Category Archives: News

Chad’s 62nd Candlemas Ball

The 62nd Candlemas ball took place in the beautifully decorated grounds of Chad’s on Friday.

The Quad looked terrific

Mini-decs who had spent the week creating large pieces of artwork for the ball had their pieces adorning each room alongside the magnificent entertainments the committee arranged. The rooms in college were all transformed into worlds of pure imagination. Entertainments included a casino room in the SCR, an Oxygen bar in the JCR, a film room, bucking bronco, inflatable fighting ring, chocolate fountains and much more. The children’s ball pit in the Quad proved to be the most popular with teams of raucous Chadians playfully hurling balls at one another for the entirety of the night.

a fantastic meal..

The lighting display on the dance floor in the Dining hall was fantastic and survivors gathered there at the end of the night to eat pizza and participate in the survivors photo!

A tremendous amount of effort and planning went into creating a fantastic 62nd Candlemas which will be remembered as a magical evening.

For ever and ever.


Chad’s Celebrates Lunar New Year

On Sunday, 20 Chad’s students visited Newcastle to enjoy the Lunar New Year celebration. Second year student, Katya, shares her impressions of the visit:

Dragon Dance, Newcastle

“Hi, my name is Katya and I went to the Lunar New Year celebration. After witnessing the ‘Lion dance’ at Chad’s International Formal last year I was thrilled to see the ‘Dragon dance’ in the streets of Newcastle which involved more than 10 people dancing whilst holding a dragon puppet. This was followed by a picturesque performance of dancing and lighting small, red fireworks, accompanied by drums. The day concluded with a meal at the Sky Chinese Cuisine where we had the opportunity to try new dishes such as pork feet and chicken in bean sauce. Since we were all sharing food we had the opportunity to indulge in several interesting dishes and try Chinese tea. I am really grateful that the College sponsored this event because it allowed us to celebrate a new festival and explore a different culture.”

Thank you to Chris Peng and all who helped to organise this visit.

St Chad’s Syrian Refugee Outreach Project

As part of a small St. Chad’s outreach project, each week, a small group of St. Chad’s students venture out to the nearby town of Chester-le-street on an evening to help a family of Syrian refugees with their English language skills. I am incredibly glad to say I am one of those students. We open the gate and walk up the path of a semi-detached house. We are always greeted with smiling faces. This is the home of Muhammad, Amna, who are parents to Ahmad (22), Salah (18) and Rania (17).

But this has not always been home. Over notes about pronunciation, Amna tells me of her childhood in Syria, how she met Muhammad (above) and how they got married. When the conflict worsened in Syria, the family moved to Jordan. Ahmad (below, right) shows me some of his writing: a letter to a friend back in Jordan, telling them of his new home in the UK. Muhammad and Ahmad were once manual labourers in Jordan.

Now, their days are filled with Muhammad volunteering at the local Re-f-use Cafe and Ahmad working in catering at the University. Salah tells me of his school days in Syria, explaining how much he prefers his lessons at Durham New College. ‘The teachers respect you as a student,’ he states. Rania has recently been moved into the top set for her classes, Amna tells me with a beaming smile. Amna (below) enjoys cooking, and often brings out home bakes made from middle-eastern recipes, which are always very sweet, and always very delicious.

The family are all so keen to learn. They bounce off each other, we all laugh, over mispronunciations, the complexities of tenses, cognates, and when to use ‘those’, ‘these’, ‘that’, and ‘this’.

Being an hour or two and plenty cups of middle-eastern tea, these evenings are always modest, simple and heartwarming. The family are always so grateful. St. Chad’s engages in several ongoing outreach and volunteering projects throughout the academic year; one of which takes us as far as South Africa. With the current, uncertain political and international environment, this project brings a personal element to wider issues. And, for that reason, amongst many, it is incredibly rewarding and most certainly feels like Chad’s is making a difference as part of a bigger picture.

Burns Night Formal

Burns night formal last Thursday was fantastic! Freddie Bearn began the evening by piping in the guests at which the high table was seated. Alex Milne performed a wonderful rendition of ‘To a Haggis’ and subsequently the meal began…the catering team did a marvellous job; the haggis and whisky grave were delicious.

Once the meal had finished, Richard Penney delivered an excellent Toast to the Lassies and a witty retort was made by Isobel Clarke in her Toast to the Laddies!

Burns Night was a great opportunity for everyone to join in the evening’s jollities and to display their best tartan gear.  Mention must go to Sean Gallagher Gill who managed to sprout a bob of red hair for the evening.

The night finished with a jolly Ceilidh which was enjoyed by all!


St Chad’s Advent Procession

On Sunday Chadsians, family and friends all gathered to watch St Chad’s annual Advent Procession in the dim glow of a candlelit Durham Cathedral. The darkening of the Cathedral along with the procession of twinkling robes and a veil of incense created a very magical atmosphere. The Advent Procession is one of the most beautiful and reflective services of the year!

The St Chad’s Choir and soloists sang beautifully. The procession advanced towards the choir to ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’ in celebration and anticipation of the arrival of Jesus Christ, the light of the world. As the clergy approached the choir, candles, held by current Chadians, were lit down the aisle, alongside the congregation representing the journey of the second coming of Christ.

Thank you Tristan, David Rushton, and organists James, Matthew and Peter for bringing the evening together. The evening ended with tea and canapés in St Chad’s dining hall.






Vestra Vox Concert

An awesome £231.02 was raised at the Vestra Vox concert in Chad’s Quad last week! The money was raised in aid of finding treatment, hospice care and family support for Spinal Muscular Atrophy sufferers in the UK. SMA is a disease that robs people of physical strength. often taking away the ability to walk, eat, or breathe. It is the number one genetic cause of death for infants and 1 in 40 carry the gene that causes the condition! Due to the fact it is relatively common, it is a charity which many hold close to their heart, thus it was such a success that we were able to raise such a considerable amount of money at the concert!

Attendees had a fab night especially those who won the blackberry gin liquor gift set which was kindly donated by Durham Distillery!  Early birds certainly caught the worm as Q-Jump Wristbands for Klute were given out to those who arrived promptly.

The line up included Velvet Riverside, Autofluorescence, Man like AB and Chad’s band, Halcyon. Halcyon played a mix of originals and covers and had the crowd raise the roof to ‘She’s So Lovely’, ‘Boys That Sing’ and ‘Naive’.

Well done to Matthew Prudham our Music Rep, and thanks to Van Mildert for tech support and all Chad’s volunteers!

Bishop David Stancliffe

On Friday, St Andrew’s Day, David Stancliffe, St Chad’s Fellow (and former Bishop of Salisbury) celebrated the 50th anniversary of his priesting, and the 25th of his being ordained bishop. David  presided at a Eucharist at the shrine of St Cuthbert in Durham Cathedral. A number of Chadsians (including our chaplain, David Rushton) were delighted to share the occasion.