Chad’s Tutors

Our College prides itself on its tutorial system. We have a student to tutor ratio of fifteen to one, which, as far as we know, is the best ratio in the University. In Durham, College tutors (or mentors) are the front-line of student support, and they help students adjust to university and college life. They offer moral support and refer students to the Senior Tutor or to others for specialised support and advice.

Many College tutors are also subject-specialists who can augment the academic support provided by departments: they won’t teach you per se, but they’ll help you to get a handle on the challenges of academic life. Other tutors work outside the University, offering students not just day-to-day support, but golden opportunities to discuss career prospects from a real-world perspective. Postgraduates regularly volunteer to help undergraduates working in the same field – especially if an undergraduate needs a bit of extra support in his or field of study; and students are invited to subject-specific events in College, where undergraduates, postgraduates and staff share their passion for their subjects.

At St Chad’s, even though they are assigned a particular tutor, students are encouraged to approach other tutors, especially to explore career options, but also to seek other forms of advice.

All tutors schedule regular meetings with their students (at least one per term plus a social meeting). The Senior Tutor ensures that the whole tutorial system is running smoothly and that the quality and level of support are just right. The Senior Tutor is available most days and can refer students to professionals outside the College whenever circumstances require it. In addition, the Principal, the Chaplain and the other resident College Fellows are available throughout the week.

Anne Allen


Anne Allen BA PGCE

I was brought up in Ayr, Scotland. After completing a BA degree in History and Italian and a PGCE in Edinburgh, I taught at Steyning Grammar School in Sussex where I met and married my husband Chris.

We taught on a one year Fulbright Exchange in San Diego and then moved to Singapore where we worked at the United World College of SE Asia. Our daughter Caroline was born there in 1986.

We returned to Oxford for a year and then lived in Colwyn Bay, where my husband was headmaster of Penrhos College. When we moved to Durham in 1998, I became a College Tutor and then the Admissions  Secretary at Trevelyan College until 2017. In both roles, being part of the College community, getting to know the students and keeping a continuing connection with them has been something I particularly enjoyed. My interests are many and varied and included all aspects of classical and choral music, as well as Gilbert and Sullivan and musical theatre in general. I have an extensive knowledge all things royal!

Gillian Allnutt


I grew up in London and Newcastle. In 1988 I returned to live in the North-east and have now spent more than half my life here. I love it for the light and what I want to call the lived solitude of the landscape.

I graduated from Cambridge with a degree in Philosophy and English in 1971 and then did a PGCE at Sussex. Since then I have lived a double life following my two vocations of writing and teaching. I’ve published nine collections of poetry – the last one, wake, launched with a reading in Chad’s chapel in 2018. I’ve taught in Further and Adult and Higher Education and worked in schools as a writer. My two careers really came together when creative writing happened in the UK in the 1980s and I’ve never looked back. I’ve undertaken many community-based residencies, including working with women in the Orthodox Jewish Community in Gateshead and working, with Freedom From Torture, with asylum seekers in Newcastle and Stockton. I was awarded The Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2016. Meeting the Queen was a huge pleasure and privilege I never expected to enjoy!

I am really looking forward to tutoring at St Chad’s and will be working with my partner Tom Midgley.

Tristan Alltimes


Tristan is the Deputy Director Alumni Engagement & Annual Giving at Durham University.

Appointed in December 2018, Tristan is relatively new to Durham University but not to the region, having lived here for most of his adult life.

Tristan recently returned to the North East after a 4-year spell working in Melbourne where he led an alumni engagement division at Melbourne Business School, one of the world’s leading business schools.

At Durham Tristan is responsible for communicating and engaging with a global alumni community of almost 200,000 alumni across the world.

Professionally, Tristan has over 17 years business experience working across a variety of functional areas some of which include: marketing and communications, business development, international recruitment and alumni relations and fundraising. He has worked in the Higher Education industry for over 14 years to date and is very well networked with business professionals across multiple industries and companies worldwide.

Tristan is married, has one child who is 5 years old and lives in Whitley Bay. His interests are family time and days out at National Trust properties enjoying the history and culture that the UK has to offer.

Travel is a feature of Tristan’s life and having completed a yearlong round the world trip in 2004-5 has forever been pursuing his dream to see more of the world at any available chance. This means that most annual leave from his role at Durham is spent travelling to countries and locations which would not always be your usual summer holiday destinations.

