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Durham University

St John's College

John's Beyond: College life online

We naturally associate St John’s College with our buildings – our strangely interconnected Georgian townhouses, with endless corridors and peculiar features, now with the addition of the slick, modern glass and stone construction that is the Learning Resource Centre. This season is proving that the community of St John’s goes far beyond bricks and mortar: we are finding new ways of coming together as a community while being apart, and of living our traditions and values.

SJCR activities

The SJCR volunteers have come together to create another programme of virtual events, much like their original set of welfare Stress-less events at the beginning of the pandemic. Find the programme of events here and to get involved go over to the John's Beyond Covid Facebook page. Also check out the events calender:

College virtual formal dinners

In the Easter term, we were excited to host our first virtual formal dinners, and have continued this into the academic year 2020/21! Here is the format: our very own John’s chef John composes delicious menus and recipes, with accompanying demos, for students and guests to cook the meal in their own home. On Zoom we arrange breakout rooms so that guests sit on a ‘table’ to catch up with friends from around the College. As per custom, the Principal says grace and gives an after-dinner-speech. We also continue to invite internal and external speakers from across our community to join us virtually and give speeches relating to the formal’s theme. Even when 'normal' formal dinners are resumed, we will continue to hold virtual formals, as they offer a wonderful way of connecting with students and friends of the College from across the globe.

Student support and welfare

The Senior Tutor’s Office offers student support via teams, telephone and email, as well as other online platforms when required, and this is working really well so far. Feel free to get in touch on to set up an appointment. In addition, our College Mentors continue to keep in touch with their tutees online, and the SJCR Welfare Team offer daily peer support sessions and weekly sessions with the Disability rep on Skype.

Academic peer support

Despite social distancing, the academic drop in sessions continue! Thanks to Skype and virtual sessions, students are still enjoying each other’s (virtual) company, receiving academic peer support on a number of topics, from essays and research proposals to Academic English, history, maths, stats, Latex or coding. To connect with these sessions, please contact Resident Tutor Miro in advance on

Virtual Open Mic

John’s Music Society, JMS, have continued since the beginning of the pandemic to run virtual musical events. They have run virtual choirs and even aided socially distanced performances. If you have any questions please feel free to email

Covid-19 Response

See here for St John's College response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Please note that operational changes are in place during the pandemic and these changes have not been reflected on each page of this website. For more information, contact us on

The John’s Chronicle editorial team are calling for contributions of stories in lockdown and other topical issues – email to submit your piece. We are currently recruiting to editorial team 2020/21 and interviews will take place online – visit this page for more information.

Staff are still meeting regularly on Microsoft Teams and Zoom and are not feeling socially isolated!

Follow us on Twitter @StJohnsDurham

Like us on Facebook for the latest news and stories

View our latest snaps on Instagram

Experience St John's College: visit our YouTube channel

Join the John's Beyond COVID Facebook group to keep up to date with College life in lockdown!

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.