreement.

The Peniel Trust is working with the Wellington Christian Education Trust on fundraising. 

The new Proprietor of the school, the New Zealand Christian Proprietors Trust, is tracking the MoE application and will make any supplementary applications necessary in due course. 

KEEP PRAYING

Mark

14th September 2023

Greetings all

I hope you are enjoying the signs of spring settling in. We are experiencing a very mild and sunny few weeks in Christchurch which is putting a spring in our step.  Also putting a spring in our step is the progress we are making regarding the new site etc.

Due diligence work with the Council around 19-21 Broderick Street is progressing really well. After a couple of meetings nothing has surfaced that we did not expect and our expert team are advising everything needing to be done seems doable - its a matter of being clearer around costs and timeframes. 

We are so grateful for the highly enthusiastic experienced and skilled team God has put together to advance the property part of the project. There could still be roadblocks so please remain diligent in your prayers. 

We are actively looking at options to add to the amount of space at 19-21 Broderick Street.

The application to the Ministry of Education is at the point where they will consult with some schools. 

Two of the Trusts working on the project are leading the fundraising work. We have certainty around the proceeds of the sale of the current school site and a greater understanding of the extent to which a bank may support us.  Some grandparents on our newsletter list have made a generous donation. 

Since our last newsletter on the 7th of August a significant number of new families have expressed interest - THANK YOU!

The Board of Miramar Christian School are preparing to reach out to everybody on the EOI list with a view to firming up intentions. Watch that space. 

Thanking you again for your ongoing support.

"Let everything that breathes sing praises to the LORD! Praise the LORD! - Psalm 150:6

7th August 2023

Greetings all

A significant milestone was reached late last week when an application was submitted to the Ministry of Education to relocate Miramar Christian School to 18-21 Broderick Street Johnsonville. The application included a roll increase to 210 and a progressive change in year levels to year 13 beginning with offering Year 9 in 2025, Year 10 in 2026 and so on. 

The Miramar Board will be consulting on a name change. 
A pre application planning meeting is scheduled with the Council for the 25th of August to explore the change of use process.

The Miramar Board will also be contacting every family on the expression of interest list with a view to asking you to firm up your interest in enrolment. The roll projections we have asked the MoE to consider and approve mean there will be approximately 150 places available in 2025 with similar numbers at each year level from years 1 to 10. Allowing for families currently at Miramar Christian School we expect there to be real pressure on the remaining available places. 

When the Board contact you, please make sure you respond promptly to keep your expression of interest active.

Please keep praying for finances, MoE and Council approvals. 

18th July 2023

Greetings all

The project is making good progress with a Broderick Street property in Johnsonville
We trust we are close to finalising a sale and purchase agreement with the owners giving us six months to meet the conditions of the agreement which, as previously outlined, relate to:
1. Ministry of Education approval
2. Council approval
3. Finance

We are well advanced in working with the Ministry of Education and expect to submit an application by the end of July to grow the roll to the maximum the new property will accommodate ( high 200's ) and to start year 9 in 2025 and then year 10 in 2026. Year's 11 to 13 need a separate application which we are confident can be completed in time to allow the school to go to year 11 in 2027 year 12 in 2028 and year 13 in 2029. PLEASE PRAY FOR THE APPLICATION!

We are planning a pre-application meeting with the council very soon. We are so grateful for the excellent professional help we’re getting from a number of supporters of the project at this time particularly on the property and finance fronts.
The very soonest we could shift Miramar C.S. would be mid 2024 however, that would need things to move very quickly from this point

Please pray as we work on meeting the conditions.
Please continue to encourage others to sign up on the expression of interest section on our website. We will be in touch in the next few weeks to ask you for a firmer indication of your commitment to enrol.


28th April 2023

Greetings all

PUBLIC MEETING

It has been too long since we have had the chance to get together face to face and hear more about the project as well as connecting with each other as interested families. You are warmly invited to a public meeting on Sunday May 28th. Please RSVP by 21st May by clicking here.

SITE SEARCH STRATEGY

The project has literally canvased dozens of properties in the CBD to no avail. Generally we are finding that some combination of transport and traffic, earthquake strengthening, rental expectations, or other planning issues make finding a suitable building challenging. We will not stop searching in the CBD however please join us in prayer as we consider the relative merits of shifting our focus to a much more concerted look at the southern end of the northern corridor. If we did look more closely in the northern corridor it would be in the area circled in red. Click here to view the site search parameters document.