If you would like to view Tristan’s professional profile please visit his LinkedIn profile:

Del Atkinson

Del Atkinson is the Sir Gareth Roberts Professor of Applied Physics in the Department of Physics and is currently a Royal Society Industry Fellow doing research in materials physics for technology. He has been a Tutor at St Chad’s since 2009 and is returning after a one year break from tutoring. Del is originally from Newcastle and has been at the University since 2001, before that he worked and lived in Bath and Cardiff. He is married to Jenny King, also a tutor at St Chad’s, and they have two grown daughters. Outside of work, Del is keen on nature and spends time birdwatching and occasionally snorkelling. 

Pippa Bell

Art history is my profession and my second passion my family are my first, which comprises of one very understanding husband Peter, 3 grown children Fergus, Flora and Ruari and the Labrador sisters Tess and Tig.  Durham is my third passion, I’m a Devon exile and a North East convert, I believe there is no better place in the world to live!

I work for an educational charity, Magic Lantern, using the visual arts to teach in such diverse settings as primary schools and prisons. I love the great outdoors whether walking, skiing or swimming, any artistic or heritage activity and spending time with family and friends.

Jane Bird

Jane Bird read English as an undergraduate at Chad's in the mid 1990s, before undertaking the interdisciplinary MA in Seventeenth Century Studies, with a dissertation on Milton's Latin poetry.  As a postgraduate she rented rooms in the gently decaying splendour of Brancepeth castle but missed having Cuthbert across the road. She remains particularly interested in the Early Modern period and classical reception.  A founding member of the University Women's Group, Jane  remembers a St Chad's that enabled individuals to explore and establish their identities in a flexible way; a college that wore its traditions very easily and casually.  After moving  back and forth up and down the country for ten years, from Oxford to Darlington to St Albans and back up to Durham, Jane is now settled in a village just outside Durham with her four children and a malevolent cat. She works as Head of Classics and Head of Sixth Form at Teesside High School, and she is also a published poet and writer.  Jane identifies herself as a feminist and a Catholic, and says that she finds herself intrigued by the potential of Chad's  as an instrument for social justice and a safe space for creative responses of all kinds, to all aspects of the human condition.

Toby Breckon, BSc, PhD, CEng, CSci, ASIS, FRPS, FBCS, FHEA, FIET


Toby Breckon is member of faculty within Engineering and Computer Science at Durham University.  He is an expert in computer vision ("making computers see") and works on topics such as robotic sensing, autonomous road vehicles and 3D visual sensing. Prof. Breckon holds a PhD and an BSc in Artificial Intelligence (Edinburgh) and has been a visiting member of faculty at institutions in France, China and Japan.

Before joining Durham in 2013, he held faculty positions at Cranfield University, the UK's only postgraduate-only university, and the University of Edinburgh. Prior to this he was a mobile robotics research engineer with the UK MoD (DERA) and QinetiQ as well as holding prior positions with the schools inspectorate OFSTED, the Scottish Language Dictionaries organisation and dot-com software house Orbital Software. Professionally, Prof. Breckon is a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Scientist and an Accredited Senior Imaging Scientist (Royal Photographic Society). He has published two textbooks and in led the development of image-based detection software for robot system that won the R.J. Mitchell Trophy for Innovation (MoD Grand Challenge 2008, first science and engineering prize awarded by the British government since the longitude medal). Outside of the university he acts as a STEMNET Science & Engineering Ambassador promoting awareness of intelligent sensing, its under-pinning technology and related societal impact.

Rosalind Brown


The Revd Canon Rosalind Brown BA, Dip TP, M.Div.

 I have been a member of the SCR at Chad's since 2005 when I arrived at the Cathedral as its first female Residentiary Canon (i.e. resident clergy and member of the Cathedral Chapter) in its 900 year history. I had oversight of the public ministry of the Cathedral as well as its historic library and collections until I retired in 2018.

Having read geography at UCL, I qualified as a town planner and worked for 16 years in the south of England, then moved to the USA to join a small Benedictine Christian community of men, women and children living in a former steel town in the Rust Belt of Pennsylvania. The Community asked me to be ordained and I had three stimulating years at Yale Divinity School before becoming Priest in Charge in another Rust Belt town. I returned to the UK in 1999 and for six years trained people for ordination in Salisbury before moving to Durham. I'm author of a few books on Christian ministry and have several published hymns.

Retirement has meant more time for gardening, reading, theatre, exhibitions, sewing, knitting, concerts etc. I take services in churches where there is a need on a Sunday but otherwise worship at St Chad's Chapel.

Camila Caiado

I’m a Lecturer in Statistics at Department of Mathematical Sciences.


I arrived in Durham in September 2007 to start my PhD in Maths. I joined Chad’s in 2008 and have been part of the MCR/SCR since. I was then offered a 4-year post-doctoral position in the IHRR/Leverhulme Tipping Points project. After completing my post-doc, I was offered a lectureship here in Durham which I started in April 2015.


