THE IMPORTANCE OF
(March, 1996, for the 'Glen
Waverley Campus Newsletter')
Whilst fee levels and Wesley's rare
inability to provide a suitable educational program narrow the field of
entry to the school, Wesley's 'open entry' enrolment policy stems from
the very genesis of its existence.
It is not a latter-day strategy to
keep enrolments up!
seed of today's policy was embedded in the Wesleyan Revival of the
Fortuitously, the only hymn of Charles
Wesley (whose brother John gives his name to our school) remaining in our
students' 1996 Record Book contains the crucial line: "Let us all
Thy grace receive;" -- Hymn 13. The fervent proclamation
of the Wesleys and their 'Methodists' was that God's saving grace was available
for all, unreservedly.
Consequently, the mission of the
Wesleys was energetic, external, and passionate. John's travel, preaching
and writing are legendary! Charles' multitudinous hymns carried the
faith to a non-reading populace in rhythm, rhyme and melody.
was a key factor. Inspired by a huge German school for the poor
he visited in 1738, John Wesley developed a cluster of schools at Kingswood,
England, which eventually led to schools for people of all conditions.
Ultimately, and additionally, a huge
network of Wesleyan Sunday Schools saw thousands of British youngsters
drawn off the streets for a once a week dose of rudimentary readin', writin',
'rithmetic and religion!
century Port Phillip Wesleyan Methodists were just as keen and, in
addition to an abundance of elementary day and Sunday Schools, they opened
Wesley College in 1866.
The College's curriculum and public
statements of the time clearly show it's founders' and subscribers' intention
to make their education service as accessible as possible to the future
adults of the young, gold-besotted Colony of Victoria.
twentieth century history can be written in similar terms. Certainly,
it behoves us, who will see modern Wesley College enter the twenty-first
century, to continue to manifest this essential characteristic of our chosen
school, open entry, in all our thinking, planning and actions.