BY CHRISTINA FARRELL
ENCiLAND'S largest seminary has a new rector.
Fr Terry Drainey, formerly spiritual director to the English College of St Albans at Valladolid in Spain will take up his post. at St Cuthbert's College, Ushaw, Durham, later this year.
Fr Drainey said he was "overwhelmed" to have been considered for such an important position. He said: "To be asked to co-operate in the bishops' care for the formation of vocations to the priesthood is a very awe-inspiring task."
He added: "I would also like to express my appreciation at the recognition that it was only right and fitting to make provision for training priests in the North of England and to re-emphasise the need for truly integrated formation so as to provide priests capable of and equipped for the new evangelisation."
Last year Ushaw was at the centre of plans by the English bishops to close seminaries owing to falling vocations. The bishops called for consultation on the issue. A decision on which, if any seminaries, should be axed is still awaited.
Fr Drainey was born in Manchester and studied at Valladolid. He was ordained for the diocese of Salford in 1975 and worked for 10 years as an assistant priest. For five years he worked in Kenya as a "Fidel Donum". He was appointed spiritual director to the English College in 1997.
Archbishop Patrick Kelly of Liverpool, chair of governors at the college, said Fr Drainey would have the support of the entire governing body and all those involved in every aspect of life at Ushaw.
He said they decided to appoint a rector and not a president to ensure that he had "all the space needed for his focus to be the formation of students precisely for the priesthood".