Category Archives: News

Success in Sport

Although traditionally, Chad’s has been regarded as easy opponents, this term has seen countless examples of Chadsians excelling in sport.

The Chad’s-John’s women’s Rugby team – led by Chadsians Chloe Hellier and Tash Garrood – who have been storming through their league, were specially chosen to represent the University at the College Varsity with York University. Needless to say, they smashed it, winning 20-0.

Evie Griffith’s valiant Women’s Badminton team only narrowly missed out on promotion to goal difference. Whilst the Men’s pool team have been grafting their way through to the top of the Premiership with win after win, the table tennis team had a seven-match unbeaten streak taking them to the top. The Mixed Ultimate Frisbee team, last year’s Team of the Season – led in style by Ollie Green – have earned themselves a very well-deserved promotion to the Premiership.

The Mixed Lacrosse Team have had an unbelievable season. Captain Phoebe Lundy has led the A team to both an unbeaten season in the league, earning promotion to the Premiership, but also success in the university-wide cup! No one knows when a Chad’s team last won a cup, so this is an extraordinary achievement!

These team successes have only been reflected at a University level. Last Wednesday saw the big national BUCS final. Several Chadsians were integral to their team’s success. Amelia Harper, Bryony Whitehead, Victoria Lewis (all in the Women’s Water Polo Team) and Emily Sambrook-Smith (Women’s Lax 1s), Phoebe Davies (Women’s Lax 2s), Paul Lefebvre (Men’s Lax 1s) are all now BUCS National Champions!  These stories are simply phenomenal and we are lucky to have such talented people in Chad’s!

Scholarship and Bursary Awards Announcement


Today, St Chad’s Day, the College is delighted to announce that, because of the generosity of our alumni and friends, we have been able to award scholarships to four of our students. As a college, we are committed to developing ways to give our students the support they need to succeed through their studies and in their wider lives; these scholarships are a very practical way of making a difference through the gifts of our alumni.



Ermos Chrysochos is a first year Liberal Arts student, in his second term at St Chad’s.  He has already been making his mark: he gave the ‘Toast to the Immortal Memory’ at the College Burns’ Supper in January and is already a passionate Chadsian.  He has been awarded a Shattock Family Scholarship worth £3,000 for each year of his undergraduate degree course. Ermos is an accomplished violinist who started to play at the age of eight and was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for four years.  One of his challenges is the cost of combining his degree with his musical ambitions; a student loan does not cover violin lessons. Being awarded this scholarship, however, will mean that Ermos will be able to study with the co-leader of the Northern Sinfonia at the Sage in Gateshead and continue to be a leading member of the Durham University Orchestral Society.

“Music to me”, comments Ermos, “whether listening or making it, brings people together whatever their background. So, whilst the scholarship will immensely benefit me personally, I also know I will use it to live up to our College motto: ‘Non vestra sed vos’ – ‘Not what you have but who you are’.


This award has been made possible through the generosity of St Chad’s alumnus Matthew Shattock and his family.

“I am convinced that this is a very worthy cause … the creation of this scholarship programme to supplement those without the full means, but with the unquestionable ability, to benefit from the collegiate education which has shaped my own life and career indelibly. I had the benefit of a fully funded education at Durham and this turned out to be a life changing experience for me.  I hope to contribute to the same opportunity for others.”

-Matthew Shattock (Politics, 1980-83)



Third year Law undergraduate Marianne Holbrook has been awarded one of our first three Joe Cassidy Memorial Bursaries of £1,000 which honour the memory of our late Principal, Dr Joe Cassidy. Marianne has been a volunteer teacher in Malawi, Senegal and South Africa where, she says, her “interest in promoting human rights and justice in the face of political instability and in socially complex environments developed.”

She is hoping to pursue a career in economic and foreign aid policy development with the UN. Marianne applied for this Joe Cassidy award so that she can further her interests in social justice and continue to undertake volunteer and internship positions.



Stephanie Higgins, a first year Liberal Arts student, also receives a Cassidy Memorial award.  For Stephanie, receiving a scholarship from St Chad’s means that she can be fully involved in College and wider university life and work, and not have to take on yet more hours in her part-time on-line tutoring job.

