What is a Seminary?

Following the inspiration of Christ, the Church provides seminaries as places where those who believe they are called by him to priesthood and who have been accepted for formation may discern and respond to their vocation.

Under the authority and guidance of the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Allen Hall follows in this tradition.  Everything at Allen Hall is evaluated and understood in the light of the Scriptures, the Tradition, and the Magisterium of the Church, and in the service of the Church’s mission.

In his years of formation the student, accompanied by seminary staff, is nurtured in his sense of vocation and grows in intimacy with the Lord.  Together the staff and students of Allen Hall form a community which, while transient, is foundational for future priestly life and ministry.

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Why go to Seminary?

Fr Stephen Wang sheds some light on what the journey to priesthood involves and about what happens at a Catholic seminary.

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Allen Hall Today

Allen Hall is the seminary for the Diocese of Westminster. The seminary community is diverse and benefits from seminarians and novices from a range of dioceses and religious communities.

1 Diocese of Westminster Most seminarians for the Diocese of Westminster undergo formation at Allen Hall, and Westminster students form the largest single group in the seminary community.

2 Redemptoris Mater House of Formation Since 1991, Allen Hall has been welcoming vocations fostered in the Neocatechumenal Way to prepare them for priesthood within the Diocese of Westminster. These seminarians live for some of their time in the Redemptoris Mater House of Formation in north London while they study at Allen Hall Seminary.

Find out more here.

3 Other Dioceses There are also seminarians from other dioceses in England and Wales, and abroad.

Information for Vocations Directors can be found here.

4 Religious Communities The diversity of Allen Hall is enhanced by seminarians and novices studying for a range of different religious orders and communities.

Information for Religious Superiors and Novice Masters can be found here.


Allen Hall has had a long and varied history since the foundation of its predecessor in Douai in 1568.