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St John's College



Help with a Major Research Project

A research group led by the Principal are currently reviewing the attitudes of church leaders towards science. We currently have over 900 responses but need a few more. If you are a church leader from any denomination (and you could be lay or ordained) we would be delighted if you could fill in the on-line survey – click on the link below. You do not need to know anything about science! 

(15 Dec 2017)

Visiting Fellow publishes new book for Lent

One of our College Visiting Fellows, Alan Bartlett, has written a new book for Lent.

In 47 daily Lenten reflections on readings from Luke’s Gospel, beginning on Ash Wednesday, Alan Bartlett examines how we see Jesus.

(15 Dec 2017)

Appointment of new Senior Tutor

 St John’s College is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Rebecca Bouveng as its new Senior Tutor.


She originally came to Durham from Sweden as an undergraduate at St John’s, to study for a BA in Russian and Politics. Her PhD in politics, in the field of international relations explored narratives of messianism in Russian statecraft, geopolitics and identity.


Throughout her PhD studies she was engaged in grassroots community development, working with asylum seekers and refugees, and children and young people in socially deprived areas of the North East.


In 2013 she joined the management team of the postgraduate only Ustinov College as Assistant Principal (College Life), taking on responsibility for student support provision including complex welfare cases and the mentor system, and developing the Ustinov Global Citizenship Programme, which forms the umbrella for academic and personal development initiatives in College. Rebecca has a strong interest in student-led learning, social justice and critical approaches to global citizenship education. Over the past year and a half she has been involved in the development of global citizenship initiatives at university and international level within the Matariki Network of Universities and the emerging Matariki Global Citizenship Programme.

(13 Nov 2017) » More about Appointment of new Senior Tutor

Cranmer Hall Diamond Jubilee!

October 2018 sees the 60th anniversary of the founding of Cranmer Hall as part of St John’s College Durham.

To launch a year of special events we are having a Diamond Jubilee Service at Durham Cathedral on Saturday 29 September 2018 at 11am, followed by a Celebration Buffet Lunch in College.

All Cranmer Hall alumni and friends are warmly invited and it promises to be a wonderful occasion to thank God for his many blessings and meet up with those who have been part of the special story of Cranmer Hall, Durham. 

Please save the date in your diaries and watch out for more details in the New Year.

(31 Oct 2017) » More about Cranmer Hall Diamond Jubilee!

David Wilkinson comments on the value of BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day

David Wilkinson comments on the value of BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day in the Radio Times.

Read what he has to say here: 

(31 Oct 2017)

Local Giving

This year in John's our focus is on the positive impact we may have on the community. Led primarily by the student run St John's Common Room, several Community Outreach projects will be launched in the coming weeks, aiming to aid those is local schools and offer support to a local charity 'RT Projects', which in turns seeks to offer refuge to those coping with mental health issues. It is important that as members of the St John's community we recognise the relatively privileged position in which we find ourselves and the responsibly which this carries. St John's students have the opportunity to really affect the lives of those in the local community - be that offering exam advice to Sixth Form students or engaging with arts and crafts classes. The impact of even the smallest amount of volunteering should not be underestimated. 

While the Community Outreach scheme is in its infancy at the moment, we are looking to expand our reach so to help numerous sectors in society. However, as it is a volunteering project, it is unlikely that it will be able sustain its self and therefore we look to our Alumni and friends and any financial support which they may be able to offer. 

As you are most likely aware, we are also still in the process of raising funds for the new Learning Resource Centre. This project is in an exciting stage as number 17 South Bailey has been demolished and archaeologists are currently excavating the site before the building commences. We are still short of our target for this project and would gratefully receive any further donations. Of course, the generosity already given to this project has been outstanding so we understand that many may not be able to sacrifice any more.

In order to facilitate any contributions you may be kindly willing to offer, we have set up a 'local giving' page.  All donations will help support both of these ongoing projects, and any contribution you would be able to make would be very much appreciated.

