Yvonne Napper, front, and Andrew Unwin help run the St Andrew’s Church Bookshop in Murwillumbah.
Yvonne Napper, front, and Andrew Unwin help run the St Andrew’s Church Bookshop in Murwillumbah. BLAINEY WOODHAM

Church takes message to kids

A SCRIPTURE teacher is being kept in Murwillumbah schools solely by local church fundraising.

Minister Andrew Unwin, from St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Murwillumbah, said sales from St Andrew’s Church bookshop helped employ the scripture teacher.

Felicia Panoff teaches scripture three days a week at Murwillumbah High School and Wollumbin High School and teaches maths other days.

“We get no financial support from the schools or government, so it falls back on the ministers,” Mr Unwin said. “There are so many children with no direction and this is our way of dealing with it.”

The Koorong Bookshop has operated in Murwillumbah for more than four years and sells Christian books, Bibles, music, software DVDs and gifts. Mr Unwin said it opened regularly from 9am to 3pm most days, with a small team of volunteers keeping the shop open.

Church of Christ minister Ben Richardson said Ms Panoff, who has taught scripture in Murwillumbah schools for four years, was paid a full teacher’s salary.

“The response from the schools has been extremely positive,” Mr Richardson said.

“We are aiming to extend her scripture teaching days to a full week, but we have to raise the funds to do that.”

He said a fundraising committee, including churches from all denominations, organised events throughout the year to complement the funds raised through the bookshop.

“With enough funding we are also looking into employing school chaplains,” Mr Richardson said.

“The government will fund half, but the churches have to fund the other half to get it going.”

The Koorong Bookshop, on Wollumbin Street, will open again on Monday, January 18.



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