Category Archives: College

St Chad’s revisits its past

St Chad’s Choir visits Hooton Pagnell

Sunday 23rd June St Chad’s College “came home”. Hooton Pagnell, a small village near Doncaster, is a remarkably pretty village of stone-built properties, unspoiled by the 20th century. It’s the place where St Chad’s ultimately began in 1899 with an idea propounded by the vicar, Frederick Samuel Willoughby to provide for the preparation for ordination of young aspiring Anglo-Catholic men from less advantaged background, still the enduring principle of St Chad’s today. The vicarage still has a small plaque proclaiming “St Chad’s”.

Hooton Pagnell Hall
Hooton Pagnell Hall

From rooms in the vicarage to boarding out in the surrounding farms and cottages all around, St Chad’s proved so successful that it soon required its own accommodation. Step forward Sarah Julia Warde-Aldam, Lady of the Manor of Hooton Pagnell. She paid for a purpose-built Hostel and for countless smaller needs of the nascent College.

We were greeted at her former home, Hooton Pagnell Hall, by its current owner, her great-grandson Mark Warde-Norbury.

Julia Warde-Aldam

There we were shown 2 portraits of her, one of which is to be copied by our super-talented student, Alice Channon and it is eventually to hang in our dining hall in Durham next to Douglas Horsfall, as a tribute to the debt we owe her.

 

The Hall and estate date back to the early 17th century but passed into the hands of the Warde family and their descendants in 1703. It was extensively restored in the 19th century. It now hosts weddings and bed & breakfast but it has not lost its feeling of a family home. It became our base for the day, and most welcome were we made.

Hooton Pagnell Church

Next to the Hall, linked by a private gateway, is the church of All Saints. It provided Chad’s first chapel. The church is largely 13th century with late Saxon elements. Here the choir sang a concert of mixed liturgical and secular pieces in aid of local fundraising, including “Morning Thoughts” written by our Organ scholar and soon to be Musical Director Matthew Kelley, and a World Premiere of “A prayer of St Chad” by David Beadnall. The tiny church was packed. The choir sounded divine. The Principal spoke of the links between College and village and Hall, and the audience was enchanted. “I got a lump in my throat when the choir started ‘I was glad’” I heard one lady say.

The concert over, we walked down the village street together to tea in the Hostel. Over the door is carved in Celtic lettering “Built A.D. 1903”. As you step through the door you could be back then sharing in the daily concerns of the young men living there. I could almost see the fug of tobacco smoke that clung below its rafters as the students relaxed at the end of a busy day.

It is now the village hall and community centre. There the community turned out to greet us and share their Yorkshire hospitality. So much was there that we brought much of it back with us to feed our ever-hungry students in Durham. We ate, we laughed, we chatted, we swapped stories of Chad’s and of the Warde-Aldams and we built new relationships between the College and the village. It was 7.30 pm when we finally left, replete and happy in our new-old connection.

Hooton Pagnell tea

St Chad’s College Charity Fashion Show

St Chad’s College Charity Fashion Show

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.

 

Scholarship success for St Chad’s students

Congratulations to Agoston Horani and Nina Halgarth, Chad’s first year students who have each just been awarded a Peter Kirk Memorial Fund scholarship to undertake a small-scale research project relating to Europe. Agoston will be studying “Jazz Culture among European Youngsters” and Nina will be exploring present-day attitudes to the reunification of West and East Germany in the early 1990s and Catalonian ambitions to sever links with Spain.

The Chair of the Fund wrote to tell the Principal of their success and to say that out of 70 applicants nationally, 20 were interviewed and nine scholarships awarded, so to have two awarded to students of the same small Durham college was an impressive achievement for St Chad’s as well as for Nina and Agoston.

We look forward to hearing presentations of their research next academic year.

 

St Chad’s Chaplain

Congratulations to our Chaplain, David Rushton, for passing his Master of Theology (Chaplaincy Studies) from Cardiff University with merit.  The title of his dissertation is: “In which direction do we face?  A study of how Church of England chaplains operate within secular institutions as they seek to serve both the Church and the employing institution.”

A relieved-looking chaplain about to submit his dissertation.

 

Handover 2019: In with the new

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.

The changing of the gowns.

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.

 

‘Is Voluntourism Ethical?’

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. 