(30 Oct 2017)

Borderlands 2017

On the evening of Wednesday 25th October over 200 members and friends of the St John's community gathered in a packed lecture room to hear the Honorable Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb speak on remorse and the criminal justice system. The lecture was titled “What’s done cannot be undone” (Macbeth V. ii. 74).

You can read the transcript of the lecture here:

The Principal comments:

'It was great to see a full lecture room last night for our annual Borderlands Lecture. Our speaker weaved in a wide range of subject areas into exploring her central theme of ‘remorse’ – it was brilliantly done and a great model of what a Durham education is all about.'

(26 Oct 2017) » More about Borderlands 2017

Café Scientifique

We were delighted to welcome Professor Stewart Clark of the Physics Department to our first Café Scientifique of the year. He took us through the strange world of quantum theory (and a little bit of relativity as well). The Tristram Room was packed out with students from all different subject areas.

It was brilliantly arranged and chaired by Miro Cafolla one of our postgrad physicists.

The Principal

(20 Oct 2017)

Introducing Richard Everett, Visiting Fellow

The Visiting Fellow in residence at College for Michaelmas term is Richard Everett. Richard arrived in College on 9th October and he will be with here all term with the exception of a couple of weeks in November.

(10 Oct 2017) » More about Introducing Richard Everett, Visiting Fellow

Christopher Byworth

It is with sadness that the College learnt of the death of Christopher Byworth who was Warden of Cranmer Hall (1979-1983). The funeral arrangements for Christopher have now been finalised and the details are as follows:

Wednesday 13th September, 1.45pm at St. Paul’s Church, Skelmersdale, WN8 8ND followed by St. Helens Crematorium at 3.30pm.

We give thanks for his life and ministry and hold his wife Ruth in our prayers.

The Principal

(7 Sep 2017)

The Principal on Eschatology

The Principal contributes essay to new book on Eschatology. 

The essay is called:

The Accelerating Universe and New Creation: Christian eschatology in the face of scientific futility

It is published in 'Game Over? Reconsidering Eschatology'.

(7 Sep 2017) » More about The Principal on Eschatology

The Principal is in the US

The Principal is currently in the US where he is speaking about the relationship of science and theology. He did seven talks speaking to hundreds of people in Charlotte around the total eclipse, and then moved on to San Diego where he addressed the prestigious City Club.

He is now travelling to Western Carolina University and then the Headquarters of World Methodism at Lake Junaluska in North Carolina.

(25 Aug 2017)

Celebrating the success of St John's alumni

One of John’s former students, Charlotte Hurst, has won an award for Young Plant Scientist of the year for her PhD research in Dundee.

(9 Aug 2017)

Welcome to the new Cranmer Hall Tutor

Cranmer Hall is delighted to announce the appointment of the Revd Sarah Strand as our new part-time tutor.

The interview panel and the students who met Sarah were impressed with her pastoral, theological and team working skills, all of which are rooted in a disciplined, prayerful and mature faith. She expressed a clear calling to this role and demonstrated a real passion for training church leaders for the future.

Sarah is a Cranmer alumni, having completed an MA in Theology and Ministry in 2014. She lives in Redcar and is currently finishing a part-time curacy, having also served as a hospital chaplain during IME2. She is married to Matt who is Vicar of Kirkleatham and they are parents to Zachary, who has just turned one.

(9 Aug 2017) » More about Welcome to the new Cranmer Hall Tutor

The Principal is captured by the Dark Side!

At a talk in Newcastle recently that the Principal gave on the spirituality of the Star Wars movies, he found some interesting members of the audience, as pictured. The talk was called 'The
Power of the Force: The Spirituality of the Star Wars Films'.

(8 Aug 2017)

St John's Prizewinners

At the end of the summer term the University congratulated two of our students in special ways.