Please pray for Ivan and Mark as they continue the search. If you hear of any properties that may be of interest please let us know.


1st March 2023

Greetings all

I had the privilege of sitting under some wonderful teaching recently in Hebrews 11. The passage speaks of the heroes of the faith. A common saying goes "I'll believe it when I see it". Hebrews 11 turns that on its head and calls us to have faith so that if we believe then we may see!

As observed at other times, the Wellington Christian Education Project has taken a number of twists and turns, not the least of which was going back to the drawing board in our site search. Sometimes I feel I don't have what it takes to be part of finding a site to relocate Miramar Christian School.  When I feel like that, the Spirit speaks to me and says "Mark - you don't have to have what it takes - I, Yahweh, have what it takes!".

Inspired by the heroes of the faith like Abraham and others, we press on believing God will carry us through.

We can celebrate all the ways in which God has provided so far;

  • thank you Lord for all those who have labored in the field of Christian education in Wellington

  • thank you Lord for the gift of Christian education itself

  • thank you for Miramar Christian School (and Maranatha Christian School) who serve their communities faithfully

  • thank you for the project partners from all around New Zealand and the WCET who have carried the vision so faithfully

  • thank you for support from the Ministry of Education

  • we celebrate NZCPT becoming Proprietor of Miramar Christian School and honour the Peniel Trust who have faithfully carried the school for more than 40 years

  • we thank you that the school now has a minivan and a growing roll

Here is a link to a few words from Mark - or see the video below.

Miramar Christian School - Most of you will have seen news that the school has purchased a minivan and is running a bus service from the railway station. Grateful thanks to the Wellington Christian Education Trust who donated the money to the school to make this possible. You may recall the WCET was formed approximately 15 years ago to carry the vision for enhancing the provision of Christian education in Wellington. WCET are now partnering with other education Trusts from around New Zealand and Miramar Christian School to progress the vision. The school has been delighted to receive new enrolments as a result of the bus service. The school Board welcomes two new Board members - Stuart van Rij (a parent interested in enrolling at a relocated site) and Phillip Mark Bradley (from one of the partner Trusts in Auckland). 

Miramar Christian School now has a new Proprietor. The New Zealand Christian Proprietors Trust became proprietor effective 21st January. This has been in the planning stages for some time. 

Site Search Coordinator

The project is delighted to introduce Ivan Wong Kee who commenced work in this role on the 6th of January. Ivan is busy networking, scouring the property market and also enquiring about properties that are not on the market but have potential.

Zoom recording with Ivan Wong Kee or see video below.

If you have a lead on a potential property we encourage you to contact Ivan - email ivan.wongkee@remax.co.nz or phone 021 585 416. and cc Mark in.

Change of class application - Late last year we contacted all interested families and asked them to consider completely a survey to assist us with our application to change year levels and increase the roll once we have a suitable site found.

The application requires community consultation. This includes the current Miramar families and all those who have expressed interest in enrolling in the re-sited school.  Thank you so much to all who have completed this. 

Below is a link to a survey we would love you to complete if you haven't already and if you are a Miramar family or interested in enrolling your children in the school in the future. This will help us to understand in more detail what you are looking for and how our work to date matches that. 

https://forms.gle/Rn5Cq2j1ueG3ac6w7 

Public Meeting - With the delay in relocating Miramar Christian School we consider we are overdue for a face to face catch up. Programme to be confirmed but we hope to have some great speakers, nice food, excellent kids programme and a chance for everyone to reconnect as well as meeting new families. We are working on finalising the date and will advise you as soon as we can.

Expression of Interest List - Thank you to the families who signed up over the summer. Follow this link to see how this would translate into school roll and year levels.

Article of Interest - Developing the Wellington Christian Education Project comes at a challenging time in New Zealand's history for Christians. The thinking and values of the wider New Zealand society are increasingly at odds with the way that Jesus set before us. Here is a link to an article by Gavin Hastings, Principal, Hastings Christian School.  It is a good reflection of how Christian educators are thinking about our times and what Christian education can look like. I was very encouraged to read this and commend it to you.

In closing, we acknowledge all those so profoundly affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. I realise some of you reading this will have relatives and friends who are struggling.  

Mark Larson - Wellington Christian Education Project Leader

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