Registered Charity No. 205220

History: Past to Present

“What was this place before it became the College of St Barnabas?” visitors often ask. The answer is, “Nothing”! It was purpose-built in response to the vision of a remarkable man.”

Canon William Henry Cooper
St Barnabas College's first house in Dormans Park
The first house in Dormans Park

The idea of forming a community of retired Anglican clergy began in the mind of Canon William Henry Cooper around 1890. While visiting on the south coast, he and a friend discovered dozens of retired priests, without any income, living in Workhouses.

He determined to do something, and set about the task of founding a new community, of which he was to become the first Warden. It was several years before Cooper secured agreement to rent a house in Dormans Park, Surrey, and the first resident was admitted in 1895.

As the number of Residents increased another house was rented and “The Homes of St Barnabas” were born. In 1977 it was accepted that the original name was inadequate. It did not reflect the collegiate nature of the community’s lifestyle, neither did it do justice to the study in which many of the Residents continued to be engaged.

St Barnabas College
The First Chapel for the Homes

So it was that the name was changed to become “The College of St Barnabas”. Since then, the development of the College has seen the substantial upgrading of the Care Wing from a ward to individual private rooms, the Cloisters to include en suite facilities, and the addition of further rooms for residential care.

Most recently the Refectory and Common Room have been refurbished, and state-of-the-art DVD, sound and video projection facilities have been installed. The College is now furnished with modern amenities such as broadband internet connections in Residents’ rooms, and yet, in the second century of its life, retains a feeling of history and the beautiful surroundings which encouraged its founders to build here.

Today the College of St Barnabas is a residential community of retired Christians with an Anglican foundation, set in the beautiful Surrey countryside. There are good train links to central London from neighbouring Dormans railway station and we are less than an hour’s drive to the South Coast of England.

Single people and married couples are welcome. The College extends an ecumenical welcome to retired clergy and lay people from all member denominations of Churches Together in England. Day and overnight guests are catered for as are occasional Quiet Days and Retreats for individuals and groups.

Residents are encouraged to lead active, independent lives. There is a Care Wing, to which both internal and direct admission is possible and respite care is available. Our ‘Cloister’ flats have separate sitting rooms, bedrooms, and en suite facilities. There are two Chapels and the Eucharist is celebrated daily. We have three Libraries and a Common Room. Meals are served in our Refectory or taken privately. For further details or to visit:

The College of St Barnabas, Blackberry Lane, Lingfield, Surrey, RH7 6NJ
Tel: 01342 870260 Fax: 01342 871672

Registered Charity: 205220