Saturday 3 July was a milestone for Salisbury Reformed Seminary as the institution’s first two students graduated. Kevin Armstrong and Alex Clarke had successfully completed their three-year course, and a thanksgiving ceremony was held.
Revd Malcolm Watts, principal of the seminary, spoke of the history of the institution. It began with a parking problem faced by Emmanuel Church in Salisbury. This led to the purchase of a local doctor’s surgery just up the road. This provided the car parking needed, but also a Victorian villa named Grove House.
Acquisition of this spacious property coincided with a burden which the Lord had laid upon Malcolm Watts’s heart (together with others) for the founding of a new seminary. In 2018 Grove House was refurbished and transformed into what has become Salisbury Reformed Seminary.
The two graduates also spoke, reflecting on their time at the seminary. Kevin Armstrong expressed gratitude for all he had learned, and Alex Clarke testified that his understanding and experience had been enlarged by the course.
Malcolm Watts presented the men with a certificate, a personal letter of commendation, and the Trinitarian Bible Society’s Westminster Reference Bible.
Revd Hywel Roberts, former minister of Penzance Baptist Church, preached from Isaiah 63 on revival. Among other points, he stated that we are in danger of becoming too used to the ordinary and overlooking the extraordinary.
The blessings of the occasion were crowned by a further time of fellowship over tea in the garden of Grove House. This was enjoyed by a limited number because of Covid restrictions.