St Mary's College, Oscott
|St Mary's College, New Oscott|
View of the college from the south
|OS grid reference||SP0988894038|
|Location||New Oscott, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham|
|Consecrated||29 May 1838|
|Associated people||Thomas Williams|
|Heritage designation||Grade II* Listed|
|Designated||25 April 1952|
|Groundbreaking||25 April 1836|
|Completed||31 May 1838|
|Parish||Our Lady of the Assumption Maryvale|
St Mary's College in New Oscott, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, often called Oscott College, is the Roman Catholic seminary of the Archdiocese of Birmingham in England and one of the three seminaries of the Catholic Church in England and Wales; It admits students for the priesthood from various dioceses of England and Wales, as well as some students from oversea. It is the diocesan centre for the formation of candidates for the permanent diaconate.
The college was founded in Oscott, in present day Great Barr, in 1794 for both the training of priests and the education of lay pupils. It developed out of a small mission founded by Fr Andrew Bromwich around 1687. In 1838 the college moved to a new site, which came to be known as New Oscott (and the original site as "Old Oscott"). The Maryvale Institute remains on the original site. The new building was designed by Augustus Pugin and Joseph Potter at a cost of £40,000. It is grade II* listed. The college quickly became a symbol of the rebirth of the Catholic faith in England and played a prominent part in the life of the Church in the 19th century. In 1889, the college was closed, but reopened the following year as a seminary only.
After the closure of St Cuthbert's College, Ushaw, Durham, in 2011, many of the dioceses in the province of Liverpool sent their students to Oscott to complete their training. This gave a boost in numbers at the college at a time when vocations seemed to be scarce.
Pope Benedict XVI visited on 19 September 2010 following the beatification, earlier that day in Birmingham's Cofton Park, of Cardinal Newman who stayed at the college in the late 1840s. During his visit to Oscott, Benedict met and had lunch with the Roman Catholic bishops of England, Scotland and Wales. The Oscott visit was the last scheduled event during the four day 2010 State Visit of Benedict to the UK. The Pope would later depart the UK from Birmingham International Airport.
The first three years of the academic programme are validated by the University of Birmingham as a BA in Fundamental Catholic Theology. Those who complete the six year programme also obtain an Bachelor of Sacred Theology (STB) through affiliation with the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.
- Bishop Francis Amherst (1819-1883), Bishop of Northampton.
- Bishop Edward Bagshawe (1829-1915), Bishop of Nottingham.
- Bishop Terence Brain (1938-), Bishop of Salford.
- Bishop Kevin Dunn (1950-2008), Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle.
- Bishop William Lee (1875-1948), Bishop of Clifton.
- Bishop Patrick McCartie (1925-), Bishop of Northampton.
- Bishop David McGough, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Birmingham from 2005.
- Bishop James McGuinness (1925-2007), Bishop of Nottingham.
- Bishop Robert Willson (1794-1866), Bishop of Hobart.
- Baron John Dalberg-Acton (1834-1902).
- George Ashlin (1837-1921), architect.
- John Ball (1818-1889), Irish politician and naturalist.
- Rev. Dr. William Francis Barry (1849-1930), theologian and writer.
- Wilfrid Scawen Blunt (1840-1922), poet.
- Thomas Henry Burke (1829-1882), Permanent Under Secretary at the Irish Office.
- John Cornwell (1940-), writer.
- Frederick Charles Husenbeth (1796-1872), writer.
- Charles Kent (1823-1902), journalist and editor.
- Edmund Kirby (1838-1920), architect.
- Ernest Law (1854-1930), historian and barrister.
- Edwin de Lisle MP (1852-1920), politician.
- St. George Jackson Mivart (1827-1900), biologist.
- George Moore (1852-1933), novelist.
- Francis Loraine Petre (1852-1925), civil servant and military historian.
- Thomas Nicholas Redington (1815-1862), Irish political administrator.
- Frederick Rolfe, also known as Baron Corvo (1860-1913), writer and artist.
- Joseph Stevenson (1806-1895), archivist and editor.
- Baron Gerald Strickland (1861-1940), Prime Minister of Malta.
- Henry Weedall (1788-1859), preacher and educator.
- William Purcell Witcutt (c.1910-c.1970), priest and author.
Former presidents and rectors
- The Oscottian - Literary Gazette of St Mary's College, Oscott. Jubilee edition, 1888
- Oscott College in the Twentieth Century, Michael E. Williams, 2001, Gracewing Publishing (ISBN 0-85244-534-2)
- Oscott History
- British Listed Buildings
- "Preparing Yourself". Portsmouth Catholic Diocese. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
- UK Vocations Statistics
- Sedes Sapientiae CD insert
- List of Superiors, Masters and Students
- Williams Oscott College p. 183
- St Mary's College website
- Catholic Encyclopedia article
- Historic England. "College (216975 )". Images of England.
- Historic England. "Statue of the Virgin Mary (216976 )". Images of England.