Communicating with God: One Person at a Time (Chapter 2, page 2 of 31)


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Chapter 2

In the Diocese of Northampton few men were considered for seminary training if they were over the age of 22 or 23. Many went straight from school or, even more horrific, junior seminaries into whatever senior seminary had space to take them. Not having a seminary of our own, Diocesan candidates were sent mainly to Oscott near Birmingham. Others found their way to Rome, Spain, Ware, Upholland or Ushaw in the north or - just a few - to Wonersh near Guildford which served the Diocese of Southwark and allowed spaces to be filled from Brentwood, Nottingham or Northampton; in that order of priority. It was only partly jocularly known as a seminary for gentlemen who allowed a few scruffs to enter to make up the numbers. It was also, reputedly, one of the more strict establishments which made Oscott look like a holiday camp where the only rule was, so it was said, not to light one's pipe from the sanctuary light! It was also based on the very French and puritanical spirituality of St. Sulpice so that students were still half expecting to be taught to tuck in their shirt with a knife and fork and there was an unhealthy and irritating fear that any friendship would inevitably teeter on the verge of being 'particular' - a pseudonym for homosexual. In fact, nothing was further from the mind of students and there was never any shadow of scandal in that respect.

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