A collaboration by the Mother Agnes Trust and St Augustine’s College of Theology, formally known as SEITE, will allow the Magnet library to be utilised by many more people.
St Augustine’s College, which trains ordinands and others in theology, is based at the St Benedict Centre at Malling Abbey. It has been agreed that the library will be moved to a purpose-built location within the Abbey grounds and will be made available to theological students and alumni together with clergy and laity of the dioceses of Chichester, Rochester, Canterbury and Southwark.
As well as the core collection of books which are essential for lifelong theological learning the library also holds a complete set of the works of Teilhard de Chardin in both French and English an essential resource for researchers of the Christian Faith in terms of science, religion and mysticism.
Work is already underway to put the existing building to future good use in the community. An announcement is expected shortly. Room bookings should continue to the address below.
The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, said today: “The history of religious communities as centres of learning finds a discrete expression in the Magnet Library. Its name is derived from Mother Agnes Mason, the founder of the Community of the Holy Family at St Leonards on Sea, Hastings. Mother Agnes, graduated from Cambridge in 1896 in Moral Science; her life and the community she founded were devoted to learning as a pathway to holiness.”
He added: “The location of this library, within a community of learning and ministerial formation in holiness, is a fitting tribute to an outstanding woman who exemplified these aspects of Christian vocation. My hope and prayer is that her legacy will be a source of inspiration to future generations seeking to become pupils and teachers in the Lord’s way of wisdom.”
The Revd Dr Alan Gregory, Principal of St Augustine’s said : “The Principal and Staff of St. Augustine’s are delighted to receive and house the resources of the Magnet Library at their centre at Malling Abbey. The Magnet Library is a significant and growing collection that has received excellent management from its present librarian. St. Augustine’s looks forward, not only to the benefits the library offers its students, but also to continuing the Mother Agnes Trust’s library mission, which is to provide its theological resources to lay ministers, clergy, and scholars in the South East.”
The library will close at the Magnet on 31 October and will reopen at St Augustine’s in its new purpose built location in January 2017.