My main interests are maths, stats, real-world applications, board/card/PC games, and Lego.

Gillian Campling


I am the Academic Course Leader for Biosciences undergraduate degrees and lecture in areas related to physiology. I am particularly interested in exercise physiology and the biological effects of ageing. Prior to joining Durham in 1999 I worked for Oxford University carrying our research into the endocrinology of depression. My favourite holiday destination is the Greek Islands but so far  I have only managed to visit 25 out of the 227 inhabited islands.


Paul Chandler, MA, MBA, ACIB

Paul is a non-executive director of the Co-op Group and serves on a wide range of charity and social enterprise boards, including being Chair of Durham Cathedral Council and Vice-Chair of the County Durham Community Foundation.  From 2001-2012 he was CEO of Traidcraft, the pioneering fair trade organisation, and was President of the European Fair Trade Association; he remains a director of the fair trade lending co-operative, Shared Interest, and is a board member of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office in Brussels.  In his earlier career Paul spent nine years with Barclays Bank and from 1992-2001 was General Secretary of the Christian publisher and bookseller, SPCK.  Paul studied modern history at Oxford and has an MBA from Henley Management College. He is a Lay Canon of Durham Cathedral, a Fellow of St Chad’s and is also Vice Chair and Treasurer of St Chad's.

Sarah Chandler, BA, MBBS, DTM&H, MRCGP

Sarah has been a Chad’s tutor since 2004.

Sarah is a GP, working in Chester-le-Street. She lives in Durham with her husband, Paul,and three daughters - Jo, Kate and Emma - and an assortment of animals.

Sarah studied medicine at Oxford and Guy’s hospital in London, and tropical medicine in Liverpool.  She worked for several years in inner city practices in London and specialised in providing medical advice and support to overseas aid workers and missionaries.

Alastair Edge

I am an Astronomer working in the Physics Department.

Having obtained a Physics degree from York and a PhD in X-ray Astronomy from Leicester, I worked in Cambridge and Munich before moving to Durham in 1998. I have a long running connection with StChad's through Joe Cassidy and am greatly looking forward to working within the college.


Sam Fearn


# Chad's Tutor Bio

Sam first came to Durham in 2008 to study for a degree in Mathematics. After moving to Sheffield for a year and obtaining his PGCE, he returned to Durham in 2013 to complete a Ph.D. in mathematics.

Since completing his Ph.D., Sam has worked in the Durham mathematics department, first as a Teaching Fellow, and now as an Assistant Professor of Teaching.

Outside of work, Sam is a keen climber and can often be found at the Durham Climbing Centre. Aside from this, he's interested in computing, technology and video and board games.

Kate Fenwick

Kate was born and bred in London, she has a BA in Politics and International Relations from the University of Reading. She moved up to Weardale, County Durham with her husband and children in 1998.  Originally Kate worked in Investor & Media relations for FTSE 100 clients and then moved to headhunting, working across many different industries, including pharmaceuticals, FMCG and finance. She is currently a director of a farming company and runs a property, holiday lettings and catering business.

Alongside working, Kate has held a number of voluntary roles including working as a school governor for 16 years for two schools, where she was responsible for marketing and bursaries.  She is also a member of the Cathedral Council at Durham.

Kate has three children, Issy, Ed & Tom.  Issy graduated from Durham this summer,  and Ed is in his final year.   She also has six dogs. 

Julian Fowell


Julian Fowell left St Chad’s in 1985 with a degree in Applied Physics and Electronics.  Following 2 years as an engineer at British Aerospace, and a spell in the Territorial Army he joined the RAF in 1987.  For the next 20 or so years, he did various jobs including flying and captaining the Nimrod MR2 at Kinloss, and the Orion P3-C with the Royal Australian Air Force in Adelade.  The RAF also helped him obtain a masters degree at St Andrews.  He is a relatively experienced flying instructor, having taught to fly the Tutor elementary trainer at 6 different units.  He undertook 2 ground tours as a pilot poster and a flight trials leader on the ill-fated Nimrod MRA4.  His last tour, in the rank of wing commander was spent in command of a middle-east air base.

He left the RAF in 09 to fly corporate jets, but his timing was very poor and he had to return to the RAF as a reservist within 18 months following the economic downturn.   He is now the Chief Flying Instructor at Northumbrian Universities Air Squadron.   He is married to Heather and has 3 children.   His free time is spent in 2 pipe bands, a brass Band, as an Easingwold town councillor and as a magistrate.  He also likes to imperil himself daily on his motorbike.  Every so often, he also enjoys the supreme pleasure of fast-taxiing Nimrod MR2 XV250 at the Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington.  Although he realises his accomplishments are modest in comparison to the other tutors at Chad’s, he is considered by many observers to be the best table football player of his generation.

