A Centre of Formation for the New Evangelisation has been established by leading experts in Catholic education. Dr Petroc Willey, Dr Andrew Beards, Dr Caroline Farey and others, have established this centre, called the School of the Annunciation, in the grounds of Buckfast Abbey in Devon, UK, thanks to the generosity and collaboration of the Abbot of Buckfast, the Rt. Rev. David Charlesworth and the monastic community.
Dr Petroc Willey was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation in 2012. The Holy Father also appointed Dr Petroc Willey and Dr Caroline Farey as advisors to the Synod on ‘New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Faith’ held in the Vatican.
The School of the Annunciation will begin by offering a Diploma in the New Evangelisation delivered by experts in this exciting and newly emerging field of activity and reflection in the life of the Church. As well as the Diploma in the New Evangelisation, the School of the Annunciation is offering short Summer Schools. These provide a unique opportunity to study the Catholic Faith in the beautiful setting of Buckfast Abbey, sharing the monastic community’s life and prayer over long summer weekends in August.
The academic faculty of the School of the Annunciation includes: Dr Andrew Beards, Academic Director; Dr Caroline Farey, Director of Studies; Dr Petroc Willey, Reader in the New Evangelisation, and Rev Nick Donnelly, Director of Formation. The Academic Registrar is Miss Monica Massarella.
On the foundation of the School of the Annunciation Abbot David Charlesworth said:
“Following on the success of the 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.”
Rt Rev Mark O’Toole, Bishop of Plymouth said:
“I am delighted to welcome this new initiative for the New Evangelisation at Buckfast Abbey, and I am grateful for the generosity shown by Abbot David 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.”
Dr Andrew Beards, the Academic Director, said:
“We have gathered together at Buckfast, a faculty of Catholic theologians and catechists who are experts in collaborative distance learning to create a unique experience in formation for the Church’s urgent mission of New Evangelisation. Our courses will be delivered through a creative mix of short residentials, e-learning and personal tuition. It is our hope that men and women in this country, and from around the world, will join us in this exciting new venture to take the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ into the heart of 21st century culture.”