 

St. Chad’s Day 2019

On the 2nd of March every year, something very special happens on North Bailey, Durham. Think green, think 8am, think pots, pans, whistles and tradition. Think St. Chad’s Day. If Chadsians needed a reason to enjoy their weekend during summative season, this is it. Filled with a tight itinerary, Chad’s day is a day which all can enjoy. There is only one dress code: green. The morning began by meeting just before 8am, a sea of green illuminating the Cassidy Quad. With everyone ready and the JCR President Josh sat on an elevated chair, hoisted by Boat Club blades and carried by strong students, the parade to all Bailey colleges with the intention of making as much noise as possible began. Hatfield, Castle, John’s, Cuth’s: we may be small, but we are mighty.

 

After the procession, Chadsians alike had breakfast in Moulsdale Hall; green milk included. At 10:30 came the unique Cathedral Service, with various performances. Afterwards gave an opportunity for Chad’s alumni to meet in the SCR for a catch up and a hot drink, before the Palace Green race at 12pm.

11:59am saw the gathering of Chadsians on the start line, ready to sprint around Palace Green on the first chime of 12. For what, you may wonder? The college mascot goat costume, of course. Despite scratches, scrapes and close-losses, the Keeper of the College Goat emerged. Quite a different climate from last year, Palace Green was not as icy this year!

After all the exercise and a college lunch, Chad’s day afternoon quietens off, allowing some respite for the afternoon and evening ahead.

The late afternoon was filled with various sporting events, including Men’s football and a win for Chad’s Women’s Hockey. Chadsians then made their way back from Maiden Castle to participate in and watch Chad’s Family Fortunes. Following that, the battle for Mr and Mrs Chad’s proceeded, with participants fulfilling various tasks to claim their title, with last year’s Mr and Mrs Chad’s presenting this year’s competition to spectators.

The day draws to a close, the headphones are charged, the bar is getting busier and the inflatables are set up. Chad’s annual silent disco is ready to begin. Chadsians dance the night away. Midnight hits, it’s been a long day, and Chadsians are ready for bed. An eventful, bright and fun-packed day, St. Chad’s Day 2019 is over, until next year; when we’ll do it all again.

Celebrating Chad’s Women at the Ladies’ and Friends’ Formal

Last night at ‘Ladies’ and Friends’ formal’ we marked 30 years since women were first admitted as students to St Chads.  Thank you to our guest of honour, Chad’s alumna Sherin Gerami (who is the first woman to be permitted to represent Iran in the Triathlon) for such a motivational talk.  Your work is so inspirational and really encompasses our Chad’s ethos.

Dr Margaret Masson, our (first female) Principal, gave a brief account of the history of women being admitted in 1988.  She also paid tribute to the many female members of staff who have enabled the College to run from day-to-day since its founding in 1904 and expressed our gratitude to current female members of staff – Vicki, Linda, Catherine and Lesley – who were guests at the formal.  At the end of the meal, Julia Atherley, co-chair of Chad’s FemSoc  invited guests to contribute to ‘A Way Out’, an outreach and prevention charity which aims to engage, empower and equip vulnerable and excluded women, families and young people to live lives free from harm, abuse and exploitation and to reduce life limiting choices and behaviour.  We hope that everyone attending the formal had a great time celebrating the ladies and friends of St Chad’s…

 

 

“Building a better World”: St Chad’s 1918-1925

Thanks to Jenny Parker, St Chad’s Librarian and Archivist, a window onto Chad’s history was opened last Saturday. An exhibition of archives and photographs “Building a better World” focused on 1918-1925 through the experiences and careers of Chadsmen who had seen military action. The chapel too was open to visitors to view the War Memorial Reredos.  This was a time when St Chad’s celebrated it’s coming of age, rapidly expanded its student body and began to win sporting trophies and achieve unprecedented academic excellence.

The exhibition clearly demonstrated that the commitment to rebuilding society evident in the lives of Chadsmen of that era is still very evident today in the life choices of our more recent graduates.

 

 

JCR exec husts

The JCR exec husts are well under way now.  Congratulations to everyone who has run for a position; as always in Chad’s, this year’s candidates have been very strong and the husts have been a pleasure to watch, with many thought provoking topics being discussed.  With each new post elected, it’s exciting to see the new executive committee gradually emerging, and getting ready to lead their JCR through the next year.  During these times of change it’s reassuring to see Chad’s students come together, to strive towards their goals and to embrace this dynamic environment.