From quite early on in its function as a hospice, the College was a base for English clerics in their relations with the Holy See. After the Hospice became a seminary this relationship continued, though obviously under a different form.
Today we frequently welcome bishops from England and Wales who are on official business. This gives them a convenient - and we hope homely - base in Rome, with the facilities they need. It also gives them a chance to meet with any of their students who are studying here, and it gives the students a broader vision of the work of the Church in England and Wales.
It is particularly rewarding to have those bishops with us who are participating in the regular meetings of the Synod of Bishops, and in the coming autumn we look forward to having the bishops from our conference appointed to attend the Synod on the New Evangelisation with us for several weeks.
There is, of course, a close relationship between the College and the Archbishop of Westminster, and indeed the main first floor corridor is decorated with portraits of the English cardinals, most of whom have held that post. We hope to add a new portrait before too long!
The other bishops with whom we have a particularly close relationship are our trustees. At present these are Bishop Arthur Roche Leeds, who is chair, and Bishops Michael Campbell of Lancaster and Terence Drainey of Middlesbrough. They visit us at various stages through the year, but particularly once a year to meet formally with the staff of the College.