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.

Harrison Ajebon

Harrison is a researcher with a background in Political Science. He was born and bred in Nigeria, where he had his BSc (Hons.) in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Benin, and MSc degree in Political Science from the University of Ibadan.

He joined the Department of Political Science, University of Calabar as an Assistant Lecturer and rose to the position of lecturer before starting a PhD in Government and International Affairs (as a Commonwealth Scholar) at Durham University. Harrison’s research interests include critical approaches to security, militarisation and resistance in conflict-affected areas; the intersection of conflict and security in interstate relations; mainstreaming sustainable peacebuilding in post-conflict states, and governance in the global south (particularly in Africa).

Harrison has ample experience in student leadership and civil society engagements. He is passionate about supporting young people develop their socio-political and leadership skills. He was the president of Durham University Nigerian Society (2016/2017); President, Association of Graduate students of Political Science (AGSPOS), University of Ibadan chapter (2007/2008); and President, Secretary and Public Relations Officer, (2003/2004, 2002/2003 and 2001/2002 respectively) in the National Association of Political Science Students (NAPSS), University of Benin Chapter.

Harrison is a Christian; enjoys travelling and rendering humanitarian services. He is a volunteer with the Nigerian Red Cross Society, and since 2018, with the British Red Cross.

When away from work, you might find him watching football, attending church events, or analysing politics, etcetera. He is married to Mildred Ajebon, and they are blessed with two wonderful  boys.  

Mildred Ajebon


Mildred was brought up in Igarra, a lovely town in Edo State Nigeria with a vibrant cultural heritage. She graduated from the University of Benin with a degree in Geography and Regional Planning. She obtained two MSC degrees in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) subspecialties at the University of Ibadan and the University of Leeds respectively and then did a PhD in Geography at Durham University with the award of the Commonwealth Scholarships.

Mildred is currently a Lecturer in Quantitative Human Geography here at Durham. Her central research interest is on utilizing a mix of methods to the study of the social determinants of health risks at different spatial scales, from the international scale down to individual lived experiences of health inequalities.

She started her academic career as a Graduate Assistant in the School of Geography at the Federal University of Technology Minna in 2007 before returning to the University of Benin in 2009 where she rose to the position of Lecturer in Geography and Regional Planning before starting my PhD at Durham. Mildred was a Research Fellow in the Department of Health Sciences, University of York before joining Durham University as Lecturer in 2022.

Mildred shares a passion for student experience and mentorship with her lovely husband, Dr Harrison Chukwuma Ajebon. They have been involved in student leadership and student support for many years. Together, they like to share their culture and Nigerian food with people from diverse backgrounds. They are blessed with two amazing boys.

Anne Allen


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!

I have been a Tutor at Chad’s since 2019 and I am currently the Tutors’ Representative on the College Governing Body.


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:

Danielle Baker


I moved to Durham in 2019 as a St Chad’s Theology postgraduate student and have loved being part of this wonderful college community. Whilst studying, I also worked at Citizen’s Advice, in the Theology department as a teaching assistant on the Worldviews module and now in the Development and Alumni Relations Office at Durham University.

Volunteering has played a significant role in my life, and I have been involved in local projects (arts associations, horticulture, community wellbeing) and international programmes with the British Council leading Princes Trust and cultural exchange groups in Northern Sweden.

Within the university, I have particularly enjoyed engaging with first generation networks, volunteering, creative wellbeing workshops, meditation groups, lunchtime recitals, research seminars and formals to name a few. There are so many ways here to not only connect with your existing interests but also to explore new hobbies and disciplines.

When I am not on campus, I can usually be found at my allotment, walking in the countryside, travelling, browsing bookshops, buying too much stationary, or under a pile of LEGO (my new favourite thing).

Karis Baker


My name is Dr Karis Baker, I currently work at Durham University as a project manager on two linked projects; Physics of Life and a Physics of Medicine. Both these projects aim to get researchers from the physical and the life sciences working together to try and tackle research questions which would benefit from interdisciplinary thinking.

