St John’s Seminary is a place of formation for priesthood in the Catholic church serving dioceses in the south of England and Wales. Beyond its primary role it provides a valuable resource for the local church as a centre for theological study and a venue for meetings and retreats. The Seminary is located in Wonersh, near Guildford, Surrey.

Is God calling you to be his priest?

Learn about the part the Seminary plays in discernment and formation.

Seminary life

Students describe aspects of life at the Seminary.

Ongoing formation

Find about the other courses we offer for laity and clergy.

Visiting St Johns

Find out about the facilities we offer for retreats, meetings and other groups or individual guests.

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News and events...

Fr Brian Coyle Appointed as Rector

Most Rev Peter Smith, Archbishop of Southwark, has announced the appointment of Fr Brian Coyle as Rector of St John’s Seminary, Wonersh, in succession to Mgr Jeremy Garratt.

St John’s Seminary was established in 1891 as the diocesan Seminary for the then Diocese of Southwark. It accepts students from several dioceses in England and also from Wales and Scotland.

Fr Brian is a priest of the Archdiocese of Southwark and is currently Director of Human Formation at Wonersh. He will take office on 4th July 2016. Mgr Jeremy Garratt will take up parish ministry in the diocese of Portsmouth in September.

Archbishop Peter said, “I am delighted that Fr Brian Coyle has accepted this very important ministry in the church. He brings a wealth of experience of priesthood, and having served at the Seminary for the last two years will already be familiar with St John’s.”

Mgr Jeremy said, “Under Fr Brian’s leadership I am sure that St John’s will have a bright future. It is very good news for the Seminary and for the church in this country.”

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A Sure Compass: A Symposium for the Year of Faith

The seminary year began with a very successful Symposium for the Year of Faith. The Seminary community gathered with some 50 visitors to reflect on some of the documents of the Second Vatican Council.
The first of these papers are now available on Symposium page of this website. We hope to make printed edition in 2014.

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Rev Valentine Erhahon ordained deacon

On 12 January Valentine Erhahon was ordained to the diaconate at St Joseph’s Church in Bromley by Bishop Patrick Lynch, auxiliary bishop in Southwark. We offer Rev Valentine our congratulations and prayers.

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More Priestly Ordinations

Three more of our former Anglican students have been ordained to the priesthood recently.



Frs Nicolas von Malaise and Stuart Meyer were ordained for Southwark archdiocese in their cathedral on 19 January.



Fr John Gilbert was ordained a few weeks earlier for Plymouth diocese on the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception in Penzance.

Congratulations to all three. We pray that they will enjoy many years of fruitful and joyful ministry.

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Diaconate Ordinations Dec 2012

Here are some pictures of our recent Ordinations (also noted in the post Advent 2012). Congratulations to Revv. Sam, Simon, Tom, Paul and Harry – and thanks to Bishop Kieran Conry.



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