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Parish Bursaries for Tertiary Students

Article by Kathy de Smidt

A professor recently said, “It remains amazing to see how a relatively small sponsorship can change a person’s trajectory!” The St John’s Parish Educational Fund may not receive star status, but it has been faithfully operating for 34 years to give a modest boost to tertiary students of limited means.


The Management Committee has representatives on the panel from each of the 6 churches in the parish. This year, three of us are new as some long-standing members recently stepped down. The Fund is a Registered NPO and audited.


Applicants do not have to be members of our parish churches, though the forms are accessed through each Church’s Administrator. References and whether the applicants meet the criteria for awarding a bursary are considered. This year, 11 people were awarded small bursaries of varying amounts.


As one of the new members on the panel, I was encouraged to meet the applicants, hear something of their journey and also be able to pray with them. Here are some comments from previous recipients.


‘I want to express my sincere gratitude for the opportunity to interview with you and discuss my future aspirations. Your time and thoughtful questions were truly appreciated.


Recognising the competitive pool of candidates, I am grateful for your consideration and the chance to share my vision for the future.


I remain committed to making a positive impact in the community, both professionally and personally, and will continue to seek opportunities for growth and contribution.’


‘Thank you so much for the generous donation that you have given to me to put towards my studies. I cannot express how much this blessing means to me, as it helps to lift a great weight off my and my parent’s shoulders. I pray that God will continue to bless you and use you as he works to build his Church.’


New applications will be open for 2025 toward the end of this year.  We welcome contributions to the fund at any time (contact our Parish Administrator on on how to do this).


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