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Summer / 2013

Contents 2013


Editorial / The Master >


JCR President now and then / Lizzie Stockdale and Peter Lee-Wright >


Music: Moving & Memorable >


Feature: Serious Journalism: Injured but Alive / The Master, Mark Damazer >


YouTube / Simon Clark (JCR) >


News in Brief >


Gaudies >


Feature: Kurt Jackson: My Oxford >


Feature: The Shape of Language: Humanitas 2012 >


Tutorial Highlights / Professor Henry Mayr-Harting >

24 Arts at St Peter’s: A Retrospective from a Nostalgic Finalist / Jessica Campbell (JCR) > 28 Arts at St Peter’s: From Cello Lessons to Fashion Shows / Lily Green (JCR) > 30

Sport at St Peter’s / Andrew Thomas >


Sport in Brief >


From St Peter’s to Where? / Kate Longworth interviews The Very Revd Dr Chris Hancock >


Meet the Porters >


Meet the Development Team >


Keeping in Touch >


Some Answers about Online Giving >


Events 2013 >

Editorial A word from The Master

Welcome to this year’s Cross Keys – a little earlier than in previous years in order to space out more evenly your diet of the College’s news, achievements and challenges.


The Anniversary Celebrations for the 50th year of Collegiate status are over but we have continued to stage events in the hope of providing alumni, students, fellows and staff with enlightenment and appropriately brainstimulating entertainment. The highlight has been the week of public lectures given by the outgoing BBC Director General (and I know there have been several of those this year), Mark Thompson, now Chief Executive of the New York Times. The Chapel was satisfactorily packed throughout. I want St Peter’s, in addition to its formidable other achievements, to be seen as a place where there is consistent engagement, at the highest, with other professions – not just the media. To that end I hope that in the next twelve months there will be more public events – and I would, of course, be delighted if you wished to come back and attend. You will first come across the St Peter’s porters – the friendliest imaginable – and featured on page 38. Our cover features Karl Hudpsith – three times a blue and President of the University Boat Club for last year’s ruined race. This year’s Oxford win was just reward for his fortitude and dignity in dealing with that series of misfortunes. We have had a vintage year in the arts and drama too alongside the lustre of the music here – hence the pieces by Jess Campbell and Lily Green (pages 24 and 28). I hope very much that we sustain this creative energy – brought about primarily by the students. Our website now contains news about forthcoming events – and in a new calendar form which you can subscribe to. So it should be easier to know what’s going on – and organise your diaries. Furthermore the Development Office is at the forefront of the Collegiate University’s use of social media – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and so on. Students here too have been involved – see Simon Clark’s piece (page 12) in this edition. I have been a weaker blogger this

year and my Tweets are in an embryonic stage of development but I will aim to improve rapidly. It is very important for us here all to know that there are thousands of you around the world who remember St Peter’s with fondness and appreciate its virtues. I have recently experienced this sense of connection in North America, Europe and Asia. We are planning many more national and international events in the coming year. The College is devoted to education above all – and solidarity between generations and disciplines both reinforces the College’s mission and often helps to bring to light other characteristics. Please enjoy this cross section of life at St Peter’s and with best wishes to you all. l

The Master, Mark Damazer CBE

JCR News


Elizabeth Stockdale (JCR President 2013) and Peter Lee-Wright (JCR President 1969) discuss the changing demands of JCR premiership.


he year was 1969. Man landed on the moon; the Beatles walked across a zebra crossing; Peter Lee-Wright (History) was JCR President of St Peter’s College. Now, in 2013, much has changed about the world and, more importantly, the JCR. I am the current president (Lizzie Stockdale, PPE) and I met with Peter to talk about differences and similarities in the role between then and now. Starting at the very beginning, it seems JCR elections have undergone quite a transformation. Now we have a formal system in which candidates present a manifesto to the JCR and are subjected to an hour’s worth of questioning in the form of ‘hustings’. The election is then done online the following day. Candidates tend to run with specific policies and it can be a fairly political election but proper conduct is required. However, things were different in the elections of ‘69. It was apparently a more populist affair, with candidates representing the ‘football lads’ and the more ‘free-spirited’ hippie guys. Unlike the highly civil campaigns run today, Peter claims he won because one of the other candidates was caught engaged in slanderous propaganda against him – a bit of backfire! As well as the election procedure, the actual role of JCR president has definitely changed. At the height of trade unionism, Peter says he saw himself more of a union representative, standing up for the JCR against a College that did not seek to include the student views as it does now. As JCR President for 2012-2013, I am expected to attend almost every College meeting and be the main point of communication between the College

