ORANGE'S two Anglican parishes are investigating the feasibility of establishing a low to moderate fee Anglican school in Orange.
The Reverend Canon Frank Hetherington, of Holy Trinity, Orange, confirmed a committee comprising representatives of the Orange and East Orange parishes had been established to investigate the proposal.
He said the investigation was in its early stages, as the committee had only met twice to date.
The Reverend Geoff Mathews, of St Barnabas, East Orange, said members of the joint committee hoped to be in a position to make a recommendation to the churches about the proposal by the end of the year.
He said neither parish wanted to raise any false hopes about the possibility of a new school being established, as the proposal might prove unfeasible.
However, he said it would be a very exciting project if the joint committee deemed it viable.
Rev Mathews said the investigation of a new school was taking place in the context of a wider review by the Anglican Church and its operations in Orange and the whole Bathurst diocese, which extends west to centres including Cobar and Bourke.
It was no secret that the Anglican Church had struggled to maintain members in recent years. This was an Australia-wide phenomenon, not something that was unique to Orange, Rev Mathews said.
Fifty years ago it was viable to maintain two Anglican churches within 2km of each other.
However, this structure was "not terribly practical" these days because of factors such as changed demographics and better transport.
Part of the review would involve examining options to better utilise the resources of the two parishes, Rev Mathews said.
The two Orange churches had made their parishioners aware of the investigation and proposal, he said.
The Bathurst diocese helped establish an Anglican school in Dubbo four years ago. It is understood the success of that venture has helped prompt the church to look at other potential school sites.
Rev Mathews urged any parents interested in the proposal to register their interest with either of the parish offices.