Last night, St Chad’s held the first in our Global Perspectives Series, “China and the World”. A very informative and thought-provoking first session on “Environmental Sustainability in China” was introduced by Chad’s postgraduate student Dewi Humphreys.
The debate and conversation that followed was lively and constructive, enriched by the diversity of a group that included members of all three common rooms – JCR, MCR and SCR – and students from China, the UK and a number of other countries around the globe.
“It was such an informative and inspiring event,” wrote one Chad’s student afterwards: “I have never looked into environmental issue from such a global perspective. I look forward to the next two sessions.”
The next session is on January 29th and will be looking at the theme of “China and the State: History, Ideology and Lived Experience.”
Last night, St. Chad’s celebrated its own Burns Night, a tradition celebrated across the world to honour the life and work of Scottish poet and icon, Robert Burns.
The formal featured Freddie Bearn on the bagpipes, the Address to the Haggis recited by Alex Milne, the Address to the Lassies from Sean Gallagher Gill, the Reply to the Laddies by Emilia Hopple and the Immortal Memory by Evie Oliver. The meal was then followed by a ceilidh. Well done to everyone who took part.
This term saw the establishment of the St. Chad’s College Allotment. A group of hardworking students have begun transforming the Langford House garden into a space to grow plants for the whole college.
However, their most recent work has not been in Chad’s but rather in the local community. After being contacted by a local councillor about an elderly gentleman who has had an allotment in Burnhope for over fifty years which he was now at risk of losing, a group of wonderful students from St. Chad’s alongside the local councillor spent the day working hard in order to help him retain it. They spent the day digging over the soil of the whole allotment, which the gentleman had been unable to do for some time, so that he will once again be able to grow vegetables. They also cleared a lot of detritus from around the allotment so it was a lot tidier, safer and easier to use.
After a day of very hard work in sub-zero temperatures, they managed to get done most of what the council needed to be achieved. The next day, the students were informed the eviction notice had been revoked and the allotment had been saved.
We would like to say congratulations to all the students who were involved, you have made the entire college very proud. We look forward to seeing what our own allotment will bring in the new year!
Last Sunday was St. Chad’s annual Advent Procession, held in Durham Cathedral. It was a beautiful and thought provoking service with fantastic music provided by St. Chad’s College Choir.
The service commenced with the candlelit procession of the choir, clergy and students. Ceni Owen led the Antiphons for the famous carol, ‘O Emmanuel’, a highlight of the service for many who attended. Works from both classical and contemporary composers followed, as well as readings from the Principal, Senior Tutor, Chaplain and the JCR, MCR and SCR presidents.
It was also the night on which Chad’s Alumnus, Patrick Hawes, was made an honorary fellow of the college. Hawes, a British composer and conductor, has been Composer in Residence at Classic FM, holds the Fellowship Award from the Royal College of Organists, and has composed numerous notable works, including the Highgrove Suite – commissioned by The Prince of Wales – and The Great War Symphony. The choir premiered his piece, ‘Come, Lord Jesus’, which was a wonderful end to the evening.
This weekend, a group of Chad’s novice rowers braved the cold to compete in Durham’s annual Novice Cup. As novices, they have only been rowing since the beginning of term, and due to the very rainy Durham weather, they have had even fewer outings than originally hoped. Despite this, everyone gained valuable racing experience and enjoyed the weekend.
A particular Chad’s highlight was the women’s crew coming 8thin the time trial on Saturday and proceeding to win their head-to-head on Sunday.
For the last two weeks, Chad’s students have been meeting with their tutors for the termly tutor formals. It has been a great opportunity for students to meet others from across the college, enjoy a great meal, and gain valuable advice.
College tutors are an invaluable source of pastoral guidance and support for students of all years, helping them to adjust to university and college life and thrive during their time at Chad’s.
We all look forward to further meetings and formals with our tutors throughout the year.
This weekend Durham has been transformed into a spectacle of light with 37 artworks by international and home-grown artists. The 10th anniversary of Lumiere, the UK’s largest light festival, sees the return of artworks from previous festivals alongside new commissions. Brightening up the winter weather, this celebration of local and global art and of light has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the country and even further afield.
Produced by Artichoke, the event aims, through art, to revolutionise the way in which we perceive the world around us and create experiences which will live in the memory forever. Such an aim is particularly pertinent to students, staff and residents alike, who quickly come to normalise the beautiful architecture and scenery which surrounds St. Chad’s. Some installations, such as the miners’ vests which adorn the Cathedral, awaken and revitalise understanding and appreciation of Durham and the wider area’s history. Others, such as the ‘Fogscape’, a piece designed to remind visitors of their own role in climate change, highlight pressing global issues.
As we approach the end of Durham’s Year of Culture, the festival beautifully aligned Durham’s past and historic architecture with the contemporary development and issues facing the local area and wider world we live in.
St Chad’s College Charity Fashion Show last week was a huge success, raising over £7000 for Bright Red. Bright Red is a North East based charity that works with blood cancer patients to improve their lives and treatment through care, research and education. Illnesses such as leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma, myelodysplasia and myeloproliferative diseases are life changing, but this years charity fashion show aims to support this charity in making the North East a safe place to be treated.
The designers showcased this year included Mei-Po, a fashion knitwear graduate from Nottingham Trent University. Her collection concept idea is based around technology, incorporating the idea of robotics whilst thinking towards a more utopian futuristic element side – hence the name Futurology. Since graduating in 2017, her collection has been shown at the Glasgow University Charity Fashion Show and the St Andrews University Charity Fashion Show.
SCCCFS also collaborated with Ella Bella Gifts, bow ties created by Durham University Student Ella Ramsden, Demoo jeans, & Other Stories, Lucy Leybourne Designs, Wire Your Days, Oliver Spencer and more. Sponsors included Sipsmith, Whitworths, Cook, Bounce UK, Emily Crisps and a whole host of other yummy treats.
Congratulations to the co-presidents Hannah Welsh and Lara Whitmore, the rest of the executive committee and all of the models for their hard work and dedication over the past year, for putting on an incredible show and for raising such a huge amount of money.
Last week, the roles were handed over to the new committees. The JCR Executive Committee, the Bar Committee, Wine Cellar, Charities Committee, Green Door and the Boat Club Executive Committee all dined on a formal to celebrate the occasion.
These committees are all student-lead and pivotal to the workings of college, influencing the movement St Chad’s moves in. Anyone can hust for these roles, and then they are voted upon, taking over from former position holders just in time for revision to start properly.
After a busy year, it was a relief for many to handover their roles, with many people taking on something new, and others freeing up their calendars in time to graduate and apply for extra-curricular events. The formal was, of course, well attended. Dr Masson gave a speech thanking the former execs for their hard work, and the night ended with toasts to all. The bell rang, and the gowns were exchanged between old and new JCR Presidents.
Josh Barker, our (now former) JCR President , stood and said ‘To Chad’s. We need to enjoy this place whilst we’re here’. With the room filled with students and academics of all ages and stages in their careers, these significant words resonated with us all.
On Monday evening, as part of our ‘Perspectives’ lecture series, Chad’s was delighted to invite DUCK and COCO Charity as well as students from all over the university and members of the public to discuss the topic ‘Is Voluntourism Ethical?’
Many people venture all over the world to volunteer and this can provide much-needed support to communities. But can this also result in a debilitating reliance? Is it sometimes even damaging? Should we be travelling abroad when we could be volunteering locally instead? Will the help last a lifetime or is it a temporary fix?
It was fantastic to see so many people engage and collaborate in exploring such thought provoking questions and thank you to all the speakers for attending.