The Logos School – Cyprus
By Colin P. Clarke, Chairman of The Logos Trust
It would not be incorrect to say that the beginnings of the Logos School began at the Nuremberg Trials in Germany at the end of the Second World War. It was there that Ian Ross, in his military capacity as a captain, required a secretary and translator. Christa, a skilled secretary and linguist was provided by the military. Gordon Ian Moore Ross and Christa Rosemary Erica Schneider were married in Hamburg in 1950. After the marriage they moved to Glasgow to Ian’s family home with his parents. Ian was called as a serving soldier to Aden and left Christa behind in Glasgow with their daughter.
In 1953, Billy Graham held a gospel campaign in Glasgow. Christa went to hear this speaker on her own. Due to the large gathering, she could not get inside the Kelvin Hall, but was able to listen to the message relayed on speakers. This was when Christa trusted the Lord as her Saviour.
Christa wrote a letter to Ian who was living the ‘wild life’ with the troops in Aden. One particular evening Ian had decided to walk back to the barracks. The Lord wonderfully preserved him from death as the Land Rover he should have been a passenger in overturned on its return journey after a ‘wild’ night out and the occupants were all killed. The next morning Ian received the letter from Christa telling of her salvation. On reading Christa’s letter, and just after he had been saved from death, Ian placed his trust in the Lord.
In 1960, Ian was posted to Cyprus and lived in Nicosia. He made many friends who were believers, including Sam Chorbajian and Levon Yergatian. In 1962 Ian returned to Scotland to the family home as an Army Scripture Reader, where he served the Lord until 1969. He was active in gospel outreach work amongst the university students in St. Andrews, and at the same time, Christa was also very active in this work.
During a holiday in Cyprus meeting again with old friends, especially Levon and Sam, the concept of a school took shape.
In 1971, Ian and his son Toby went to Cyprus. Upon returning to Scotland, Ian brought into being ‘The Logos Trust’, the purpose of which was to provide finance to commence a school in Cyprus with spiritual guidance and educational control.
The commitment of Ian and Christa to this work is seen in the sale of Ian’s family home, together with the entire contents, except for the few possessions that fitted into the Bedford CA Van. In 1971, the family commenced the journey over land from Scotland to Cyprus, travelling through Europe and Turkey, and arriving at the port of Famagusta.
In Cyprus Ian and Christa had with them the £6,000 they received for the sale of the family home and they used the money to commence the Logos School. Ian purchased the original six prefabricated buildings which were to become the classrooms with chairs and tables, with half of the money from the sale of their home. These buildings had cost 13,000 Cypriot pounds to build. Next, he painted the classrooms, and the school began September 1973.
Ian was a co-founder of the school with Levon Yergatian.
The vision of the founders was of a school where children would receive a sound secular education, and, at the same time, hear the word of God and be daily acquainted with the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ian was not only co-founder of the school but throughout his life was a member of the Board of Governors. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the school, as he sought tirelessly to promote its interests, in recruiting staff, sourcing equipment, and encouraging the support of the Lord’s people.
The Logos Trust is the vehicle through which equipment and funds is channelled to the school. Through Ian’s influence, hundreds of thousands of pounds have been forwarded from the UK to Cyprus through the Trust, and these funds have been acknowledged by interested local Cypriot believers to have been the life-blood of the Logos School. The Logos Trust continues to support the school. England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland are all represented on the Trust which currently comprises sixteen brethren, all in assembly fellowship, who meet at least twice a year. From the Trust, a small group form the board of governors (six) who meet to review the education, staff, buildings, and finance of the school. The vision of the founders is in no way diminished, and the school continues to provide quality education in conjunction with the proclamation of the gospel message daily.
By the early 1980s, the population of Logos School had outgrown the facilities and, in 1984, believers provided the funds for land and new buildings.
Around this time, a board of directors was appointed. They oversaw the major decisions of the school, and were responsible for the money that believers gave for the work.
By 2002, the school population reached 300, with a teaching staff of approximately thirty-six from around the world. This number fitted the school perfectly, both physically and socially – large enough to be a significant outreach in the community, but small enough to maintain a family feel where every child is known by name. Throughout its forty-six years, about 2,500 children have attended Logos School, many having trusted the Lord as their Saviour.
Under the leadership of the board of directors, along with Nathan Moore, the Principal, the Logos School is thriving. Our student body of around 300 is made up of individuals from more than forty different countries and many different religious beliefs, including Muslims, due to our location in the Middle East. We maintain a high educational standard, following the English curriculum and being an official centre for Cambridge and Edexcel Examination Boards.
Why do families send their children to Logos School, knowing it is a Christian institution?
The main reasons are:
Thanks to the support of the believers abroad, we offer tuition discounts to families in need: 75% of our families receive a discount of more than 10% and half of the students pay less than 50%. We offer the opportunity of a quality education to children who could never otherwise afford one.
Muslim families really appreciate our moral code. The public Greek schools have a reputation for being quite chaotic, whereas Logos School is known for its Christian values and extremely high standard of behaviour. No swearing. No bullying. No smoking. No alcohol or drugs. No physical contact between the teen boys and girls. No fighting. No mobile phones. Even rules regarding modesty of dress and no piercings are enforced.
Obviously, this is rare anywhere in the world in this generation, and most parents are grateful. When children transfer to Logos School from other schools, they often find the new rules strange and difficult, but almost all of them settle in quickly and soon find themselves feeling secure, loved and protected. Compared to many schools around the world, Logos is a peaceful haven with hardly any major discipline issues.
While the Logos School is a private school and fees are charged to those parents who can afford to pay, to-date the school has operated on the principle that no child should be turned away because of the inability of the parents to pay fees. This has been made possible through the generosity of kind, believing friends and by the sacrificial service of our expatriate teachers, who accept salaries much lower than in their homelands, i.e., in the UK, Canada and the USA. The recruitment of teachers is an ongoing need that could be affected by the UK Brexit situation and we are thankful to the Lord for those who come and share in the work.
To convey a little of the nature of the school, we have students from the following countries: Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czechia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Morocco, Nigeria, Norway, Palestinian territories, the Philippines Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, USA, and Yemen.
The Logos Trust is a registered charity. Courtesy of the UK HMRC and the Gift Aid Scheme, a UK tax payer can upgrade a donation of £100 into £128. Such additional income has proved most valuable. The school buildings are now old and overcrowded by the current student body of 300. With European Union (EU) standards now applying in Cyprus, the buildings fail to meet current legal requirements on many points, including health and safety, and various other criteria. Currently, we are modernizing the school fire-escapes, providing more toilet facilities, upgrading security, and upgrading and reorganizing classroom facilities. Indeed, upgrading the school seems a constant pursuit, the new computer laboratory being a recent example.
We do not know how the Cypriot government will react to the separation of the UK from the EU. Before Cyprus joined the EU, we had to register non-Cypriot teachers year-by-year, the government requiring us to justify every member of staff. You can imagine the amount of time this exercise took on a yearly basis. There could be new requirements brought in by the EU which will be applied to the school, and these are as yet unknown.
- The Lord’s provision for the continuance of the work, particularly the modernization of buildings.
- The Lord’s overruling in relation to ongoing recruitment issues. Those interested in short-term or longer-term service for the Lord at Logos should email: LogosTrust@Logos.ac.cy.
- A resolution of any problems that might be created by Brexit, particularly for UK citizens working in the school.
- The Lord’s blessing as the gospel is presented to the students each day.