Jens Funke

Jens is a Professor at Maths. The UK is his fifth country of residence after leaving his native Germany to pursue a PhD in Maryland/US followed by postdoctoral stays in Indiana, Bonn, Barcelona, and Toronto. He joined Durham in 2007 coming from New Mexico where he taught at the town at the valley of the Rio Grande where Billy the Kid was tried! 

Jens is a card carrying member of the Durham bubble and joined the Chad’s community in 2016, initially as an Honorary Fellow. He cares about history and politics and has been supporting Borussia Mönchengladbach since the age of seven. 


Gordon Harper, MA, PhD

I was brought up in New Zealand, and my first degree was at Victoria University of Wellington in 1970, majoring in History and Political Science. After National Service in New Zealand as a military policeman, I came to St Chad’s in 1971 to read Theology, graduating in 1974. As Chads had closed as a theological college, I trained for the Anglican priesthood at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield, was made deacon in 1975 and ordained priest in 1976. I have worked in West Yorkshire, in  New Zealand as a Cathedral priest and University Chaplain, and in post-industrial County Durham as a parish priest from 1980, until I retired from active ministry in 2013. In that time, I also completed a PhD at Nottingham in history, philosophy and systematic theology. Since 2013, I have been a tutor at Chads. I enjoy walking, especially on the fells, and also choral singing. I am married to Judith and we have three adult sons and four grandchildren.

Stephen Howell, B.Sc, M.Sc, Ph.D


Steve joined Durham County Council as the Head of Culture & Sport in 2009 and has strategic and operational responsibility for a wide portfolio of services including Sport, Libraries, Theatre, Arts, Museums, Festivals and Countryside Services. Steve completed his PhD in applied ethics in sports policy at Swansea University following a M.Sc. in Social Research Methods and a B.Sc. in Management Science.

Steve’s current research interests focus upon the moral and political philosophy of culture and sport, with a specific emphasis on issues of social justice as determined within policy frameworks. In particular, his research engages with policy debates that concern the categorical and hypothetical imperatives of policy together with their applied implications; linking normative philosophical considerations to their empirical implications. Steve has authored and contributed to a number of books and published in refereed journals.

Outside of work Steve is married with one daughter and a keen sportsman with a particular interest in athletics and cycling. Also having a strong interest in art and reading, the line between work and play is a blurred one! He was born in County Durham where he has lived and worked for almost all of his life.

Mike Huxtable

Mike Huxtable studied Philosophy and English at the University of York and has obtained Masters degrees in both subjects. He completed a doctorate in 2008 in Durham on the phenomenology of colour and its perception in medieval literature. Mike's research interests include medieval philosophy, theology and the history of ideas; the semiology of medieval art and culture (in particular heraldry), and the influence of visuality on literary creativity.

Jenny King, BSc, PhD


I have worked at the University for over ten years in both the Physics and Engineering Departments in a variety of roles including research and project management.  I currently work in the Chemistry Department linking researchers with local companies.

My PhD was in geophysics, which meant I was lucky enough to undertake fieldwork in China.  I then had a career in scientific administration before a career break to look after our two children.  During that time we moved to Durham for my husband’s job (Del Atkinson, Physics, also a Tutor).  Once I returned to work I had a rather unusual career path and as well as working at the University I have experience of University spin-out companies and educational outreach jobs with Durham Wildlife Trust and Killhope Lead Mining Museum.  I enjoy science outreach and I am part of the Planetarium team.

I enjoy music, play the flute and also have an active interest in natural history.

Jessica Lawrence


Jessica Lawrence grew up in London and came up North to Durham just over 8 years ago. She graduated (Collingwood College) with a degree in music and now works for the Music Department and Experience Durham as Head of Student Music. As a student, Jess was involved in many of the performing ensembles and thoroughly enjoys supporting them now in her job. She is recently married (now, technically Jessica Smith!) and loves traveling – favourite places include Cape Town, New Zealand and Vancouver.

John Marshall

In 1988 I left St Chad's with a law degree and qualified as a solicitor.  I have been in private practice in Newcastle from 1989 -2016, latterly as Senior Partner of Dickinson Dees and Vice Chairman of Bond Dickinson.  I recently stepped back to explore pastures new.  I am also involved with the Prince's Trust and Newcastle United Foundation, with Newcastle Gateshead Initiative (destination marketing company for the City and Region) and alongside this am a Parish Councillor. I am a non-executive director of North East Ambulance Service and North East England Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Advisory Board for Bradley Hall and a member of St Chad’s Governing Body.

