St Chad's College

St Chad's College

Name = St Chad's College

Motto = " Non vestra sed vos "
Not yours but you
Colours =


Named_after = Chad of Mercia
Established = 1904
head name = Principal
head = The Revd Canon Dr J. P. Cassidy
Senior Tutor = Dr Margaret Masson
JCR Name = Senior Man
JCR = Alistair Smith
MCR Name = President
MCR = Robert Eaton
SCR Name = President
SCR = Ann Lowdes
Undergraduates = 321
Postgraduates = 63
Website = [ St Chad's College]
JCR Website1= JCR Website
JCR Website2 = [ Chads JCR]
Boat Club Website = [ Chads Boat Club]
Campus = Durham City

St Chad's College is a college of the University of Durham in England. One of the smallest of Durham's colleges in terms of student numbers, it has the largest staff and the most extensive college library facilities in Durham and is also amongst the top colleges of Durham academically. The main part of the college is located on the Bailey next to Hatfield College, occupying nine historic buildings at the east end of Durham Cathedral. It has often been criticised for its high independent school intake, and is one of the most competitive colleges to gain entry to. The college is named after St Chad of Mercia, a 7th-century bishop.


St Chad's was founded as an Anglican hall in 1904, chiefly, though never exclusively, for those considering ordination in the Church of England. The college has its roots in the Catholic wing of the Church of England, and those roots are still evident in services in the college Chapel.

The beginnings of the college date back to 1902, when the Revd F S Willoughby, Vicar of Hooton Pagnell, near Doncaster, opened a small hostel in which to prepare men of limited means to enter one of the established theological colleges. The financial support of Douglas Horsfall, a wealthy Liverpool businessman and devoted churchman (who also funded the building of several large Anglo-Catholic churches in his home city) made it possible in 1904 to establish St Chad's Hall at Durham. St Chad's Hostel, Hooton Pagnell, was retained until 1916 as a preliminary place of study to prepare students to qualify for matriculation at Durham. The Hall became St Chad's College in 1919.

The college remains a Church of England foundation. For the first 70 years of its existence a high proportion of students did their undergraduate degree (in any discipline) at St Chad's, and then remained for postgraduate training for ordination. The college ceased formal ordination training in the early 1970s, and its current students still read for degrees across all departments of the University. St Chad's was among the last university colleges in the UK to admit women undergraduates: the final all-male year entered in September 1987.

Academic Profile


Though most Durham colleges are primarily residential rather than teaching institutions, St Chad's has its own research and academic staff. The college includes a number of institutes and research groups: the Durham Policy and Research Group, headed by Professors Fred Robinson and Ian Stone, which advises on government policy and conducts primary research into regional development and regional economics; the Durham Media Academy, led by accomplished filmmaker Professor Richard Else in conjunction with Triple Echo Productions - a Scottish-based film production firm; the Musike Academy, headed by conductor Jean-Bernard Pommier; and the North of England Institute for Christian Education (independent of the college), headed by Professor Jeff Astley. The North East Institute for Theological Education (an ecumenical institution of the Church of England, Methodist and United Reformed Churches) is also officially part of the college. Through this institute, over a hundred students are studying for Durham University certificates and diplomas via ordination and ministerial training programmes throughout the North East of England.

Collegiate Studies

All Durham colleges are interdisciplinary, enabling staff and students to broaden their study and research interests. St Chad's adds to this by running a collegiate studies programme, which complements departmentally-based studies. The programme is explicitly justice-orientated, reflecting the ethos and history of the college. Students and staff are introduced to complex social issues in the North East of England with study tours and seminars; they are invited to participate in a weekly programme of training-events that go beyond traditional transferable skills to include such things as ethical decision-making and introductions to fair-trade practices, social accounting and eco-friendly life-strategies.


