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.
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!
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.