I live in Northumberland with my wife Alison.  Our two children are both at University so we spend our spare time walking our dog, visiting friends reading and I enjoy watching sport

I look forward to being a tutor at St Chad's and working with you all.

Emma Maslin

Emma completed both her masters and undergraduate degrees in the Education department at Durham University with a particular research interest into the experiences of students from low income backgrounds at an elite university. During her studies, Emma worked as a university student ambassador and was heavily involved in the university Concert Band. After graduating, Emma worked in a North East secondary school as an Aspirations Coordinator where she worked with students aged 8-18 to raise aspirations to HE, later working in a university setting responsible for creating programmes of support for mature students, commuting students and student parents. Emma has now returned to study at Durham as PhD student in the School of Education, exploring the experiences of commuting students in Higher Education.

Tim Middleton

Following my degree and Masters in business, I worked in Engineering Marketing for a number of years. When my two daughters were born I retrained as a teacher and am currently Head of Mathematics at Durham School. I am in the happy position of loving my job, and enjoy the long holidays too. Outside of school, I have studied tai chi for many years. I have recently taken up yoga, perhaps in an attempt to turn back the clock! Being born in Durham, means I know the area well and am happy to help students find their feet here.

Tom Midgely

Matthew Mills

Matthew is a native of Northumberland and returned to the region in 2019, after some years in the South, to join the team at Durham Cathedral as Relationship and Development Manager.

Prior to this, he undertook a variety of roles at the University of Oxford, including lectureships in Medieval Studies (Regent’s Park College) and Theology (St John’s College), and in Development.  He also served in a pastoral capacity as Assistant and Acting Dean of Regent’s Park College, and as Associate Tutor in Church History at Ripon College Cuddesdon.

Matthew holds degrees in Theology from Oxford and Durham, including an MA completed at St Chad’s, and his interests range widely in historical and ascetical theology, ethics, and ecclesiastical history.  Most recently, he has undertaken studies of the Virgin Mary, Anselm of Canterbury, and (as Co-Investigator of a research project) the theological dynamics of Restorative Justice.

Matthew is particularly passionate about engagement with the ‘living tradition’ of theology and culture: in education, encouraging students to consider the abiding value of wisdom from the past for addressing contemporary questions; at the Cathedral, inviting visitors to see themselves reflected in and challenged by a precious common heritage.

Once asked to supply a ‘favourite quote’ for another web profile, he gave this comment on Anselm by Sir Richard Southern: ‘By the end of his life, he was already thought to be old-fashioned; but his best thoughts are above fashion, and they can be taken up at any time and found to be as fresh as ever.’

Dan Murray

David Myers

David is a Chad's alumnus (2011-2017) having studied for a BSc in Mathematics and an MA in Education whilst training to be a maths teacher. He has recently returned from Cambridge after studying Psychology and Education, with a particular interest in mathematical anxiety, and is proud to be reuniting with Chad's as a tutor. 

Outside of teaching, David can be found in the theatre, St Cuthbert's church or running a local pub quiz. He enjoys reading, gaming and baking as part of his downtime but always enjoys an excuse to get to Esquires for a latte! Interests within Chad's look to outreach programs and finding engaging ways for younger pupils to realise their potential, both in their mathematical and general aspirations.

Margaret Omole


I am an Occupational Therapist in NHS.


I have lived and worked in Durham for the last 25 years having been born and brought up in Kenya.  I am married to Remi, who is a hospital Chaplin and we have two grown up children, Marilyn and Jonathan as well as a grand-daughter Zara.


I originally become involved with Durham University via St John’s college where I worked as an Academic Administrator for 5 years before leaving to retrain in Occupational Therapy.  In my spare time I enjoy yoga, Pilates, cooking which allows me to try recipes from different countries and learn about different cultures as well as musicals.   Lately I have started to enjoy walking!


I remember fondly my time in St John’s college and looking forward to being involved in St Chad’s college community as a tutor.


Margaret Omole

Remi Omole


Revd Remi Omole: MBACP; BA; PGCE; Cert in Theology & Ministry; Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling

I've lived In Durham since 1994, having moved from London where I was born.  Prior to coming to Durham I spent my early years in Nigeria which is my country of origin. After graduating in 1989 from the University of Jos with a Bachelor of Arts in History, I taught briefly in a secondary school. My teaching experience in Nigeria led to my undertaking a Postgraduate Certificate in Education the University of Durham In 1996. 

