Hebron School might be more than 100 years old but still has a great gospel vision for the future.
The good news of Jesus lies at the heart of this boarding school which serves the mission community and others from an idyllic location in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Every member of staff at the school, which now has more 360 pupils, is a committed Christian and happy to share the gospel at any and every opportunity.
School principal Howard Oldcorn, who is always looking for new teachers to join his team, said: “Hebron is unapologetically a Christian school and in everything we do we try to exemplify our motto: Deo Supremo (God first). That is the reason we exist and the reason we strive to do things in the best possible way – for God’s glory.
“One of the joys about working here is that we have freedom to share the gospel with our students.
“Many of them come from Christian worker families but we also have a good number of children from local business families who are not necessarily Christian.
“However, all children are expected to go to church on a Sunday, attend assemblies and be part of dorm devotions. In addition, a range of Christian activities exists in which students are encouraged to participate.”
The school was started by UK missionaries in 1899 but has undergone many, many changes since then. Now co-educational, the pupils are taught the English national curriculum and sit GCSEs and A Levels at the same time as their counterparts in this country.
The teachers are all paid a local salary – and they are all paid the same, no matter whether they have just started or are the head teacher. Some of them come with support from their home church or a mission agency, such as Keith and Ruth Jardine, who are there with Serving in Mission.
Old boy Tim Archer, who now organises an annual reunion of former pupils and staff in London, said: “The school is truly unique. I was there from 1973 and saw the school go from being on two separate sites for boys and girls to being truly co-educational.
“That was certainly a change for the better but what has stayed constant throughout is that focus on the gospel.
“The teachers might come from a wide variety of evangelical backgrounds but there is never any sense that they want to take the school towards their particular denomination or branch of Christianity. It truly is a place where the things that unite the teachers in their Christian faith are far more important than any minor differences about forms of worship or anything else.”
Tim has gone on from Hebron to become a maths teacher in Huddersfield, where he is also involved in church planting with New Frontiers.
The reunion, held not surprisingly at a London curry house, is sponsored by another Hebron old boy and the founder of Cobra Lager, Lord Bilimoria.
The greatest need at Hebron is always for more staff, whether that be Christian teachers who can commit to long-term service or short-term students looking for a very different gap year.
The current need is for music teachers and for junior school teachers but they would love to hear from you whatever subject you teach. The only pre-requisite is that you are a committed evangelical Christian and can sign their statement of faith.
Mr Oldcorn said: “When we interview prospective teachers we are as interested in their church and spiritual background as we are in their teaching experience.
“Many other former mission schools have appointed non-Christian teachers and the gospel focus has been much diminished as a result. We do not want that to happen at Hebron and remain absolutely committed to having a 100 per cent Christian teaching staff.”
For more information go to hebronooty.org.