Matthew Toynbee was awarded the Rochester Prize which is given to the top performing first year Science undergraduate. Matthew is a mathematician and was joined by his family for the presentation ceremony. The name of the award honours Professor George Rochester (1908-2001), distinguished former Professor of Physics and Pro-Vice-Chancellor. The Principal was a good friend of Professor Rochester and was himself the recipient of the Rochester Prize when he was a Physics undergraduate and when the prize was awarded for final degree results.

At the same event, Alice Pearce of the Department of Psychology was one of only seven students from across the science faculty selected to present a paper in the Rising Stars Research Symposium for her final year undergraduate project ‘Evidence for an Early Cortical Mechanism for Texture’.

Congratulations to both Matthew and Alice.

(27 Jul 2017)

Read about our new MA in Digital Theology in the Times Higher Ed

The Times Higher Education has recently published an article discussing the new MA in Digital Theology, which is being offered by Cranmer Hall for the first time this year. The MA is also a world first in this subject area.

(26 Jul 2017)

SJCBC Boat Naming

St John's College Boat Club held a boat naming ceremony at the Durham Regatta to name the new VIII after Mally Yates. Mally Yates was the first female tutor in the College, when St John's became mixed.

(27 Jun 2017)

Student Volunteering Achievements

Congratulations and a big thank you to all of our students who volunteer their time with local charities. College, along with Experience Durham, would like to pass on thanks to those students who've made a contribution to the incredibly important engagement programme. Students volunteer in a number of ways and these numbers include all volunteering through a Durham Student Organisation.

Throughout the period October through to March, St. John's College has had 23 active volunteers who have achieved a brilliant 193 volunteer hours. Our college's top volunteers have been Thomas Collier, George Ray and Eleanor Brown. They have all really gone above and beyond!

(27 Jun 2017)

Cranmer Hall now offers MA in Digital Theology

Cranmer Hall, the theological training centre within St John’s College, hosts a unique suite of Master’s-level programmes in theology for ministry. In partnership with CODEC Research Centre for Digital Theology we are pleased to offer the world’s first MA in Digital Theology, exploring the impact of digital culture on religious practice and thinking. We also offer an MA in Consultancy for Mission and Ministry, training those with experience of Christian ministry to provide relevant, high quality consultancy for church work and church workers across a range of areas and approaches to the church’s mission and ministry. Both of these MA courses build on the strengths of our long-established MA in Theology, Ministry, and Mission, which continues to equip lay and ordained Christians to play a leading role in the development of Christian mission and ministry in the UK and internationally as practitioners, educators and enablers of the whole people of God. Each of these courses can also be a route into the professional Doctorate in Theology and Ministry (DThM), delivered in partnership between St John’s College and the Department of Theology and Religion, and offering opportunity for extended research on an area of theology as it relates to the practice of faith.

(26 Jun 2017)

Cranmer Hall Explore Day

In October, College will host the visit of the leading Anglican scholar, Ashley Null for what Cranmer Hall call an ‘Explore Day’ on Thomas Cranmer, on 6 October. The day will explore Cranmer’s context within the English Reformation, how new research helps us see him in a different light and how all this affects how we understand his theology of the eucharist. This day forms part of St Johns College’s commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and is co-sponsored by Durham University’s Centre for Anglican Studies.

(23 Jun 2017) » More about Cranmer Hall Explore Day

John's/Chad's Day Victory

We are pleased to announce that St John's was victorious in the annual John's/Chad's Day sporting competition on Tuesday.

The Principal David Wilkinson comments:

"After two years of hurt, the Wilkinson-Cassidy cup is gleaming now in St Johns.

Well done to all who took part in John’s/Chad’s day and especially to those who won!

Training starts now for next year."

After a full day of sporting fixtures, the two colleges came together in the evening to share in friendship and comradery with two formal dinners held simultaneously at St Chad's and St John's. What a great way to end the day!

