Sale of Heythrop Kensington Square property

The Jesuits in Britain completed a sale of their property at 23-24 Kensington Square to a developer at the beginning of May.  The sale of the site, which has been home to Heythrop College since 1993, followed the Heythrop College Governors’ decision to close the college at the end the academic year 2017-18.  The terms of the sale allow the college to continue operations there until October 2018.

The exact details of the sale remain sensitive, but the sale proceeds were at the low end of recent speculation, from which a significant proportion reverts to the previous owners, the Religious of the Assumption, who sold the property to the Jesuits in 2009 for educational use only.  Other receipts from the sale will help the college ensure an orderly teach-out. 

The funds remaining, when they become available, will be allocated for future work of the Jesuits in higher education.  Br Stephen Power SJ, Treasurer of the Jesuits in Britain, said “Such funds are likely to be about half of some of the figures recently quoted in the Catholic press, and represent a small return on the investment the Society of Jesus Trust made when the Heythrop Governors asked the Jesuits to purchase the property in 2009. During this period the Trust has not charged the college any rent.”

The Jesuits in Britain are grateful for the collaboration of the parties involved, especially the Religious of the Assumption, to ensure that a complex transaction was made possible and future work provided for.

Preparation and planning for the future work of the Jesuits in Britain in Higher Education has been delegated to a working party entitled the Academic Strategy Group chaired by Dr Frank Turner SJ, the Provincial’s Delegate for the Intellectual Apostolate.  Dr Turner said “The role of the group is to assist the writing, by September 2017, of a report which will propose the initial institutional shape, capable of further redevelopment, of the future intellectual apostolate of the Jesuits in Britain in partnership with others.”

The group, whose first meeting is today (May 30th 2017), has six lay and Jesuit members including Professor Claire Ozanne, Drs Nicholas Austin SJ, Patrick Riordan SJ and James Hanvey SJ, and Mr Anthony Carey.