‘Things were different in the elections of ‘69. It was a more populist affair, with candidates representing the ‘football lads’ and the more ‘free-spirited’ hippie guys’

and the students, and vice versa. Not only are the views of the JCR taken into account, we are very lucky now in that they are actively sought. Being President today is more about collaboration with College, but it doesn’t appear that the Master during Peter’s reign would have been a fan of this approach! Our present Master, Mark Damazer, had not been in the job very long when I became President. Similarly, Sir Alec Cairncross was the new Master when Peter took up his post. As well as this, they have in common a liking for Sunday breakfast with students. While Mark Damazer thought he had the original idea of sophisticated Sunday brunches of tapas and prosecco in the SCR, Sir Alec was actually doing this 45 years ago – though with perhaps a rougher style. Instead of the delicate cured meats and risotto the JCR gets today, the offering was haggis and whiskey, and it had to be in that order! But aside from a desire to enrich the culinary experiences of the JCR, the two Masters have very little else in common. According to Peter, the ‘unwashed’ students were kept at arm’s length by Sir Alec – an economist for the UK Government – who was not exactly sympathetic with the left-ward leanings of the JCR at the time. The President-Master relationship was anything but blissful. Due to an unfortunate accident Peter had with a gas ring in a College annexe, Sir Alec referred to him as ‘the pyromaniac’, even after he had begun his career with the BBC. It can’t have helped the relationship with College that, like me, Peter decided to give up the President’s room to experience student life

JCR News

properly on Cowley Road. While being in the depths of ‘In-College East Oxford isn’t a problem for me as I can be contacted activism seems to by mobile or email, in 1969, the Head Porter was made to cycle up to fetch Peter if his appearance in College was have increased: Peter claims needed. Technology has certainly moved on, as have the liveliest College rules. Peter chose the freedom of a rented house JCR meeting in as those living in were subject to a midnight curfew, and his time was of course no women were allowed to stay the night – a the one which very different scene to what the porters of 2013 see! involved try-outs The students that make up the St Peter’s JCR look for University different, too. In-College activism seems to have Challenge’ increased: Peter claims the liveliest JCR meeting in his time was the one which involved try-outs for University Challenge. Although the team that was eventually chosen ‘disgraced itself’ by being kicked out in the first studio round, St Peter’s is yet to do better. Some things clearly never change. Outside of the JCR though, students were very active in the student movements of the time. They engaged in protests about the Vietnam War, and their links with the Situationists in the Sorbonne even got them raided by the police! The priorities for change in College were also very much of the time. Peter remembers having to go to the Master with the proposal that everyone should be allowed to go to Hall in bare feet – far removed from my task of trying to update the College printing system. It may seem that the St Peter’s JCR is a completely different place, but there are lots of similarities. The role of JCR president has always, and is to this day, been seen as a job that provides great skills for the future. Peter says it was definitely helpful for him as he went through


the graduate interview process. As I look towards my own future, I hope that is still the case. Freshers’ Week is still a time for the Boat Club to persuade potential rowers to get on the river with the dubious tactic of free alcohol. But more importantly, St Peter’s retains an incredibly unpretentious atmosphere where the students are down to earth and care much more about enjoying the University experience than their social standing. I hope if I am asked to come back to the College in 45 years or so, I find this character going strong. l

A postscript from Peter Lee-Wright David Westbrook (1968) was killed in a road traffic accident on 18 April 2013. He was my friend. As students, we went on anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, enjoyed music in the old Stonehenge disco and in Hyde Park, and hitch-hiked through Europe together. He read PPE, became a psychiatric nurse, and was a founder member and former Director of the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre. He leaves a wife, Martina, a son, Sam, and two daughters, Katie and Anna.



2012 found a Chapel packed with reasons to be proud.


he St Peter’s College Music Society (SPCMS) had another busy year in 2012. The seemingly endless energy of Dr Roger Allen, Fellow and Tutor in Music, combined with the rich talents of current students, alumni, and friends of St Peter’s, resulted in a year of which we can be really proud. Michaelmas Term began with the deeply moving memorial service for the Revd Christopher Mark Jones (1972). The service on Sunday 14th October was preceded by a recital on the Barron Chamber Organ,