In 2007 I was ordained as a Priest in Durham Diocese as a Non Stipendiary Minister. I combined this role with my full-time job as a Project Manager, and later as a Pre-Corurt Officer with the County Durham Youth Offending Service. In January 2014 I took up a new role with the now South Tyneside & Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust. I'm currently a Hospital Chaplain based at the Sunderland Royal Hospital.   I took up this position after qualifying as a Psychotherapeutic Counsellor having trained at the Northern Guild for Counselling and Psychotherapy in Newcastle.   I am married to Margaret an Occupational Therapist and we have two children, and a grandchild. My interests include Karate and cycling.

Jenny Parker


I am the college Librarian and very proud of the wonderful collections that I am privileged to care for and develop. Before coming to St Chad’s I worked as Reference Librarian running Middlesbrough Reference Library service for many years and specialising in local & family history, rare books and special collections. I have collaborated in the writing of a number of local history books and articles relating to Middlesbrough. Working in a library environment has allowed me to indulge my interests in so many fields, particularly history and archaeology.

Outside the library I can be found pursuing my absorbing passion for British archaeology all over the north east of England. I am currently running a project to evaluate and excavate the site of a Roman camp and nearby settlement at Newsham on the River Tees.

I graduated from Durham so coming to St Chad’s has been like a homecoming.

Andrew Pearson


Andrew is an alumnus of St Chad’s having read Maths at Durham in the 1990s. He stayed on to do a PGCE and then embarked on a career in teaching, working for twenty years in London and the Home Counties. He now works across Prebends Bridge at Durham School, as Deputy Head and Maths teacher, as well as coaching rowing on a Wednesday afternoon. Andrew was delighted to see the Mr Kipling out on the water recently, having rowed in that very boat over twenty five years ago.

Andrew moved to Durham with his wife, Jenny, and two sons in 2017 and cannot stop taking photos of the cathedral at sunset (or sunrise, or when the leaves on the riverbank turn autumnal…) as it’s a lot more attractive than the Lewisham skyline!

Enid Pearson


Enid studied medicine, including doctoral research in fetal and neonatal physiology, in Oxford.  She specialised in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and spent most of her career as Consultant at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne, looking after women’s health in that great city. She also worked abroad in USA, Tanzania, Uganda and New Zealand. On retirement, she fulfilled a long-held ambition to study Classics and Ancient History, graduating from Durham University in 2017, and completing a Masters in 2019. Her own experience of the supportive environment for students at St Chad’s has provided the motivation to become a College tutor.

Barbara-Anne Robertson, BSc, MA, PhD (cand)

Having emigrated from Canada over a decade ago for what was supposed to be two years and two years only, I am still enchanted with Durham and am very happy to call it home. I have a son called Jacky who is often by my side and frequently accompanies me to college events; winning the noonday race on St Chad’s Day is his current life’s goal. I joined St Chad’s as a PhD student but have also had the privilege of serving as a tutor since 2013. Having studied both in the UK and in Canada I have a special interest in internationalisation, especially in helping international students adjust to academic and cultural differences.


I am a Teaching Fellow and Admissions Tutor in the School of Psychology at Newcastle University. My area of academic interest is broadly called Behavioural Neuroscience but more specifically, I research the nature of learning and memory. I have particular interest in a form called episodic memory, which is memory for experiences and events in one’s personal history. I am interested in how these memories are formed, but also in the experience of remembering, especially in affective disorders such as anxiety or depression. I also investigate how different factors, such as positive or negative emotions, can either distort or enhance the accurate recall of personal past events.


I was drawn to Chad’s by its reputation for promoting social justice, ethics, and human rights: all of which are issues of keen interest to me. I have benefited from Chad’s vibrant Christian community both as a student and as a tutor and I feel very fortunate to be a part.

Fred Robinson, MA, PhD


Fred Robinson is a Professorial Fellow at St Chad’s College.

Fred is an expert on social and economic development and the role of public policy in North East England. Over the past few years he has been involved in several regeneration projects across the region; has worked with Durham County Council on the transfer of community buildings to local social enterprises; and has critically examined democracy, accountability and representativeness in the North East’s public institutions. He is currently working as independent evaluator of The Auckland Project, a regeneration scheme centred on the development of Auckland Castle as a major visitor attraction in Bishop Auckland, County Durham. 

Fred also has a strong interest in mental health:  for more than 25 years he has served as a volunteer and chair of Waddington Street Centre, a community mental health resource in Durham City. Fred likes walking (he doesn’t drive a car), reading newspapers (The Guardian and the Northern Echo) and eating well (he’s a vegetarian).