Stephanie said, “I recently participated in a ‘Rice and Beans’ challenge where we ate only plain rice and beans for a week to raise awareness of food poverty and money for Tearfund. Being the recipient of a scholarship will help me to do more volunteering in social action projects within Durham”.


Nathaniel Attenborough is the first member of his family to attend university and wants to make the most of the opportunities that both his Cell Biology degree and being at St Chad’s can offer.  He volunteers in a local youth club when at home and is fully involved in College life at St Chad’s during term time: “I greatly enjoy everyday life around College and genuinely feel a part of a college family in ways friends at other universities cannot experience.”  Like too many students today, Nathaniel is worried about being able to afford living out of College next year; he said,

“This Joe Cassidy Scholarship will make a significant difference to my time at university, in relieving the distraction of financial worries and allowing me to truly embrace what Chad’s has to offer.”


SCR Member Honoured by The Queen


Gillian Allnutt, poet and St Chad’s SCR member, has been awarded the Gold Medal for Poetry by Her Majesty the Queen.  

The Gold Medal for Poetry was instituted by King George V in 1933 at the suggestion of the then Poet Laureate, John Masefield. The award was presented to Gillian by The Queen on 21 February 2017.

The Medal is awarded for excellence in poetry, on the basis either of a body of work over several years, or for an outstanding poetry collection issued during the year of the award.

The Poet Laureate, Dame Carol Ann Duffy said of Gillian Allnutt’s writing:

“[It] roams across centuries, very different histories and lives, and draws together, without excuse or explanation, moments which link across country, class, culture and time.

The North is a constant touchstone in her work; canny and uncanny, its hills and coast, its ancient histories and its people.

Her poems progress over the years to a kind of synthesis of word-play and meditation. In her work the space between what is offered and what is withheld is every bit as important as what is said.

She has the power to comfort and to astonish in equal measure. In her outlook, her imagination, her concerns and her lyric voice she is unique.”

Gillian Allnutt was born in London in 1949 and spent much of her childhood in Newcastle upon Tyne before studying at the University of Cambridge. Her retrospective How the Bicycle Shone: New & Selected Poems (2007) draws on six published books plus a new collection, Wolf Light, and includes references to family ties in North Norfolk and her life in the North East.

Gillian was co-editor of The New British Poetry (1988) and from 2001 to 2003 held a Royal Literary Fund Fellowship at Newcastle and Leeds Universities. Recently she has taught creative writing in the English Department here in Durham.

In 2009/10 Gillian held a writing residency with The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture (now Freedom From Torture) in the North East, working with asylum seekers in Newcastle and Stockton.


  • Spitting the Pips Out (Sheba, 1981)
  • Beginning the Avocado (Virago, 1987)
  • Blackthorn (Bloodaxe Books, 1994)
  • Nantucket and the Angel (Bloodaxe Books, 1997)
  • Lintel (Bloodaxe Books, 2001)
  • Sojourner (Bloodaxe Books, 2004)
  • How the Bicycle Shone: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2007)
  • indwelling (Bloodaxe Books, 2013)



  • The New British Poetry (Paladin, 1988) (co-editor)

Durham City MP vists St Chad’s College

Careers & Alumni officer Cormac Frazer last Monday, 13th February, facilitated a discussion amongst members of St Chad’s College with Durham City MP, Roberta Blackman-Woods.

The session saw Roberta sharing her experiences in Parliament with those in attendance, and was followed by a Question & Answer session. The event saw members of all three undergraduate years asking pertinent questions, ranging from public communications to homelessness and from community action to the role of civil society in shaping public policy.

Roberta tweeted afterwards:

Speaking with Press Comm, Cormac said: “it was an honour to host Roberta, and great to broaden our understanding MPs’ work – especially at a time of such political division.”

Sports Update…


Now that we’re halfway through Epiphany term many of our college sports teams are coming to the end of their league matches and moving on to the knockout-style tournaments, so it’s the perfect chance to have a look at how the leagues have gone for us so far. Plus a short report on recent rowing achievements.



This weekend (18-19th February) was Tyne head of the river, the biggest head race of the term; a fantastic opportunity for our senior women’s squad to get some experience on their first 5k race.

It was a brilliant race, fighting the current of the tide and some strong head-winds but the crew managed to beat Hatfield to come top college crew of their division. It’s a shame more Colleges didn’t enter however it was a great experience for the girls, and a great build up for next term where we want to try de-novice the crew.


