There's a lot to learn about college and Durham in general but don't fear, if its important its on this page, handily organised into categories. Any current student can add to or update this information so that everyone can benefit from each others' experiences.
Welcome to the College of St. Hild and St. Bede: which has a full time Chaplain and the largest College Chapel in the University. We tend to do things on a grand scale here!
The College is a community, and as such there is as much learnt by living together, as there is in the library or in lectures. The Chaplain’s role in this community is to share in the pastoral care for the whole community, and to be concerned for each member of the community’s welfare. So regardless of whether you have a faith commitment or not, I am someone you are very welcome to talk to, about anything, in confidence. You will often find me at meals, or checking the quality of ale in the bar, playing squash, or out and about in the College, so do say hello, and ask if you want a chat. I also have an office in St. Hild’s Main Building in Lower Cloisters, so you can also try and catch me there.
The Chapel of the Venerable Bede was built in 1939, and is a flamboyant, majestic and quiet space, built very close to the school of Education. In 2007 it became a Grade Two listed building. It is for all to use, and is a good place to ‘chill’. It is open during the day, but at night you will need a key from college reception to get in. Part of my role is to organise the services in Chapel, and to support those who are on a journey of discovery in faith. The Chapel services are open to all, but if you are of a different faith from the Christian tradition I can also put you in touch with those of a similar faith. The Chaplaincy is made up of students and members of the Senior Common Room, and we meet for services on Sundays and through the week, details of which are given on the weekly term card. The College has a very strong choral tradition, and our choir is amongst the best in Durham. We appoint eight choral scholars a year and three organ scholarships: so if you’re interested for applying for these, please let me know.
One of the great things about University is the potential to develop almost any interest you want to. For many it is a time to develop a spiritual life. The Chaplaincy aims to help with that in inviting guest preachers and running courses in the Christian faith. Also in Chapel there are many ways to be involved: from singing, to serving, to leading services and prayers, to helping run the Chaplaincy, or being involved with campaigning on social justice issues or being involved in community outreach. I hope that your time in Durham will be very happy. If it is not, there is a lot of support around, and I am part of that support network. I shall be praying for you as you prepare to come here, and I look forward to meeting you, and matching your photo to the reality!
The Rev’d Fr. Jonathan Lawson College Chaplain