At a meeting of the Council of St John’s Nottingham on 11 November 2019, future options were prayerfully considered and it was agreed that the operation of the current configuration of St John’s is no longer financially viable in the long term. St John’s will therefore begin the process of closure now. However, several significant aspects of St John’s ministry will continue through partner institutions.
The Midlands Institute for Children Youth and Mission announced recently that it will move to Leicester and merge with iCYM that its vital work will continue in this new location and serve the national church. The specialist Library resources (around 10,000 books) will also be gifted to iCYM in Leicester. Plans are well advanced – look out for further news and come along to one of the open days in Leicester .
St John’s is now able to announce that it is in negotiation with The Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham to take over its Extension Studies department which offers Distance Learning courses and Degrees validated by the University of Durham. Discussions are well advanced and final arrangements will be announced when they have all been completed and agreed with the University and Queen’s. St John’s Council has every confidence that Queen’s will support and develop the current provision professionally. All other key partners are fully informed of this development and work is in hand to ensure that the transition progresses smoothly. St John’s is impressed at the warmth and care with which negotiations with Queen’s have progressed. Current students and staff have been informed of this, and are assured that their courses will continue until they have completed them. It is hoped that the Timeline on-line learning materials will continue to be developed from this new home.
Discussions with the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham and with St Mellitus College, East Midlands are well advanced to ensure that the St John’s Library has a new home in Nottingham and the hope is that it remains a regional resource. A further announcement will be made in due course.
St John’s will hold a closing service in Bramcote to which former students, friends and supporters of the college, will be invited during the summer of 2020 to mark the end of 150 years of commitment to training and preparation for Christian Ministry, and to pray for the ongoing work in these new locations. Further details will be announced in due course.
Commenting on the announcement, Chair of St John’s College Council Chris Smith said: “Generosity has always been a core value of St John’s College and in this spirit we are pleased to share the wealth of knowledge and resources we have created for the benefit of the Christian community, and honour the work of our past students and staff who have worked hard to deliver on our mission.”
St John’s Nottingham is thankful to have pioneered the delivery of distance learning training and we believe this next chapter will continue the pioneering spirit ensuring continued delivery of Christian training and learning which responds to the economic and social climate we now operate within. We are pleased to have found new homes for St John’s ministries, with Christian partners who share our passion for accessible and applied learning for the whole people of God.
David Hewlett, Principal of the Queen’s Foundation, said: “we are glad to be able to continue the vital work of making theological education as widely accessible as possible through distance and online learning. We share St John’s pioneering spirit and are grateful that the St John’s Trustees have seen fit to find a new home for this work in Queen’s.”
Implementation of our transition plan will now begin as we prepare for the closure of our Bramcote site in Summer 2020, but it is our intention to pass on St John’s mission to our new host partners in a strong position in order to ensure continued delivery of Christian educational training. Therefore, we are keen to engage with the Christian community to ensure that our student, staff, Association, alumni and host partners have continued confidence in the work which will be continued in their new homes in 2020.
Chris Smith, Chair
on behalf of St John’s Council
2 December 2019