(15 Jun 2017)

Visiting Fellows awarded by Archbishop of Canterbury

We are delighted that on 9th June two Visiting Fellows at St John’s were given awards by another John’s alumnus, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Anne Harrison, pictured here received The Thomas Cranmer Award for Worship - For her sustained and outstanding contribution to music in worship.

Visiting Fellow Sir Andreas Whittam Smith, received The Canterbury Cross for Services to the Church of England  - For his outstanding contribution as First Estates Commissioner of the Church of England.

(15 Jun 2017) » More about Visiting Fellows awarded by Archbishop of Canterbury

CK Barrett Centenary Conference

Charles Kingsley Barrett FBA was born on 4 May 1917 and became one of the greatest British biblical scholars of the 20th century. He served as Professor of Divinity at Durham University for 24 years and wrote commentaries on the Acts of the Apostles, John, Romans, 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians.

To mark the Centenary of his birth and a new volume of his and his father’s sermons, we hosted a one-day conference in College which included a lecture by Dr Ben Witherington III on C K Barrett as a preacher and the launch of the book.

(13 Jun 2017) » More about CK Barrett Centenary Conference

Professor Pete Ward on One Love in Church Times

Was One Love Manchester an answer to the Thy Kingdom Come wave of prayer, asks Professor Pete Ward, Professorial Fellow in Ecclesiology and Ethnography in the Department of Theology and Religion.

Pete's article in the Church Times can be read in full here.

(13 Jun 2017)

Student Sporting Success

It’s been a huge week for sport at St John’s! Team Durham held their annual College Festival of Sport on Thursday, with John’s achieving 2nd place overall thanks to the following scoring results:

Badminton – 1 and 3

Women’s Football – quarter finalists

Hockey – 1

Lacrosse – 2

Squash – 2 and 3

Table Tennis – 2

Frisbee – 6

There were also strong performances in men’s football, basketball, and rugby.

A huge well done to all involved for achieving the best result John’s has ever had in Festival of Sport.

Elsewhere in college sport, the rounders and cricket teams have been dodging the rain and maintaining winning records. The men’s cricket team have secured back to back wins, while the rounders team remains unbeaten all season.

The sporting focus turns to John’s Chad’s Day, the biggest sporting day in the John’s calendar, after Saturday (10th) saw our women’s cricket team deal Chad’s their first of many losses with a comprehensive 116 run victory. Special mentions must go to Bernadette Waddelove and Kirsty Gledhill for their incredible 132 run partnership.

(13 Jun 2017)

Principal discusses the limits of mankind on BBC Radio

On Sunday the Principal, Revd Professor David Wilkinson, took part in a 30 minute discussion on BBC Radio Ulster on "Has mankind reached the height of sophistication – morally, intellectually and spiritually – or is it going backwards?"

He was joined by Professors Tina Beattie and John Brewer.

(8 May 2017)

Alumnus and former Cranmer Hall Tutor appointed as Bishop of Sheffield

The College is delighted to hear of the appointment of the Very Revd Pete Wilcox as the next Bishop of Sheffield.

Pete completed a degree in modern history here at John’s and would later return to serve as a team vicar in the Parish of Gateshead, while assisting in the training of ordinands at Cranmer Hall as Director of its Urban Mission Centre.

(10 Apr 2017) » More about Alumnus and former Cranmer Hall Tutor appointed as Bishop of Sheffield

Durham University Department of Theology and Religion

Durham University has been ranked third in the world for Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies.

(8 Mar 2017)

Cranmer Hall Research Impact

College research is being quoted by the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Josiah Idowo-Fearon. Dr Idowu–Fearon was speaking to ordinands, staff and guests at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute on Wednesday February 22, where he gave a lecture entitled ‘Global Anglicanism – Where Are We Now?’

The article linked below reports that the Archbishop referred to a collection of essays edited by David Goodhew, Director of Ministerial Practice at Cranmer Hall, called Growth and Decline in the Anglican Communion: 1980 to the Present, which highlighted that from 1970 to 2010 the Anglican Communion as a whole grew from 46 million people to 86 million people.