Prior to working on this project, I carried out a PhD and post doc in Durham Biosciences, where I analysed the ancient and modern DNA of animal populations to answer questions relating to population changes induced by human and environmental impacts. Part of this research has involved linking up with archaeologists to map movements of a species of deer, called the fallow deer, introduced by humans across the globe and through millennia. These movements have been used as a proxy to understand more about human trading patterns, cultures and ideologies through time and across space. I have also worked as a teaching fellow in the archaeology dept., teaching on bioarcheology courses about the use of ancient DNA as a tool in archaeology.
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my young family and playing the occasional game of football and hockey (when time allows!)

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 a non-executive director of the North East Ambulance Service.  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 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 of Governors 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.

Colin Crowder

I’m a Durham graduate, and I have lived and worked in Durham City for more than thirty years. As an undergraduate, I studied Theology, and I then started postgraduate studies in Philosophy, at another university, but only completed my PhD after returning to Durham University. I taught for some years in the Department of Theology and Religion, but then chose to focus on academic management, and in later years I worked as a Deputy Head of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and as the Director of the Liberal Arts programme. Through my work in recruitment and admissions, I visited many schools around the world, and I developed a particularly strong interest in China and South-East Asia. I have provided academic support and guidance to generations of students, working especially closely with  international students, and I hope to continue to help students in various ways through my role as a college tutor.

I’m now self-employed, and combine my work as a Higher Education Consultant with other projects, both professional and personal. My interests include philosophy, religious studies, music, literature, and the arts in general, but also cooking, gardening, and travelling. I’m married to Kathryn, another Durham graduate, and an Educational Psychologist, and we have two grown up children.

Caroline Dick

I was ordained in Durham Cathedral in 1988 and have spent my whole ministry in the diocese. I have served as a University Chaplain (Sunderland) and as Diocesan Social Responsibility Officer, and am currently the Team Rector of Durham North Team of Churches. I am passionate about combatting Climate Change and issues of racism and equality. (I was in the first group of woman to be ordained priests) I love cycling, swimming, walking and cross-stitch!

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


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. 


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.

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.

Joseph Martin

Joe is an associate professor of history of science and technology in the history department. His research focuses on the history of the physical sciences in the 20th century, with an emphasis on how physicists gained and weilded cultural authority. He’s been in Durham for two years, and Britain for four, having previously lived in various US states (Pennsylvania, Michigan, Maine, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Indiana, Illinois), Australia, and New Zealand. Away from work, you might find him playing ice hockey for the Durham Dragons, or exploring Britain by bike.

Alistair McCall

Alastair has recently stepped down as Assistant Editor of The Sunday Times. He set up the newspaper's Good University Guide in 1998 to provide impartial information and rankings for university applicants and has edited or compiled it for 24 editions since. He has worked in national newspapers since 1990. A graduate of Durham University, he moved back to the city in 2012 and lives here with his wife Judith, their three children, and his 94-year-old mother-in-law, Veronica.

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 Head of Development and a member of the Executive Leadership Team at Durham Cathedral, as well as an academic theologian and church historian in the Catholic tradition. He has previously held lectureships within the University of Oxford and is now, since 2021, an Honorary Fellow within Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University.

Matthew’s publications include Forgiveness and Restorative Justice (Palgrave, 2021), a book considering the epistemic value of Christian theology for understanding and evaluating restorative justice, and articles within theological journals.  He was an expert contributor to the latest edition of The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford, 2022), edited by Andrew Louth.

Richard Morgan


Through a variety of roles held at Durham and LSE, Dr Richard Morgan has worked with both undergraduate and postgraduate students from all around the world. In these roles, Richard provided tutoring and support that is adjusted to the individual circumstances and needs of each student; putting the student’s wellbeing and interests at the forefront. Richard is currently an Assistant Professor in Leadership and Organisational Behaviour at Durham University Business School. Richard worked as a Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science from 2021-2023 and is also a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. Richard completed his PhD in 2021 at Durham University Business School as a St Chad’s College student. He lived in Trinity Hall, St Chad’s whilst completing his thesis. His thesis entitled ‘Developing Leaders in Organizations: A Cognition, Identity, Motivation, and Proactive Behaviour-Based Approach Investigated Through Longitudinal Structural Equation Modelling’ won the PhD Thesis Award in 2021 by the Department of Management and Marketing at the business school. Richard also completed his law degree (2015) and masters degree (2017) at Durham University whilst a student at Collingwood College. He was previously the MCR President and a Resident Tutor of Collingwood College.

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.

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.