St Chad's is, like all Durham University colleges, a 'recognised college' of the university, but it is not maintained by the university (St John's has the same status). This means that, though a full college of the university, it is financially independent and governed by its own board of governors. As a condition of recognition, the university's governing council must approve the appointment of both the Principal and the Chair of Governors and be notified of changes to its constitution. In contrast, the 'maintained colleges' are actually owned, governed and managed by the university itself.

The college has a trading arm, through which the college manages its non-academic activities. The status of the various institutes attached to the college varies, with some being wholly-owned by the college, and others being partnerships or joint-ventures with outside bodies.

The college is one of four Durham colleges designated by the university to accept open postgraduate applications in all disciplines. St Chad's thus has dedicated postgraduate residences and an unusually high percentage (more than 20%) of postgraduate students. The welfare of postgraduates is overseen by the college's Postgraduate Director.

Competition for membership in the college is fierce, and the college is the second most popular college (after the Castle) in Durham in terms of applications per place. Applications for postgraduate places similarly outnumber beds by a wide margin. Like other colleges, applicants are considered chiefly on the basis of academic merit. The College's Visitor is the Dean of Durham Cathedral. In line with recent changes in legislation, the role of the Visitor is now focused on adjudicating matters of college statutes and domestic laws. Ceremonially, the Visitor's college role is now akin to the Chancellor's role in the university.

College Traditions

Academic Dress

Along with most Bailey Colleges, St Chad's students wear their college gowns to Formal Hall, Matriculation, College Congregations and other academic or formal events. The college gown is similar to others in Durham, with the addition of green cord across the edge of the vented sleeves (in practice most undergraduates' gowns do not have this feature). St Chad's also has retained its own distinctive academic hood (of black stuff with green lining and trim): previously designed for graduates of the postgraduate diploma in theology (pre-1970s), the hood is today worn by graduates of the North East Institute for Theological Education and by Honorary Fellows.


Though all Durham University students now participate in large matriculation ceremonies in the Cathedral, St Chad's has, for over a hundred years, conducted its own matriculation. This signals the fact that students become members of the university through acceptance both by an academic department and by their college. Every student signs the university's matriculation book and pledges adherence to the rules and traditions of the college and the university.


The Chapel is overseen by the college Chaplain, an Anglican priest. Chapel attendance is entirely voluntary, given that the College accepts students without regard to their religious background. The college maintains a collegiate choral tradition, headed up by the Director of Music. Membership in the college choir does not require audition. The choir tours regionally and internationally and produces an annual CD of their music. The college offers a number of choral and organ scholarships every year.

Advent Procession

For over a half-century, the college has conducted an Advent Procession in Durham Cathedral. The candle-lit choral service is unusual in not solely anticipating Christmas, but in anticipating the Second Coming, which is the traditional theological focus of the Advent season itself. The choir splits into two, with one group seated in the choir and the other processing from the entrance to the Cathedral. The two groups call back and forth to each other, using chants based on the Great Advent Antiphons. These antiphons form the basis not only of the advent procession, but also of the popular advent hymn, "O come, O come, Emmanuel." The procession is advertised widely in the City of Durham; after the event, the college hosts its annual reception for city residents.

Formal Hall

Twice a week throughout the whole academic year, members of the college don gowns and gather for a formal meal. This tradition brings students and staff together, even though fellows and their guests sit at high table. This not only enables students who are living out to keep in touch with their friends and tutors, but it enables the college to entertain official guests regularly.


The college has a number of feasts throughout the year. Both the Dining Hall and the Quad are used to provide a five-course meal for up to 250 people. Among the largest is the Principal's Feast, usually scheduled to coincide with St Chad's Day. The Visitor's Feast, a relatively new tradition, welcomes the Visitor to the college for a formal 'visitation'. Feasts are often used to induct new Fellows into the college.

t Chad's Day

St Chad's Day begins before sunrise with a noisy wake-up call, designed not just to wake up students, but neighbours as well. A pre-breakfast Pimm's Reception leads on to college invasions and then to a green breakfast. Students wear green clothes and body paint to their lectures and seminars, gathering at noon for a run around Palace Green, accompanied by the college's goat. The day ends with a Feast or a dance.


