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Durham University

St John's College

College Officers

The College Officers are the Principal, the Warden of Cranmer Hall, the Deputy Principal, the Director of Finance and Administration, and the Senior Tutor. They comprise the College's senior management team and they report to College Council and its sub-committees.

Revd Professor David Wilkinson



Tel: 0191 334 3895


David Wilkinson is the Principal of St John’s College and Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion in Durham University.


Before working in Durham as a theologian, he was a scientist and then a Methodist minister in inner city Liverpool. David’s background is research in theoretical astrophysics, where his Durham PhD was in the study of star formation, the chemical evolution of galaxies and terrestrial mass extinctions such as the event which wiped out the dinosaurs. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and has published a wide range of papers on these subjects.

After this research he trained for the Methodist ministry, studying theology at Fitzwilliam College and Wesley House, Cambridge. He then served in a variety of appointments, including a growing church in Liverpool and as Methodist chaplain at Liverpool University.

David arrived in Durham in 1999 and held a Fellowship in Christian Apologetics at St John's College, and taught systematic theology in the Department of Theology and Religion.

His current work involves the relationship of the Christian theology to contemporary culture, from science to pop culture. He has had a long interest in the dialogue of science and religion, especially as it impacts the physical sciences. God, Time and Stephen Hawking (Monarch, 2001), Christian Eschatology and the Physical Universe (T&T Clark 2010) and Science, Religion and the Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence (OUP, 2014) are examples of that work. This work forms some of the undergraduate and postgraduate teaching that David does in the department where he teaches modules in science and theology. His second Durham PhD is in Systematic Theology and explored Christian eschatology.

Dr Anne Allen

Acting Principal


Telephone: 0191 334 3873


Anne manages the implementation of University strategy within the College, oversees the construction of the College’s new library and leads on fundraising.


Born in Bishop Auckland, Anne came to Durham in 1986 to read archaeology and after a spell working for English Heritage and further study at St Andrews returned to do a PhD with a research fellowship from the National Maritime Museum. She has subsequently worked mainly in the North East including on the senior management team at The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle and Barnard Castle Vision. For 12 years she ran Bowman Solutions consultancy, delivering culture & heritage development projects across the region for local authority and private sector clients. Anne returned to Durham University in a fundraising role for the Business School in 2014 and has served on University Council and St John’s College Council. Following a secondment to St John’s as Development Director in 2017 she took on a new role as Deputy Principal in September.

Revd Dr Philip Plyming

Warden of Cranmer Hall


Tel: 0191 334 3866


As well overseeing the life of Cranmer Hall, Philip teaches leadership and New Testament and has also written on Harry Potter.


Philip has been Warden of Cranmer Hall since May 2017. Originally a linguist (German, French and Russian) he trained for ordained ministry at Cranmer Hall in 1998-2001, before undertaking doctoral study at the University of Edinburgh. He worked for 16 years in parish churches in Hampshire and Surrey, before returning north to a role he loves.

Mrs Angela Cook

Director of Finance and Administration


Tel: 0191 334 3870


Angela manages the budgets and oversees the financial and operational aspects of College life.


Angela comes from West Yorkshire, where she trained as a chartered accountant. Before joining St John’s College she was Financial Manager at Traidcraft Exchange. She became Assistant Bursar (Finance) in 2004, and in 2014 took on the position of Director of Finance and Administration for the College. Students often see Angela about a variety of issues, or when they’d like to view her impressive shoe collection.

Dr Rebecca Bouveng

Senior Tutor


Tel: 0191 334 3892


As Senior Tutor, Rebecca’s role is to foster a stimulating College environment for academic, cultural and social engagement, to promote student wellbeing and personal development, and ensure the efficient administration of undergraduate and postgraduate matters.


Rebecca originally came to Durham from Sweden as an undergraduate at St John’s College, to study for a BA in Russian and Politics. Her PhD studies, also at Durham, explored the role of messianism in Russian statecraft and identity. Throughout her studies she was engaged in community development, working with asylum seekers and refugees, and children and young people in the North East, and also worked part time in healthcare. After her PhD studies Rebecca worked in the private sector, before returning to academia as a postdoctoral researcher. 2013-2017 Rebecca was part of the management team of the postgraduate only Ustinov College, Durham University, with responsibility development of the the Ustinov Global Citizenship Programme.

Rebecca joined St John’s College as Senior Tutor in December 2017. She is also Durham University’s Academic Liaison for Global Citizenship and works with students and staff across the Matariki Network of Universities to develop the Matariki Global Citizenship Programme.

Contact us

The Principal's Office

St John's College 
3 South Bailey 

Office hours: 9:004:30pm

T: 0191 334 3856


St John's College, Durham is a recognised College of Durham University and incorporates Cranmer Hall. Charity No. 1141701 Limited Company No. 113496 (England and Wales) VAT No. 334 6364 57.