Here’s the link: 

(28 Feb 2017)

Public Lectures at St John's

Over the past week we have had a packed programme of public lectures including:


Dr Barbara Sattler, our Fellow from the Institute of Advanced Studies who illustrated an outstanding lecture on time and speed in Greek philosophy with reference to our women’s rowing crew in a race against St Chad’s.


Alumnus Jonathan Cox, Deputy Director of Citizens UK who spoke about how his time as DSU Rep on the JCR Exec developed the leadership and organisational skills that he would deploy later in professional life.


Michael Wear, the founder of Public Square Strategies LLC, and a leading expert and strategist at the intersection of faith, politics and American public life, spoke about religion and politics in the US. He was one of the youngest White House staffers in modern American history: he served in the White House faith-based initiative during President Obama’s first term, where he helped manage The White House’s engagement on religious and values issues, including adoption and anti-human trafficking efforts.

(23 Feb 2017)

Appointment of new MATM Director at Cranmer Hall

We are delighted to announce the appointment of the Revd Dr Nicholas Moore as MATM Director at Cranmer Hall. Among a strong field he was the unanimous choice of the panel who were particularly impressed with Nick’s application and interview together with his accomplishments and publications to date. 

Raised and educated in Durham, Nick completed his undergraduate and doctoral studies in Oxford before returning to the Diocese to serve as Curate in Stranton, Hartlepool. He is an accomplished young scholar with an impressive track record in research and publication.


(21 Feb 2017) » More about Appointment of new MATM Director at Cranmer Hall

Principal’s book on SETI now published in paperback version

New in Paperback

Published: 16 February 2017

ISBN: 9780198797685


(21 Feb 2017)

Revd Dr Liz Kent appointed Director of Wesley Study Centre

We are delighted to announce that Revd Dr Liz Kent will be joining the team as Director of the Wesley Study Centre. She brings so many gifts: deep faith, missional passion; considerable experience in circuit ministry; academic credentials, and a long history with the study centre. We are really looking forward to welcoming here onto the Cranmer Team.

(15 Feb 2017) » More about Revd Dr Liz Kent appointed Director of Wesley Study Centre

Second wave of Scientists in Congregations grants unveiled

Scientists in Congregations, which is part of Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science, a three-year Durham University project run in partnership with the Church of England, has unveiled its second wave of grants.

(15 Feb 2017)

The Principal discusses the role of science in society

On Sunday morning the Principal took part in major discussion on the role of science in society on BBC Radio Ulster with former presenter of Tomorrows World Maggie Philbin and Dr Norman Apsley, the CEO of the Northern Ireland Science Park. The discussion began with CP Snow's two cultures of science and the arts and moved to the relationship of science and religion in contemporary culture.

(15 Feb 2017)

Principal interviewed on Radio Newcastle about Good Friday project

The Principal was interviewed on Radio Newcastle about a Good Friday project which is supported by St John's.

In 2014 the College worked with the BBC on a live Good Friday broadcast 'The Great North Passion'. This artistic and community retelling of the passion story has continued in inspiring local churches.

Last year over 300 churches throughout the country took part and this year church groups are being challenged to retell the Good Friday story in "unique and public” ways

(1 Feb 2017) » More about Principal interviewed on Radio Newcastle about Good Friday project

The Principal visits Oxford

The Principal recently spoke at Radley College and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory on a visit to Oxford. 


At Radley he preached at evening prayer and then around 100 of the boys attended a session on science and religion with an extended time for question and answer.


At the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory he gave a public lecture on 'The science and social impact of SETI' to a diverse audience of scientists and folk from local churches.

(31 Jan 2017)

St John's hosts strategic world leading conference on robotics and artificial intelligence

Last week the College's project funded by the Templeton World Charitable Foundation, 'Equipping Christian Leaders in an Age of Science' hosted over 40 senior church leaders, scientists and theologians exploring the theme of 'What does it mean to be human' in the light of advances in robotics, artificial intelligence and the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence.

