Category Archives: News

St. Chad’s College Allotment

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 The next day, the students were informed the eviction notice had been revoked and the allotment had been saved.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!

Advent Procession

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.

St Chad’s Novice Cup Success

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.

Well done to everyone who raced!

Tutor Formals

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.

Durham illuminated for Lumiere Festival

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.

New Portrait unveiled in St Chad’s Moulsdale Hall

Last Thursday, we unveiled a new portrait in St Chad’s – of Julia Warde-Aldam, one of the co-founders of our college. It was a wonderful evening: choral Evensong, a splendid formal and a real sense of occasion and celebration. We were so pleased that her great-grandson Jamie and great-great-grandson Mark could be with us for the occasion. We were also delighted that the artist is a Chad’s undergraduate, Alice Channon, who has done such an excellent job. It is also good to have a woman honoured on the walls of Moulesdale Hall after all this time!


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.