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Golden celebrations

15 August 2014

MORE than 20 clergy, all former students of St Boniface College, gathered in Warminster with their wives and families to celebrate the golden jubilee of their priesthood. They had completed their three-year AKC and BD courses at King's College, London, from 1959 to 1962, before going on to a year of ministerial preparation at St Boniface's.

That college eventually closed in 1969, and became part of Warminster School, but the celebrating clergy and their families were able to meet at noon in the college chapel that had been the setting for their spiritual and pastoral foundation.

With them to celebrate was the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam (above, with Canon John Townroe, Chaplain of St Boniface College from 1948 to 1956 and Warden from 1956 to 1969), himself a Fellow of King's College. He told the congregation how delighted he was to have been asked to preside at their celebration, as he also had been influenced by King's, and he mentioned Deans Eric Abbott and Sydney Evans, great names from the past.

There was lusty singing, and a collection was taken for the Church Times Train-A-Priest (TAP) Fund as a tangible expression of gratitude. After a group photo was taken, they sang "You shall go out with joy," as a reminder of their lifelong ordination vows.

After the service, they adjourned to the Warminster School dining-hall for lunch, where they were greeted by a former Warden of St Boniface's, Canon John Townroe, now aged 94, who still lives locally, and also received greetings from other contemporaries who were unable to be present.

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