(10 Jan 2017) » More about St John's hosts strategic world leading conference on robotics and artificial intelligence

The Principal on the Magi and the feast of Epiphany

On Sunday morning the Principal did interviews with 13 BBC local radio stations on the visit of the Magi and the feast of Epiphany. He discussed the possibility that the star was a comet, a supernova explosion, a planetary conjunction or indeed a miraculous sign in the sky. He also spoke about the theology of the Epiphany story in terms of how Matthew in his gospel brings together the sign of the light in the heavens with the revelation of the scriptures in order to direct the Magi to Jesus.


In fact this subject was so popular that at the same time, Dr Anthony Smith, Cranmer ordinand and himself a former astrophysicist also did a number of local radio interviews.

(10 Jan 2017)

Revd Dr Philip Plyming appointed Warden of Cranmer Hall

Revd Dr Philip Plyming appointed as the new Warden of Cranmer Hall in St John’s College, Durham University.

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Revd Dr Philip Plyming as successor to Bishop Mark Tanner as Warden of Cranmer Hall.

Philip is currently Vicar of Claygate in the Diocese of Guildford and also Area Dean of Emly. Holy Trinity Claygate is a very large parish church which has seen significant growth over the years and which has also sought to resource other churches in their mission.

(21 Dec 2016) » More about Revd Dr Philip Plyming appointed Warden of Cranmer Hall

Former tutor appointed Principal of Ridley Hall, Cambridge

St John's College is delighted to hear the news that one of our former Cranmer Hall tutors, Rev Dr Michael Volland, has been appointed as Principal of Ridley Hall, an Anglican theological college in Cambridge.

Michael was supported by the College in his doctorate here at Durham and was nurtured in his thinking and teaching as Director of Mission at Cranmer Hall. His appointment at Ridley strengthens a traditional friendship between Ridley and Cranmer, which is complemented by Durham validating the degrees of students at Ridley through the national Common Awards.


(12 Dec 2016) » More about Former tutor appointed Principal of Ridley Hall, Cambridge

Memorial Choral Evensong for Canon Dr Tim Yates

On Wednesday 19th October a memorial choral evensong was held for Canon Dr Tim Yates, one of our former Wardens of the College. On this occasion the sermon was preached by Jo Cundy, a close friend of Tim and Mally and herself married to another former Warden, Bishop Ian Cundy. Here is the text of the sermon.

(23 Nov 2016) » More about Memorial Choral Evensong for Canon Dr Tim Yates

Pioneer Churches report by Canon Dr Robin Greenwood

Visiting fellow, Canon Dr Robin Greenwood, reports on 'Emerging Futures for Anglican Churches in Australia', about a recent two month journey facilitating conferences and workshops in five Australian Dioceses. The material was based on the work Robin did as William Leech Fellow 2013-2015. The paper was requested by the Australian Anglican Commission on Ministry.

(23 Nov 2016)

Scientists in Congregations Awards

The Scientists in Congregations Awards have been presented by Archbishop of York at Bishopthorpe Palace.

The Principal, as project leader of the Templeton sponsored Equipping Christian Leaders in an Age of Science based at St. John's , with Dr Kathryn Pritchard led an event which presented the first round of grants to initiatives from local churches to further the dialogue of science and faith. This Scientists in Congregations scheme is intended to enable scientists within churches to partner with church leaders for the benefit of church and community in exploring the big questions.

(23 Nov 2016) » More about Scientists in Congregations Awards

Brian McLaren visits College

On Friday 21st October, American theologian and author Brian McLaren popped into College for lunch during his UK tour. He is pictured here alongside the Principal, Dr Matthew Guest, Revd Alison Wilkinson and Revd Dr Calvin Samuel.

