St John's Seminary, near Guildford, has come to the end of an era. The 130-year-old institution has only five trainee priests and no new enrolments. The five students will continue their studies at the only other two remaining seminaries in England. In 2019 there were just 29 trainee Catholic priests in the whole country. 100 years ago there were enough seminarians to fill the steps of the grand Victorian building of St John’s. Its rector said, 'It's a very sad moment, but to carry on was not viable. When I trained here in 1973 I was one of 90. I never thought I'd be back overseeing its closure.' The loss of the seminary comes against a backdrop of an increasingly secular world and the fallout from countless sex abuse scandals in the church. The seminaries are swimming against the tide in an increasingly secular and materialistic society.
Lack of aspiring Catholic priestsWritten by David Fletcher 03 Jun 2021
- Pray: for seeds sown at St John’s to produce harvests in new evangelism eras. (1 Corinthians 1:17)
- More: www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9635123/Last-rites-seminary-130-years-runs-trainee-PRIESTS.html