Elizabeth Roberts

I am a Chad’s alumna- I read Russian and German in the mid 90s, and after a few years dabbling in the wine trade I trained as a teacher. I have been teaching for 15 years; I began my career in Scunthorpe. I subsequently taught in Middlesbrough and Stockton-on-Tees, and I am now Assistant Head of Languages and Literature at Polam Hall School in Darlington.

When I am not in the classroom teaching the intricacies of German grammar I am Section Commander of the school’s Combined Cadet Force, a position that gives me great pleasure (even under canvas in the rain!).  I am also interested in all things literary and Russian, particularly poetry of the Silver Age; vintage cars (my husband (also Chad’s) and I are re-building a 1934 Alvis Speed 20 and a 1934 Austin 7); cooking, gardening and keeping chickens.

Mim Skinner

Mim Skinner is the co-founder and director of a social enterprise in the North East called REfUSE, that Intercepts food before it becomes waste and serves up delicious meals in a café in Chester-Le-Street and at pop-up events. Mim is soon to be author of Jailbirds: a book about, and written with, women from prison drawing on two years of facilitating art in prison and supporting women settling back into communities outside.

Sam Slatcher

I am a freelance musician, songwriter and community arts facilitator living in Durham. My passion is bringing people together through creating original music about our stories of discovering community together. My most recent project – Stories of Sanctuary – tells the stories of sanctuary sought by those from the past and present in the city of Durham. I also work part-time for City of Sanctuary as their North East Regional Coordinator. 

I completed a PhD in December 2017 in Human Geography, exploring how communities can be brought together through arts and social action.

I am a keen explorer of the North East – its countryside, its people, its history, its old railways! I am tutoring with my wife, Mim Skinner.

Michael Snape, BA, Ph.D

Michael Snape is Michael Ramsey Professor of Anglican Studies at Durham University, and he is also an ecumenical lay canon at Durham Cathedral. He was an undergraduate and a postgraduate student at the University of Birmingham and in 1994 was awarded a PhD in Theology for his dissertation on Anglicanism in eighteenth-century England.

His first monograph, The Church of England in Industrialising Society: the Lancashire parish of Whalley in the eighteenth century was published by Boydell and Brewer in 2003. Since then his research has focused on religion and the experience of war in Britain and North America, and his books include The Redcoat and Religion: the forgotten history of the British soldier from the age of Marlborough to the eve of the First World War (Routledge, 2005); God and the British soldier: religion and the British Army in the First and Second World Wars (Routledge, 2005); The Royal Army Chaplains’ Department, 1796-1953: clergy under fire (Boydell and Brewer, 2008); The Back Parts of War: The YMCA memoirs and letters of Barclay Baron, 1915 to 1919 (Church of England Record Society, Volume 16, 2009); and (co-edited with Edward Madigan) The Clergy in Khaki: New Perspectives on British Army Chaplaincy in the First World War (Ashgate, 2013). His fifth monograph, God and Uncle Sam: Religion and America’s Armed Forces in World War II, was published by Boydell and Brewer in May 2015.

He is married to Rachel, and has two daughters, Katy (13) and Helena (10). All of them are sensible enough not to share his academic interests, or his hobbies of boardgames, swimming, and historical re-enactment.

Chris Sparks

Chris Sparks joined the Durham based Atom Bank in October 2015 as Chief Risk Officer.  Prior to joining Atom Chris had spent over twenty years in financial services working for HSBC, RBS, GE and Virgin Money both in the UK and abroad where he held a variety of senior roles in Risk and Finance. 

Chris started his career lecturing at De Montfort University and The University of Birmingham in Information Systems and Operational Research respectively.  Chris was educated at the Universities of Sheffield, Southampton and Birmingham where he studied Mathematics and Operational Research and most recently at the Open University where he turned his hand to Humanities.

Chris is a member of the Research Advisory Board at the Credit Research Centre at Edinburgh University Business School and the Computer Science Advisory Board at Durham University.  He is also the Chair of governors at Durham Trinity School and Sports College.

Chris is married with three grown up children and lives in Durham.

David Stancliffe, DD (Cantaur) MA


David read classics and philosophy at Oxford where he was also an Organ Scholar at Trinity College.  While at university, he abandoned thoughts of a musical career in favour of ordination and instead went to theological training at Cuddesdon College in October 1965. Bishop of the Church (he retired as Bishop of Salisbury in 2010), Chair of the Church of England's Liturgical Comission for many years, David now lives with his wife, Sarah, in Weardale (unless they are wild camping en route to Italy) and as well as being a tutor and Fellow of St Chad's, is President of Affirming Catholicism and Vice-President of the Royal School of Church Music.