The college's motto, "non vestra sed vos" (literally "not yours but you") reflects the college's beginnings, when it sought to enable students of modest means to gain access to a university education. Thus the motto commits the college to being concerned with the person, rather than with what the person owns.


The college has a modest endowment, which is enough to fund significant annual capital improvements, up to ten professorial fellowships and several dozen named scholarships. About 20% of its income comes from public funds, a further 20% comes from research activities, with the rest raised through student fees, donations and conference income. The college is currently an exempt charity. The college's turnover is just over $2 million, and total assets as of 2006 were £5,981,676 (based on a deliberately conservatve evaluation of the college's properties). In 2008, the college's previous Bursar, Mrs Christine Starkey, was jailed for fraud, for having stolen close to a half-million pounds, which would otherwise have been in the college's endowment. Mrs Starkey had inflated the costs of major building projects and had transferred the funds directly from the college's account to her own, hiding the transfers in bulk bank-to-bank BACS transfers.

Accommodation and buildings

Students who study at St Chad's are accommodated in nine different houses: No. 1, Main College, Lightfoot House, Langford, Grads (which contains one of the oldest hanging staircases in England) and Ramsey House all house undergraduates; Hallgarth Street, Epiphany House and Trinity Hall are home to the college's postgraduate community.

Main College houses the major public areas and most college offices. At the centre of Main College is the Quad, a glassed-in quadrangle built for the college's centenary in 2004. The college's dining hall, the Moulsdale Hall, is adjacent to the Quad. The Durham Media Institute, the college bar and gymnasium are located in this building.

The three library rooms on the ground floor of Main College (the Bettenson Room and the Brewis and Williams Libraries) contain the core curricula texts for many of the courses currently on offer in the university. However, the Williams Library has now solely been assigned for the use of Conferences. There are two more libraries on the first floor: the Wetherall Library, which houses most of the Theology and Philosophy collections; and the Research Library, which contains the Church History and Liturgy collections of the college, as well as a collection of older books. The Fenton Library, which opened in October 2006, is located on the third floor. Comprising three separate rooms, the Fenton Library is used primarily for private study, containing approximately thirty individual study carrels.

The university holds most of the college's medieval manuscripts and its oldest books.

The College Chapel was built after the first world war. Intended only as a temporary building, the unheated woodframe building seats 120 people and has been in continuous use. The Chapel's contents are older than its structures, with older donated pews from various churches and a ballroom dance floor from a decommissioned ocean-liner.

Epiphany House, in addition to providing student housing, is also home to the North of England Institute for Christian Education and the Durham Policy and Research Group.

Most of the college buildings are Grade II listed.

ocieties and events

Since its foundation, the college has been noted for its Boat Club which has a distinguished record of winning races and regattas. Recent wins include the inter-collegiate Novice Cup, novice coxed IVs in the Durham colleges' Senate Cup, York Small Boats Head and Durham Regatta. The college football team was promoted to the Men's 1st Division in 2007 under the captaincy of Ali Gordon, and in the 2007/2008 season the captaincy has passed to Tom Inns and Andrew Jenkins. Currently the most successful Chads sports team is Chads B Table Tennis, captained by James Ufland, and currently vying for promotion into the top flight.

2008 has seen the re-establishment of a theatre company at St Chad's, the newly-named Green Door Productions, which aims to promote all aspects of theatre within the college, be it acting, directing, set design or backstage work.

Every year the college hosts a Candlemas Ball. Founded in 1956, this is one of the older and more flamboyant balls in the university. It is recognised, along with University College's June Ball, as being one of Durham's versions of the University of Cambridge's May Balls.

College Fellows

Dr Joseph Cassidy has been Principal of St Chad's since 1997. A Canadian social ethicist and Anglican priest, he is also a non-residentiary Canon of Durham Cathedral.