(26 Oct 2016)

New Academic Dean for Cranmer Hall

Cranmer Hall is delighted to announcement the appointment of Dr Jocelyn Bryan as Academic Dean, from January 1st 2017, when the current Dean, Revd Dr Calvin Samuel, will be leaving to start as Principal of London School of Theology. We are sad to be losing him, but pleased for him in this new appointment.

 Dr Bryan has been working for Cranmer Hall for the past 2 years as Post Graduate Director. Before that she served in this capacity as a tutor in the Wesley Study Centre.

(20 Oct 2016) » More about New Academic Dean for Cranmer Hall

Conference in honour of David Day

On 17th September St John’s College held a day conference on the Craft of Preaching in honour of David Day, who celebrates his 80th birthday this year. David, a former Principal of St John’s College, is an inspirational preacher and teacher of preaching, and the College wanted to mark his rich contribution to the life of the Church. Speakers included David Wilkinson, Kate Bruce, Geoffrey Stevenson, Jamie Harrison and David himself. The day was extremely well received with excellent feedback. In the evening of the same day we held a dinner in honour of David, attended by family, friends and colleagues. The catering team did a superb job, and the meal was accompanied by a serving of brilliant entertainment in the shape of mime from Geoffrey Stevenson and a range of speeches from the Principal, Bishop Alison White, and Dr Margaret Masson (Principal of Chad’s) with a typically engaging and witty riposte from David Day.

(11 Oct 2016)

Vice-Chancellor Student Scholarship Awards

St John's College, despite its smaller size, has once again demonstrated that the academic excellence of its students does not go unnoticed by the wider University. The College was proud to learn that five Johnian Undergraduates have been awarded the Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship in Academic Excellence for the 2015-2016 academic year.

The scholarship was awarded to Amy Porter, Emily Daws and Nina Kumin for achievements in Music, to Yong Chang Chin in Sociology and to Geoffrey Cobb in Biosciences.

The Principal, David WIlkinson, was delighted to join this group of John's students in celebrating their achievments at the Student Scholarships event at Durham Castle on 6th October.

(11 Oct 2016)

Dr Calvin Samuel appointed Principal of London School of Theology

St John's College is delighted to announce that our Academic Dean & WSC Director, Calvin Samuel, has been appointed to be the next Principal of London School of Theology.

Calvin has been part of the College community since 2010, initially as Director of the Wesley Study Centre and latterly as Academic Dean. Under Calvin's oversight recent initiatives such as the Free Church Track and our innovative partnership with Northern Baptist College for the training of Baptist Ministers have come to fruition and we have seen growth in the number of Cranmer Undergraduates who have joined the College community.

Calvin has been an outstanding colleague and good friend over the last 6 years and whilst we will be sad to lose him we are also thrilled at this new appointment for his life and ministry.


(10 Oct 2016)

Dr Kathryn Pritchard discusses religion and science in 'Nature'

One of our College research projects, ‘Equipping Christian leaders in an Age of Science’ which is headed by the Principal has led to our project manager Dr Kathryn Pritchard being commissioned by Nature to write an article. This a somewhat of a first for science and religion in this journal!

Read the article, 'Religion and science can have a true dialogue', here:

(28 Sep 2016)

Leading thinkers in science and technology contribute to new book

Written for general readers of all religious backgrounds, Reason and Wondera new book published by SPCK, introduces some of the most fruitful discussions now taking place between leading thinkers in science and theology. As Professor Priest writes in his Preface: ‘In this integrated approach, the notion of science as a monolithic concept is shattered. Instead, the sciences and humanities represent a rainbow tapestry, linked by a common search for understanding, using reason and imagination.’

(5 Sep 2016) » More about Leading thinkers in science and technology contribute to new book

Death of Canon Tim Yates

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Canon Tim Yates, former Warden of the College, member of our Development Board and one of the leading thinkers in Anglican missiology.


