AND IN Wales, at Bangor University College, my friend and enlightenment is Dr
Peter Llewellyn, a Church historian (and married to our Abbot's monk-secretary's sister). Part of the University of Wales as it is, like the other constituent elements it is really rather isolated — Cardiff and Swansea are far cries.
There is a thriving chaplaincy run by the most recently ordained and youngest priest in the diocese of Menevia, which is lamentably short of priests, especially young ones: he necessarily has curate duties also with both a hospital and a local parish, but that gives a dimension to his chaplaincraft. Sunday Mass attracts both staff and locality, and about 50 of the 300 students that are Catholic in the College of over 3,000 students.
Why so many Catholics in a world of Welsh Presbyterians? Because they come largely from the most Catholic part of England, Lancashire and the Wirral. The result is a lively students' union, with fortnightly lecture programmes, speakers being drawn from such as Liverpool University not far away; with a weekly student liturgy, auto-orchestrated; with an annual endeavour such as to procure and pay for a Jumbulance for Lourdes. In the heartland of Welsh nationalism, Catholic internationalism fares forward. What of the theological studies? There is a course in biblical studies, but it is heavily coloured by Welsh Low Church views: it covers a sweep through OT, NT (with some excellent Joannine teaching), and a brush with Hebrew or Greek. There are some good Church History courses on the Reformation, Puritanism and the Evangelical high period. The medievalists cover Nestorianism, St Augustine, the rise of the Muslims, and the age of Columbanus and Pope St Gregory the Great. Some scholasticism and the philosophy of religion fills all this out. It is an eclectic course that opens doors and draws maps on minds.