Senior College Officers include the Principal, the Senior Tutor, Chaplain, Librarian, Bursar and Commercial Director. In addition, St Chad's has over 30 College Fellows, Research Fellows and Research Associates, plus 20 tutors, who act as mentors for both undergraduates and postgraduates. The college offers up to 10 annual visiting fellowships to academics of all disciplines. A further 60 university staff associate themselves with the college, chiefly through membership in the Senior Common Room. The college has awarded over twenty honorary fellowships, usually to distinguished alumni of the college, but also to others who have made significant contributions to church or public life.

=List of Principals=
* 1904 The Revd Dr Stephen R. P. Moulsdale (became Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, 1934)
* 1937 The Revd John S. Brewis
* 1947 The Revd Canon Theodore S. Wetherall
* 1965 The Revd Canon Dr John C. Fenton (became Canon and then Sub-Dean, Christ Church, Oxford, from 1978)
* 1978 The Revd Ronald C. Trounson
* 1989 The Revd Professor David Jasper (became Dean of Theology, Glasgow University)
* 1991 Mr Eric Halladay
* 1994 The Revd Dr Duane W. H. Arnold
* 1997 The Revd Canon Dr Joseph P. M. Cassidy

Notable Chadsmen

* Matthew Amroliwala, BBC Television News presenter
* H.E. Mr. Nick Archer, HM High Commissioner to Malta
* Stephen Bicknell, Organ designer and lecturer at the Royal Academy of Music
* Gary Bills, Poet - Peterloo. Bluechrome.
* Arthur Bostrom, actor who played Officer Crabtree in 'Allo 'Allo!
* Bishop Sydney Caulton, Dean of Auckland, Bishop of Melanesia
* The Rt Revd Alan Chesters (bishop) CBE, Bishop of Blackburn 1989-2003.
* J. Michael Clarke, composer and musician
* James Collard, journalist, Times Magazine
* Anthony Crichton-Stuart, Art historian
* Adrian Dannatt, child actor, artist and journalist
* Brian Evans, Cricketer, Hertfordshire batsman
* Gary Ferguson, Academic, Professor of French
* Tim FitzHigham, Perrier Best Newcomer award nominated comedy writer and performance artist
* Archbishop Drexel Gomez, Primate of the West Indies
* Tim O'Gorman, Cricketer - former Derbyshire opening batsman
* The Very Reverend John Robert Hall, Dean, Westminster Abbey
* Gwyneth Herbert, Singer
* The Rt. Rev. John Inge, Honorary Fellow, Bishop of Worcester
* The Rev. Professor John McManners CBE FBA, Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Oxford and winner of the Wolfson History Prize
* Brigadier Allan Mallinson, novelist and military historian
* Richard Ovenden, Head of Special Collections, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
* Giles Ramsay, Dramatist and theatre director
* Michael Ramsey(Lord Ramsey of Canterbury), former College Tutor, Fellow, Governor and Visitor, Archbishop of Canterbury
* Bishop Anthony Russell, Honorary Fellow, Bishop of Ely
* Maeve Sherlock, OBE, Honorary Fellow, former Chief Executive of the Refugee Council and policy advisor to Gordon Brown
* Martin Speight, former Durham County Cricket Club wicketkeeper
* Mike Spurr, Director of Operations, HM Prison Service
* Robert Swan, Honorary Fellow, Explorer - the first person to reach both the South and North Pole on foot

ee also

*Chad of Mercia

External links

* [ St Chad's College] official website
* [ St Chad's College JCR] undergraduate student organisation
* [ St Chad's College MCR] postgraduate student organisation
* [ St Chad's College SCR] staff organisation
* [ St Chad's College Rugby Club] College rugby club
* [ St Chad's College Education and Skills Programme] Education and Skills Programme
* [ Annual Candlemas Ball]

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