Grenville Christian College

Grenville Christian College

Grenville Christian College is a former Canadian private school located in the rural community of Maitland, several kilometres east of Brockville, Ontario, on the bank of the St. Lawrence River.

Operated by members and clergy of the Anglican Church of Canada, the independent university preparatory school was composed of upper, middle, elementary and primary schools. Students had the option of being a day student, full time boarder or a weekday boarder.


The campus was built in 1918 as St. Mary's College, a preparatory school run by the Redemptorist Order of the Roman Catholic Church. St. Mary's College operated until 1968. [cite web |url=
title=History of St. Mary's College
author=St. Mary's College alumni |accessdate=2007-09-07

The St. Mary's College campus was purchased in 1969 by a group called Berean Christian Schools who envisioned using the facility for training missionaries. Although the exact timeline is unclear, Berean Christian Schools began as a private school in 1970 and was renamed Grenville Christian College in 1973, drawing its staff from a religious community called the "Community of the Good Shepherd." This religious community, also known as the Community of Jesus, founded by two women who called themselves Mother Cay Andersen and Mother Judy Sorenson,cite web |url= |title=Mothers of invention.
author=The Globe and Mail |year=2007 |month=October
] reportedly held sway over hiring of all employees until a former public school principal was hired as headmaster in June 2002. [cite web |url= |title=GCC begins search for new headmaster.
author=The Prescott Journal |year=2005 |month=April
] According to , the founding Mothers Cay and Judy were allegedly “"two overweight boozing housewives who hid their drinking, their harridan brawling and their lesbian affair from all but a few obeisant servants."”

After 37 years, Grenville Christian College announced its closure, citing declining enrollment and unspecified financial pressures on July 30, 2007. [cite web |url= |title=Grenville Christian College to Close.
author=Grenville Christian College |year=2007 |month=July
] A "Closing Celebration Weekend" was held on the weekend of September 29-30, 2007. [cite web |url= |title=Alumni Events : Closing Celebration Weekend September 29-30th, 2007.
author=Grenville Christian College |year=2007 |month=August


There have been many claims of widespread student abuse and cult practices, which the Anglican Diocese of Ontario has not entirely dismissedcite web |url= |title=Dark past behind school's demise.
author=Globe & Mail |authorlink=Globe and Mail |year=2007 |month=August |accessdate=2007-08-31
] [cite web |url= |title=Anglican school's former students tell of brainwashing, abuse.
author=Ottawa Citizen |authorlink=Ottawa Citizen |year=2007 |month=September |accessdate=2007-09-09
] [cite web |url=$rec=23638 |title=A tale of two GCC students: Strict discipline had different impact.
author=The Recorder & Times |authorlink=The Recorder and Times |year=2007 |month=September |accessdate=2007-09-08
] . The church is on record for rejecting calls to investigate misconduct complaints against school officials [cite web |url= |title=Anglican bishop rejects ex-student's plea to investigate abuse claims.
author=Globe & Mail |authorlink=Globe and Mail |year=2007 |month=September |accessdate=2007-09-06
] , however, the church is weighing the possibility of sanctioning an ordained minister who was headmaster for two decades. [cite web |url= |title=Anglicans weigh sanctions against priest.
author=Globe & Mail |authorlink=Globe and Mail |year=2007 |month=September |accessdate=2007-09-07
] [cite web |url=$rec=23627 |title=Local bishop to meet with former students.
author=The Recorder & Times |authorlink=The Recorder and Times |year=2007 |month=September |accessdate=2007-09-08
] [cite web |url=$rec=23626 |title=Farnsworth reaching out to ex-students 'Whatever happened on my watch, I just have to take responsibility.'
author=The Recorder & Times |authorlink=The Recorder and Times |year=2007 |month=September |accessdate=2007-09-08
] As of October 17, 2007, two former headmasters (who were also Anglican priests) are currently under criminal investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police. [cite web |url=
title=OPP open investigation into Grenville abuse claims.
author=The Globe and Mail |year=2007 |month=September
] The chair of the school's Board of Directors and the Bishop of the Diocese of Ontario have publicly clarified that the school was never formally affiliated with the Anglican Church of Canada. Anglican priests and bishops, however, had officiated at the school's chapel services and the school flew the Anglican flag. [cite web |url=
title=Church denies that closed, controversial school was Anglican.
author=Anglican Journal |year=2007 |month=September
] Since the school's closing, alumni have come forward and told of punishments by silence and ostracism ("discipline"), a form of internal suspension; teachers searching their drawers and inspecting their undergarments; exorcisms. The school was associated with a religious community in Massachusetts, alleged to be a cult, known as the Community of Jesus. This community would send its rebellious children to the boarding school, where they, along with other students, would be subjected to a variety of practices that still evoke nightmares in alumnae decades later. [cite web |url=
title=Born into abusive grip of a cult.
author=Globe & Mail |authorlink=Globe and Mail |year=2007 |month=September |accessdate=2007-09-04
] According to media reports, staff children at Grenville Christian College were sometimes separated from their parents (who lived at the school) because administrators felt that that parents were prone to "idolatrize" them. These children would often live with other staff families at the school. The former co-publisher of a local newspaper, The Recorder & Times, has stated that his newspaper became aware of allegations of religious cult practices at Grenville Christian College in the late 1980s but was unable to convince student sources to publicize their names; the paper was also threatened with libel action by a Bay Street law firm. [cite web |url= |title=Brockville's local paper was advised not to publish abuse allegations.
author=Globe & Mail |authorlink=Globe and Mail |year=2007 |month=September |accessdate=2007-09-01
] At least one former staff member at the school has apologized to students for their treatment [cite web |url= |title=Apology for ‘hurt and pain' at private school.
author=Globe & Mail |authorlink=Globe and Mail |year=2007 |month=September
] and the chairman of the school's Board of Directors has formally apologized. [cite web |url=$rec=23597 |title=GCC answering abuse allegations.|author=The Recorder & Times |authorlink=The Recorder and Times |year=2007 |month=September|accessdate=2007-09-06] [cite web |url= |title=Grenville Christian College chair apologizes for abuse.|author=CBC |authorlink=Canadian Broadcasting Corporation |year=2007 |month=September|accessdate=2007-09-07] A $1 billion lawsuit has been launched against the College, the Anglican Church of Canada, two priests, and the Community of Jesus, claiming abuse of students. [cite web |url= |title=Former students suing Grenville.|author=The Globe & Mail |authorlink=Globe and Mail |year=2007 |month=November|accessdate=2007-11-06]


External links

* [ - official school website]
* [ GCC Science Page]

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