St Mellitus College was formed in 2007 by Mellitus’s latest successor, Richard Chartres ”“ the man who preached at the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton and at the funeral of Margaret Thatcher. His diocese and that of Chelmsford got together with the famous evangelical church of Holy Trinity Brompton, which nurtured the Alpha Course and the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. They formed the first wholly non-residential theological college.
The idea ”“ which, like most “new” things, is actually extremely old ”“ is to train would-be priests in theology while at the same time making them work in parish churches. The study is academically rigorous ”“ Hebrew, Greek and all that ”“ but always balanced by ministering to actual people. It is the godly version of learning clinical medicine scientifically while also treating patients.
It is also new in combining the Anglo-Catholic wing of the Church of England with the evangelical Protestant wing. Two groups which had traditionally been at war had come to see that their differences were mostly trivial. They realised they were united in what they like to call “a generous orthodoxy”.