Tim was a member of staff of St John's from 1963 to 1979 and Warden of Cranmer Hall from 1971 until 1979 . With the then Principal John Cockerton, Tim saw the College through changing times, not least in the acceptance of women into the College. Together with his wife, Mally, who was the first female tutor in the College, they influenced a generation of students. Their love and support of the College continued. Tim wrote the first history of the College as a contribution to the College's celebration of its seventieth anniversary in 1979, with second and third editions printed in 1981 and 2001. For the past eight years he served as a member of the College Development Board, giving his time in fundraising and consulting on the design for the new Learning Resource Centre.


Tim was one of the leading Anglican missiologists of his generation and shaped an area of thinking long neglected in the UK. We were delighted to host a book launch for his 'The Conversion of the Maori', an outstanding book combining Tim's skills as historian and theologian. 'Christian Mission in the Twentieth Century', 'Twentieth Century Missiology: Issues and Thinkers' and 'The Expansion of Christianity' leave a legacy of essential reading for anyone interested in mission either home or abroad.


We will so miss Tim's graciousness, his prayerfulness, his sense of fun and his deep commitment to what St John's can achieve for both the Church and the University.


The Principal

(4 Feb 2016)

Watch the 2015 Borderlands Lecture

On 19th October 2015 Lord Peter Hennessy delivered the St John's annual Borderlands lecture on “History, politics and Government: living on the borders and the rims”.

The lecture can now be viewed in full here:

(4 Feb 2016) » More about Watch the 2015 Borderlands Lecture

St John's hosts fracking and climate change conference

St John's College is hosting six conferences on fracking and climate change. Senior church leaders across all denominations will attend to hear leading scientists such as Richard Davies and a range of faculty staff from the Earth Sciences Department alongside theologians such as Ruth Valerio (ARocha), Bob White (Faraday Institute) and Cranmer alumnus Michael Roberts. The conference is held by Rev. Prof. David Wilkinson and Professor Tom McLeish and is funded by the Templeton Charitable Foundation.

(12 Jan 2016)

Aegrotat degree for Pete Wake

In the autumn term, a special ceremony was held at Kings School in Wimbledon. Pete Wake experienced head injuries in Durham City during the time that he was a third year undergraduate at St Johns. A top historian and outstanding rower, Pete's academic and sporting career was cut short. However on the basis of his work up to this point, the University took the unusual step of awarding him an Aegrotat Degree. It was conferred in his absence in summer 2015 but the Principal led a ceremony in Pete's old school close to the hospital that he now resides in. Pete's father Phil, his mother Anne and brother Chris were joined by a large group of family and friends in this celebration of his achievements.

You can visit the Pete Wake Trust website here

(22 Dec 2015)

The licensing of the new Warden of Cranmer Hall

The Principal is delighted to announce that the welcome and licensing of the new Warden of Cranmer Hall, Rev Dr Philip Plyming, will take place at 6pm on 8th May at St Oswald’s Church, Church Street, Durham DH1 3DQ. The service will be followed by refreshments in the Leech Hall at St John’s College. We will also be welcoming and licensing Rev Dr Nick Moore as our new Director of the MA in Theology and Ministry and welcoming Rev Dr Liz Kent as the new Director of the Wesley Study Centre.


(29 Mar 2017) » More about The licensing of the new Warden of Cranmer Hall

The Cundy Christian Unity Lecture

Bill Marsh will be speaking at this year's Cundy Christian Unity Lecture on “Resolving the Unresolvable? Mediation and ethics in divided churches in a divided world”.

There is no shortage of conflict – Syria, Yemen, Brexit, the Church and human sexuality, to name a few. But what does it all mean? Is conflict an inevitable and proper assertion of difference, or a failure of dialogue and connection? What are the limits of compromise? And what is the role of the Church in all this – problem or peace-maker? In this year’s Cundy lecture, Bill Marsh will offer thoughts from the coalface of conflict, and explore the realities of trying to build peace.

(9 Feb 2017) » More about The Cundy Christian Unity Lecture

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