Over on the Fulcrum website, conversation has once again turned to the state of play at Wycliffe Hall Theological College. A certain 'Jimbo' has posted that according to an internal college memo (and one might wonder how that got into general circulation) Wycliffe faces a "big shortfall" in this year's intake as they have "30+ leavers" compared with "14 firm acceptances of ordinands for next year with 3 more places offered dependent on selection conferences."
According to Jimbo this is "puzzling as Richard Turnbull seems to have been telling people that Wycliffe is full for next year."
Paul Eddy, a self-described ordinand and General Synod member, suggested in a follow-up post that this might be because, with Easter coming so early, registration at all colleges was a bit slow at present. Meanwhile, he added that such "negative overtones" on the Fulcrum website were "a joy to the Devil" and made a plea for a bit of editorial control, only to be put in his place by a certain Greg Yerbury with a negative overtone of his own, suggesting that Eddy get off his "high horse" and adding that "Turnbull's claim that Wycliffe was full was an exaggeration".
Personally, I don't know whether or where Richard Turnbull has claimed Wycliffe Hall is already full for 2008, but I was able to use a modern invention, known as the 'telephone', which (as its name suggests) allows one to talk live at a distance, to speak with Simon Vibert, the author of the internal memo. Simon assured me that recruiting for all colleges is, indeed, a bit slow, but that several candidates were being interviewed at Wycliffe next week. This does seem to contrast with Jimbo's implied '17 tops', but since I have no idea who Jimbo is, I have no idea what was his or her source for these figures.
That's the great thing about blogging though - so much easier to post an anonymous statement than speak to someone the story is actually about. Or am I myself being uncivil?
By the way, it is quite true that Wycliffe have cancelled their Summer School due to lack of support from North America, as was also mentioned by Jimbo. It is a shame, but as Simon Vibert says, it owes a lot to the present economic climate.
Revd John P Richardson
6 May 2008
PS: Each 'telephone' in this country has its own allocated number which can be dialled from other 'telephones'. The number for Wycliffe Hall is 01865 274200 if anyone would like to speak to Simon or another staff member themselves.
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