New Staff Appointments

The Rector, Fr Brian, is delighted to announce that the bishops have appointed three experienced priests to the resident formation staff of St John’s Seminary for September 2017.

Mgr Gerry Ewing (Vice-Rector). Mgr Ewing is a priest of the Archdiocese of Southwark and is currently parish priest of Holy Ghost, Balham. He was for many years Director of Ongoing Formation of Priests in Southwark, as well as Secretary and Treasurer of the National Directors of Ongoing Formation.

Fr Kevin Dring (Director of Human Formation). Fr Kevin is a priest of Arundel & Brighton Diocese. He is currently parish priest of The Sacred Heart, Hove, and Dean of Brighton & Hove.  Fr Kevin comes to St John’s with a wealth of pastoral experience, both in Arundel & Brighton and in Peru.  Previous posts have also included:  Vocations Director in Arundel & Brighton and National Vocations Director at the Bishops’ Conference.  Fr Kevin is no stranger to Wonersh having previously taught moral theology at St John’s as a visiting member of staff.

Canon Luke Smith (Director of Spirituality). Canon Luke is priest of the Archdiocese of Southwark and is currently parish priest of Maidstone. Both Canon Luke and Mgr Ewing are alumni of St John’s. Canon Luke succeeds Fr Gerard Bradley, who leaves St John’s to take up a parish appointment in the Archdiocese of Southwark.

They join Canon Brian Coyle (Rector, Southwark), Fr Stephen Dingley (Director of Studies, A&B), Fr Teyrnon Williams (Pastoral Director, Menevia), Fr Michael Fountaine (Professor of Liturgy, Clifton).

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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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Cardinal Danneels and the Year of Faith

On 18 October Cardinal Godfried Danneels gave a lecture at Southwark Cathedral, marking the beginning of the Year of Faith and the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. The whole seminary community was able to attend, and we also had the privilege of celebrating Mass with the Cardinal. In the lecture, entitled “Vatican II – A Council Unlike Any Other”, he reflected interestingly on his own experiences of being at the Council and on its ongoing significance for the Church.

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Advent 2012

The Advent Season began with what has now become our customary Advent Service. The seasonally decorated chapel was full as over 100 visitors joined the Seminary Comunity to celebrate Evening Prayer for the First Sunday of Advent. The schola were in particularly good voice, and visitors were reminded to make good progress with the mince pies and mulled wine out of charity for those who might be tempted to eat the left overs.

On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception representatives from the Seminary travelled down to Penzance for the Priestly Ordination of Fr John Gilbert. Former students joined the local choir to support the music.

The Advent Retreat was led by Fr Stephen Langridge, Vocations Director for Southwark, while the deacons-elect made their ordination retreats.

Term ended on 15th December 2012 with the ordination to the diaconate by Bishop Kieran Conry of Revv. Samuel Davey (Swk), Simon Dray (A&B), Harry Heijveld (Plym), Paul Keys (Plym), and Thomas Lynch (Swk). We were pleased to welcome many family and friends to celebrate this important day in their lives and in the life of the Church. They will minister as Deacons mainly in the Seminary Community and in the places where they exercise their weekly pastoral commitments.

To all our newly ordained -Ad multos annos!

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Ministries, Candidacy and Holy Orders, Summer 2012

The seminary year ended in the usual and wonderful way, with many members of the community taking significant steps in their journey towards priestly ministry. It reminds us of the reason why we are all here and fills us with hope and thanksgiving to God.

Our congratulations go to:

Colin Groombridge and Mark Wharton, who received the ministry of Lectorate;


Thomas Bakulumpagi (right), John Browne, Ross Bullock, Philip Carroll, Colin Groombridge, Mark Higgins, Jacek Kostuch, Dermott O’Gorman and David Pearce, who received the ministry of Acolytate;



Samuel Davey, Simon Dray, Harry Heijveld, Thomas Lynch and Paul Keys, who were admitted to Candidacy for Holy Orders;



Revv. John Gilbert, Nicolas von Malaise, Stuart Meyer, Matthew Bemand-Qureshi and Nicholas De Keyser, ordained Deacons;



and finally Frs Kurt Barragan, Oladele Craig, Chris Dobson and Alan Sharpe (not pictured), ordained Priests (also to Fr Alan Burgess, who received priestly formation at the Beda College in Rome and was ordained with Frs Kurt and Ola).

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St John’s Association Summer Event 2012

St John’s Association is the alumni organisation of the seminary. For this year’s event we were delighted to welcome Mgr Keith Newton, the Ordinary of Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, who presided at Mass and also gave a fascinating address about the identity and work of the Ordinariate.

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