The London Seminary started in 1977. In 40 years, over 400 men have been trained for pastoral and preaching ministry, the bulk of whom are ministering today. They are all over the country, from Scotland to the south coast, from Wales to East Anglia and in nations the world over. Other ventures, such as the John Owen Centre and the newly announced Flourish course for women have also been alongside.
It was appropriate that at the seminary's annual service last Saturday the chairman (fresh back from Singapore) was former principal Philip Eveson. He took opportunity to remind us of the work's beginnings and represented the Board in giving a big thank you to our secretary for 39 of the 40 years, Brian Stevens. He also publicly thanked Robert and Sarah Strivens, helped by Board chairman Spencer Cunnah, on the Seminary's behalf.
Dr Strivens gave the annualreport, his last in his present capacity. We also heard from principal elect, Bill James, who begins in January reading and praying.
We also heard from six leaving students – Chris Durrant, John Kerr, Philip Lievesley, Pedro Real, Manuel Redondo and Chris Statter. Five are about to begin ministry – in Bournemouth, Gloucester, Frinton-on-sea, Brazil and Salford. Manuel hopes to do further study before returning to Spain.
It was a great opportunity to hear Al Mohler again. He preached on John 15:18-27 where Christ the General warns his untried soldiers what is ahead. Under the heading, What do you expect? he warned of what lies ahead and gave reasons to continue
1. Because we belong to Christ
2. Because we have the Holy Spirit alongside us
3. Because we have Christ praying for us, Christ who has overcome the world.
There was a good number there, perhaps more than usual. Tea and discussion on the lawn (se epic above from the Seminary Twitter accoount) is a tradition on this occasion and that was kept despite periodic attempts by the overcast skies to send rain.