Three senior academics who left the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham four months ago have established an evangelisation school in Buckfast Abbey, Devon, it was announced today.
The School of the Annunciation will offer summer courses on the Catholic faith as well as a diploma in evangelisation.
The school has been established by Dr Petroc Willey, former acting director at Maryvale, along with ex-Maryvale staff Dr Caroline Farey and Dr Andrew Beards.
Dr Willey is a consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation. Both he and Dr Farey served as advisors to the evangelisation synod at the Vatican in 2012. They both resigned from Maryvale in October.
Bishop Mark O’Toole of Plymouth said he was “delighted” about the initiative, adding: “I am grateful for the generosity shown by Abbot David [Charlesworth] and the monastic community in providing it a home and direction.
“The Diocese of Plymouth looks forward to working with the School of the Annunciation so that the Gospel may more effectively be preached in our society.”
Abbot Charlesworth said: “Following on the success of summer schools in previous years, the foundation of the School of the Annunciation promises to be the next phase in Buckfast Abbey becoming a centre for authentic Catholic studies in continuity with the great Benedictine tradition stretching back over 1,500 years in our country. May Our Lady of Buckfast bless this new venture.”
The academic faculty includes Deacon Nick Donnelly, who writes the Protect the Pope blog, as director of formation. Dr Beards has been named academic director, Dr Farey is director of studies, and Dr Willey is a reader in the new evangelisation.