Elim Christian Centre Blenheim is the second oldest Elim Church in New Zealand, established in 1954, and is still a thriving House of Christian Faith and Service today. It is also home to the first Elim school in New Zealand.
Throughout the week, Elim Christian Centre Blenheim is a very busy place with church, school activities, counselling services, two different youth groups for intermediate and college age youth, and community activities including a SUPERKIDS holiday programme that has been running for over 20 years. It really is a seven-days-a-week complex!
Richmond View School, which is the first Elim School in NZ, was a dream God gave the Elim Blenheim Leadership back in the 1970s. It gradually grew from a dream to a vision to reality where the first part of the School was built and opened on March 7th, 1981.
‘The school motto/vision statement is “Educating for Eternity” and we believe that we are most definitely doing that‘, says Pastor Tom Hatch, Senior Leader, Elim Christian Centre Blenheim.
In the earlier days, the school was a fully private Christian School, but in 2001 took the leap to become a fully Integrated School of Special Character and Full Primary (years 1-8).
In 2006 the first of three applications was submitted to the Ministry of Education to gain permission to expand the School into an Area School, which takes it all the way to Year 13. This Vision-expansion process took twelve years and three separate applications. Finally, mid-2018 the school was granted permission to reclassify and expand, which meant as of 2019 they had their first year nine class of students.
2021 marks the third year as a Full Area school, rolling out a year 11 class and Richmond View School’s 40th birthday! The school also partnered with Christian Savings to open the new state-of-the-art science and technology building.
‘We first heard of Christian Savings through our annual Elim Conference when it was in its earlier years of forming’, says Tom.
‘To date, the primary way Christian Savings has helped us out is through the financing of the current loan. We are definitely looking for this to be a long and healthy relationship as we are only halfway through the build of our College. And who knows… what we are building here in Marlborough may continue to grow as the vision grows.’
‘We would absolutely encourage others to partner with Christian Savings! We have found them not only to understand terms like ‘vision & future plans’, but they also understand that what we are building is for generations to come.
‘We are very happy to be partnering with Christian Savings.’