Statement by Torquay Christian Fellowship regarding SRI and Torquay College

Statement by Torquay Christian Fellowship regarding, SRI and Torquay College.

In reference to the segment on ABC Victoria 7pm news on Sunday the 23rd of February. Regarding religious education run at Torquay College, a reference was made to Torquay Christian Fellowship that was incorrect and unfactual.

Karen Percy stated,

“The course at Torquay College was run by volunteers from the nearby Christian Fellowship centre and it was responsible for distributing about 15 of the “so called” Biblezines”, while prominently displaying our church building and logo.

At no time did the ABC contact us by phone, email or in person to discuss this allegation.

The extent of our involvement with the magazines, is that along with other local churches, we were approached to contribute towards the costs of the SRI year end gift Bibles.

Contrary to claims made in some social media Torquay Christian Fellowship has no ‘contract’ or connection at all with Access Ministries, and is not responsible for the co-ordination or delivery of the SRI programme at Torquay College, or the selection of the material distributed.

A minority of the SRI volunteers at Torquay College in 2013 were attendees at TCF, but they volunteer entirely as individuals, and have no formal roles of any kind with TCF leadership.

A complaint has been lodged with the ABC.

Approximately a week after the news item referenced above aired, we became aware that a group campaigning against SRI in public schools had written a letter to Minister Dixon and Minister Wooldridge, the Victorian Government Ministers of Education and Community Services. It was also copied to various media outlets, some of whom relied on it and aired its incorrect claims. The letter was also placed on the organisation’s web page.

The lack of courtesy displayed by FIRIS in having never put any of these allegations to us directly has led the leadership of TCF to the opinion that to correspond directly with them would be unproductive. However, we have sent a letter of our own to the Department of Education pointing out the erroneous assumptions and conclusions drawn by FIRIS and we invite media outlets to contact us for a copy, and clarification should they be sent any future claims about TCF.

FIRIS have made numerous other claims regarding TCF on social media regarding the end of year SRI event at Torquay which are untrue. No TCF staff,  nor the Torquay College Chaplain, had any involvement in organising the end of year SRI event.. If you would like to read a response to those claims contact us for a copy or with your questions.


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