Alice Stefanelli


Alice lectures has been lecturing in Social Anthropology at Durham University since 2018. Originally from Italy, she has studied anthropology at the University of Bologna, Brunel University, Goldsmiths College and the University of Manchester, where she obtained her PhD. Her research explores civic advocacy, green space and imaginations of the future in Beirut, where she spends time as often as she can.


Besides work, Alice is a keen amateur baker and loves a Sunday stroll

Helen Taylor


Born and bred in Zimbabwe (when it was still Rhodesia), my parents were farmers so all my education was at boarding schools which were the equivalent of a UK comprehensive. Holidays were spent on the farm which was really out in the sticks. Five miles from the nearest neighbour and 30 miles from the nearest village.

I went to university in South Africa and did a secretarial course! Two years at Rhodes and then my first job was with a publishing company where I was the paste up and lay out artist. No computers back then so all articles and photos had to be sent off to the printers and then sent back to us to paste on to templates.

At 19 I came across to the UK and worked in London for a steel broker for a couple of years before going back to Zimbabwe. Went back to publishing and then moved to a finance company for five or so years before marrying my first husband and going to Hong Kong. He was a pilot for Cathay and I became a secretary at a yacht chandlery. Hong Kong was amazing and thanks to being married to a pilot I did a lot of travelling in the time that I was there.

When we split up I returned to Africa, working for a retail company where I was the PA for the Human Resource director. Married a second time. When we split up I came to live in the UK with my son.

I started working for the medical faculty when Durham had Queens Campus at Stockton and am now working for the Admissions Department here at Durham University.

I have a 21 year old son and two cats. I love animals of any sort – definitely my farming roots! I draw and paint, read, go to gym when I can which isn’t often at the moment; love movies, good food and red wine.


Jon Trevelyan


I studied Civil Engineering at Bristol, ending up with a PhD (for spending a few years thinking about earthquake resistance of arch dams). I then moved into the engineering software industry, which took me to work in Massachusetts for seven years. I am now a Professor in Durham’s Department of Engineering, which I joined in 1996. As well as teaching applied mechanics, I develop new computational analysis methods for engineers, and my software is used in the aerospace industry.

I enjoy doing cryptic crosswords, and love occasionally setting them as birthday presents for friends and family. I collect mathematical puzzles, and include one in every lecture I give. I play the piano and guitar, and have recently explored the mandolin and banjo. Karen and I live in Durham, and though our two children have now grown up and left home we love to have holidays together with them.

Karen Trevelyan

I spent my career in education, mostly working in applying strategies to help young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties. I set up the Anti-Bullying programme in County Durham, and later at the Behaviour Support Service I provided guidance to most of the Secondary Schools in the County. Now I am retired, I am on the Board of Governors and also volunteer at a special school.

Originally from the Sussex coast, I studied Economic and Social History at Bristol (where I met Jon) and then enjoyed some great years in the USA during which our two children, David and Sally, were born. I love our garden in Durham and can often be found pottering around it.

Colin Woodward, BSc, PhD, DIC


Colin Woodward was educated at Newcastle Royal Grammar School, Birmingham University (BSc chemistry) and Imperial College, London (PhD analytical chemistry). After two years’ postdoctoral research in the USA, he enjoyed a 34-year career with ICI based at Billingham, Teesside. This included a variety of jobs mostly involving worldwide catalyst sales for which he visited over 70 countries on business. On leaving ICI in 2003, he became a semi-retired independent consultant to the catalysts and gas processing industries. For several years he was also joint owner/MD of a Hong Kong-registered company.

Colin and his wife Jean, a piano teacher at the Durham Cathedral Chorister School, have three children who hold a total of six degrees from four universities and are all “off-the-payroll”! Colin is a member of Durham County Cricket Club and a long-suffering Newcastle United supporter. He has been a college tutor since 2013.


Ian Zass-Ogilvie, FRICS, AKC


An Anglican priest, chartered surveyor and research fellow with Policy & Practice.  He came to the NE from King’s College London in 1966 as curate of Washington and pit chaplain, subsequently working ecumenically as regional coal industry chaplain.  He developed an interest in social housing, working with housing associations and combating homelessness both in the NE and later in central London - most of this being combined with parish ministry.  Moving to Scotland in 1984, he helped initiate a number of community enterprises and was a founder member of Scottish Churches Housing Action and board member of the Scottish Refugee Council.  Returning to the NE in 2000 as chief officer of the Churches’ Regional Commission in the North East he continued to support faith communities in community action and social enterprise.  For the last 12 years at St Chad’s he has worked with Fred Robinson on a variety of social action research projects, most recently in facilitating the asset transfer of community centres from Durham County Council to local community groups – he is now working with Fred on the evaluation of The Auckland Project