Men’s Basketball

Div 1:  3 wins, 1 loss.  Current placing: 2nd


Round 1 vs Trevs: 34 -32

Round 2 vs Collingwood: 27-53


Women’s Basketball (Combined Chad’s John’s Team)

Div 2: 1 win 2 losses.   Current placing: 3rd


Round 1 vs Grey A: 16-47

Men’s Football

A Team

Div 1: 3 wins, 3 draws, 5 losses.   Current placing: 9th

Floodlit cup:

Round 1 vs Castle A: 1-5


Round 1 vs Castle A: 0-1


B Team

Div 5: 4 wins, 3 draws, 2 losses.   Current placing: 7th


Women’s Football

Div 1: 3 wins, 1 draw, 3 losses.   Current placing: 3rd

Floodlit cup:

Round 1 vs Ustinov A: 1-12


Round 1 vs St Aidan’s A: 0-3


Men’s Hockey

Premiership: 2 win, 3 draws, 7 losses.   Current placing: 7th


Round 1 vs St Aidan’s A: 3-2

Round 2 vs Hild Bede A: 1-4


Women’s Hockey

Div 1: 3 wins, 2 draws, 6 losses.    Current placing: Joint 4th


Round 1 vs  John Snow A: 0-3


Mixed Lacrosse

A Team

Div 1: 6 wins, 1 draw.    Current placing: 1st (Will be promoted to the Premiership next season)


Round 1 vs Stephenson A: 12-2

Round 2 vs Grey A: 8-3

Quarter finals vs St Cuthbert’s A: 11-3

Semi-finals TO PLAY


B Team

Div 2: 4 wins, 2 draws, 2 losses.   Current placing: 1st (Should be promoted to Division 1 next season)


Round 1 vs Grey B: 7-2

Round 2 vs University B: 0-6



Div 1: 8 wins, 1 draw, 2 losses.   Current placing: 2nd



Div 2: 4 wins, 6 losses.    Current placing: 8th


Men’s Rugby (Chad’s John’s combined team)

Div 1: 3 wins, 4 losses.    Current placing: 5th


Women’s Rugby (Chad’s John’s combined team)

Premiership: 3 wins, 3 losses.    Current placing: 3rd


Round 1 vs “combined Milbut”: 0-39

Combined Chad’s John’s Women’s Rugby represented Durham at the College Varisty games against York on Saturday 25th February in a tag rugby game; they won 4-0.


Men’s Squash

Premiership: 4 wins, 4 losses.   Current placing: 7th


Round 1 vs John’s B: 5-0


Women’s Squash (Chad’s John’s combined team)

Premiership: 7 wins, 3 losses.    Current placing: 2nd


Round 1 vs Hatfield-Castle: 4-1


Table Tennis

Premiership: 7 wins, 3 losses.   Current placing: Joint 3rd


Men’s Badminton

Div 1: 5 wins, 3 losses.    Current placing: 4th


Women’s Badminton

Div 1: 5 wins, 2 losses.   Current placing: 2nd


Mixed Badminton

Div 1: 3 wins, 3 losses.   Current Placing: 4th


St Chad’s Governing Body Away Day

On Tuesday 31st January and Wednesday 1st February, members of St Chad’s Governing Body gathered together for an away day on its ten-year strategy, which built on consultative work that had taken place in the common rooms on the general themes and perspectives to be included in this plan.

The two days saw members of the Governing Body undertaking a variety of different tasks to orientate and collaborate thinking on the College’s strategy, including building the College out of Lego (pictured, see below for annotations)!

The strategy will shape how decisions will be made over the next decade in the College’s life, including issues such as environment, student life, and widening participation, which was identified as a key priority. Discussions also featured consideration of wider community, which includes College alumni. Alumni will also have a chance to make their views heard at events, in discussion with Dr Margaret Masson, our Principal.

Three students, Jack Angers (JCR Senior Man), Elizabeth Hoyt (MCR President), and Craig Bateman (JCR Governing Body Representative) were also in attendance to voice student opinions.

Epiphany 2017: what’s on in college?