Judith O'Reilly

Judith is a writer and journalist. She's written five books (two non-fiction and three thrillers) and used to work for The Sunday Times. She lives in Durham with her family (two boys at uni and one studying for A levels. Also an aged mum and a bonkers poodle.)  

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.

Naomi Priestley-Leach

Naomi first learned about St Chad's College whilst working at St Chad's Primary School in Witton Park, Bishop Auckland, and was excited to be involved in the school/college link with the exchange of ideas and skills, and the raising of aspirations.

Following a Geography degree at UCL, a PGCE from Lincoln and a MEd in Education and Development from Bristol University, Naomi has spent her career in education in the UK, Sierra Leone and Jordan, working in schools and in the charity sector.

Naomi is now most likely to be found in the botanical hotspot of Upper Teesdale, raising awareness of the unique and declining flora, or at the warehouse at REfUSE in Chester-le-Street diverting good food from landfill towards plates.

Oliver Priestley-Leach

Oliver is a Geography and Water Resources graduate, but in latter years has spent most of his time working in the world of recycling. Oliver works mainly in the charity and public sectors and including some projects abroad in Jordan, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Kyrgyzstan and the Republic of Georgia.

Alongside his current work for REfUSE diverting food otherwise destined for landfill, he is a trustee of a bike recycling charity in Newcastle, volunteers with the Durham Wildlife Trust and is a mentor for asylum seekers in Darlington.

Oliver’s three children have now grown up and fled the nest leaving him more time to work in the garden growing vegetables and experimenting with pickling and preserving. Oliver enjoys food, live theatre, environmental conservation and the great outdoors generally (but nothing too strenuous).

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.

Kirsty Robeson


I was born and brought up in Co Durham and then returned to Weardale 20 years ago with my husband Simon and our three daughters, now aged 18, 20 and 22. We live on the edge of the moors with various sheep, dogs and chickens where I can indulge my love for all things outdoors.

I read Philosophy at St. Hild & St. Bede from 1991-1994 and thoroughly enjoyed my time at Durham!

Before having children I worked in Financial PR in the City of London for Buchanan Communications. Since moving back up here I have held a variety of voluntary roles including Chair of Governors at our local school. I am currently a Trustee at The British Red Cross where I am particularly interested in volunteer development and youth engagement.  I have also worked with small charities acting as spokesperson for local and national media campaigns.

Richard Slack

Richard is a professor in accounting at Durham University Business School and served as Head of Department for Accounting 2016-2019. Richard joined Durham University in 2012, having previously been professor in accounting at Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University. Richard Prior to his academic career, Richard, a graduate of St Andrews University, worked at Price Waterhouse and is a qualified chartered accountant. His core research examines the usefulness of accounting information, to capital market users such as equity investors and analysts. Further, Richard is interested in the way information is presented portrayed  by companies, such as the use of the visual. Outside of academic life, Richard is a club runner with South Shields Harriers, plays Real Tennis and enjoys mountain walking in the UK.

Chris Sparks

Chris Sparks joined the Durham based Atom Bank in October 2015 as Chief Risk Officer and retired in July 2022. 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 in academia 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 Professor in Practice within the Departments of Mathematical Science and Computer Science, conferred in March 2021 for three years. He 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 and a member of the Senior Common Room and college tutor at St Chad’s College, Durham University since October 2019. 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.


Richard Taylor


I came to Chad’s to study history in 1982 as the first in my family to attend university. (I then didn’t return for twenty years until the 2004 centenary celebrations, when I joined the SCR, later serving on Governing Body until 2022.). After graduating in 1985 I started a career in marketing but realised after six months that I wanted a career using my degree subject. I retrained as an archivist, taking a vocational Master’s at Liverpool University, where happily I also met my future wife. Moving south, in 1990 I became the Archivist for London Transport, establishing the Corporate Archives from scratch. In 1994 I moved to the newly-privatised railway as Head of Records & Archive for Railtrack with a similar remit.  Appointment as Senior Curator at the National Railway Museum in 1998 allowed us to move back to my home town of York, and in 2009 I became York City Archivist, raising £2.5m to build a new city archive and setting up an staff co-operative to run the library & archive service. Subsequently a portfolio career of freelancing and writing a book allowed me time to care for my parents.

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 Schools Foundation, have three children, who hold a total of six degrees from four universities, and two grandchildren. Colin is a member of Durham Cricket 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