Another term promises another host of noteworthy events in college. We’re just approaching the end of the second week, and already we’ve had Ladies and Friends’ formal, complete with wonderful food and even more wonderful singing; the first Perspectives talk of the year, a riveting discussion on the importance of class in a modern society; and Burns’ Night, a triumphant occasion with Chad’s’ very own chaplain, Ashley Wilson, performing the Ode to the Haggis with such fervour that Robert Burns himself might have been in the dining hall. The natural hearth of every Chadsian, the college bar, is rarely without handfuls of students regaling one another with stories of their holidays, or their achievements already this term – so far, Epiphany has been a great success.

The green army preparing for the annual ‘Palace Green dash’ on Chad’s day 2016


And, aside from the perilous dissertations facing the third-years, it looks to continue in the same tenor. Candlemas Launch is next week, a chance for everyone to see what the Candlemas Committee have in store for our biggest college ball of the year; the event itself follows a week later, with a dinner, ‘ents’, and dancing set to continue well into the early hours. Before that, we have Gents and Friends’ formal, and soon after, Chad’s Day, the craziest and greenest day in the Chadsian’s calendar (perhaps in any calendar). Also on this term, another wealth of fascinating Perspectives talks and the JCR officer elections for next year. The term will round off with more formals and a final megaformal before we welcome the prospective next generation of Chadsians to college for the post-offer application days in March. Good luck to all this term, as summatives loom: however, it would be an understatement to say that there is certainly a lot to look forward at 18 North Bailey.

Showcasing the breadth of talent in college at Chad’s got Talent 2016.


International Students Tea Party – December 14th, 2016

It was the last academic week of 2016 and you could sense a faint air of end-of-term fatigue in the SCR. Fortunately a selection of minced pies, chocolate brownies, coffee and tea was prepared to reward those who showed up for the second International Students tea party of this Michaelmas term.


Once everyone had taken their seat the discussion started with a few classic questions: What were your impressions of England? Durham? Chad’s? What will we tell our parents when we get home? How we do we feel now that term has (almost) ended? There wasn’t much enthusiasm to answer these, which may reflect either a reluctance to leave or an eagerness to return home. Once some shared their thoughts and feelings, it became evident that this term has been very successful. Friendliness and ease of transition into Chad’s frequently came up. An interesting topic that briefly surfaced was whether we as international students took notice of the quintessentially English beat-around-the-bush culture. In particular the issue that English people readily apologise. Although a few were aware of it, it wasn’t considered a hindrance (sorry, excuse me for bringing it up).

The obvious topic that was thrown into the group was what we were looking forward to most at home. An interesting answer amongst some was the opportunity to speak our mother-tongue. I know I am.  Although Chad’s has treated us well,  some were quite eager to return to a familiar environment at home as a break.

We concluded with a brief recap of our thoughts on 2016. I think the consensus was that 2016 was probably not one of the best years we’ve seen in recent times. Brexit and Trump (amongst others) illustrate how the world seems to prefer intranationalism in favour of internationalism these days. Wars, diseases, and this year’s extensive obituary makes it a year to forget, and very much makes 2017 a year to look forward to.

That being said, we look forward to the next get-together in 2017.

St Chad’s hosts termly Question Time

St Chad’s College hosted its termly ‘Question Time’ evening on Thursday, 24th November.

Styled on the BBC’s Question Time programme, Conor Fegan took over David Dimbleby’s role as chairperson. Conor introduced each panellist, a cross-representation of the common rooms. These included the SCR’s Baroness Maeve Sherlock, and the JCR’s Michael Aspin, Dom Birch, Jess Frieze, and Josh Barker.

Throughout the evening, panellists were quizzed on a range of issues. The provision of port and cream-crackers got the audience’s creative juices flowing!

On a second EU referendum, the panel argued in favour of popular sovereignty, although there was also an acknowledgement that it’s going to take more than two years to negotiate Brexit.

Addressing whether the election of Donald Trump in America signals that we are living in a post-factual age, Josh urged the audience to “debate” views which seemed to be different from theirs. Baroness Sherlock argued that we must have “mechanism to distinguish” between fact and fiction, whilst Michael defended pluralism and democracy. Dom spoke about the emotions involved in politics and Jess said it’s wrong to simply shout back.

On the issue of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, the panel agreed that a healthy democracy requires an effective opposition.

The evening provided a thoughtful, intellectual, and dynamic dialogue. We wait to see what next term’s event holds in store.