‘As ever, the Chapel was full for the Advent Carol Service, which was held on 25th November’

generously donated to the College by Christopher shortly before his death in 2012. The service itself took the form of an evensong, and allowed those present to reflect on Christopher’s commitment and generosity to St Peter’s during his long years of association with the College. On the 15th October, music- and media-minded members took advantage of the opportunity to hear the Controller of BBC Radio 3, Roger Wright, reflect in the Chapel on his long career in music and media. This dialogue with the Master is available as a podcast, and can be found on iTunes U. The next major musical event to take place at St Peter’s came later in October, when Opera Lyrica and St Peter’s College Opera collaborated to present two comic operas by Mozart: Der Schauspieldirektor and Die Zauberflöte. The talented cast and orchestra of young professionals, alumni and current students were directed and conducted by graduates of St Peter’s, and they performed beautifully. The annual College Concert was held in the Chapel on 17th November. It included Bruckner’s sumptuous Mass No 2 in E minor, as well as a breathtaking performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 4 in G major from second year pianist Tom Jesty. The concert was conducted by Dr Roger Allen and by David Quinn, the Senior Organ Scholar. As ever, the Chapel was full for the Advent Carol Service, which was held on 25th November. After feasting on music from Ireland, Rutter, Bach and Brahms, the congregation moved to the JCR for mulled wine, mince pies, and the traditional hog roast. Moving forward to 2013, on 3rd March the Chapel Choir and SPCMS Orchestra were joined by alumni and friends from across the country to perform Bach’s masterpiece, the St Matthew Passion. The work is performed biennially at St Peter’s, and this year the quality of the performance was simply outstanding. Nick Pritchard and George Coltart sang the parts of the Evangelist and Jesus respectively, and students from St Helen and St Katherine School joined to sing the Ripieno chorus. The SPCMS Lunchtime recital series has once again been a great success – and a particular delight for those in and around the College who are grateful for the revivifying effects of the College’s exceptional pool of musical talent. All are welcome at these free short concerts on Tuesdays in term time at 1.15pm. We are always pleased to welcome our alumni and friends back to the College for sung services of Choral Evensong on Thursdays and Sundays in the Chapel, at 6.15pm and 6pm respectively. If you would like any further details about these and any events at the College, please contact the Development Office. l

Serious Journalism


In a time synonymous with soundbites and twitterings, College Master Mark Damazer wonders how many column inches are left for deeper thought.


oe, woe, all is woe. Serious journalism is now confined to smaller pockets of once great national newspapers. Audiences are falling and fewer of us, particularly the young, are prepared to invest the necessary degree of concentration and commitment to find out what’s going on in the world. Or so we are often led to believe. The demise of serious journalism as a seminar subject has a distinguished pedigree, but it is now a very fashionable topic indeed with ‘serious journalists’ congregating all over the world to ruminate

Serious Journalism


and weep. It is often taken as a given that seriousness has lost – slaughtered by celebrity tittle-tattle, the rise of ‘soundbite culture’, and now by the giddy ascent of digital technology that renders newsprint in particular obsolete. What is serious journalism? This itself is a subject much loved by an industry with a strong self-regarding streak. At a recent conference – I am not immune to this sort of narcissism – a group of us grappled with the question and ‘decided’ it was about the elegant telling of stories that respect the intelligence of the audience, that does not avoid complexity, and that values evidence. And some serious journalism should be about holding power to account. This is all disputable. But what should be abundantly clear, and often is not, is that serious journalism is not synonymous with a particular technology – not even one with as glorious a history as newsprint. Nor is it confined to subject matter of obvious significance – politics, finance, international diplomacy, Mark Damazer at Humanitas, 2012 science, and the like. Sports journalism can certainly be serious. The exposure of Lance Armstrong by David Walsh of The Sunday Times was a magnificent and deeply serious piece of work – rewarded for the best part of a decade by libel suits from the yellow jersey holder of than when the BBC One bulletins are scheduled. More sports cheating, and periodic outbursts of abuse by ‘Online sites worryingly, Newsnight and Channel 4 News, still both fine the anti-doping arm of the International Cyclists’ are used in a programmes, have suffered audience drops, too. Governing Body. different way But the story is not that simple. Because serious It is not the case that serious journalism can only be to newspapers journalism in some places is not merely being written found in serious places. It was The News of The World, and with the and broadcast – but is flourishing. And sometimes in no less, that exposed in 2010 the latest (known) dose of exception of The citadels of old technology. Radio 4 – my former home match-fixing in cricket, which resulted in three Mail – they do not – has news and current affairs as its backbone. When I Pakistani players now having more time to listen to make money’ became its Controller in 2004 I inherited a rather well Test Match Special (with their prison guards) and less argued consultants’ report that foretold gentle but nonto actually playing the game. And it was The Mail that negotiable decline. Who needed radio when there were made most of the running in the Stephen Lawrence case 24-hour TV news channels and you could sate your – when the police had more or less given up trying to eyeballs and eardrums with a myriad internet-based get convictions. diversions? But it has not turned out that way. The Today The doomsayers have plenty of obvious ammunition programme has 7 million people a week tuning in for at – particularly those who love papers. The graphs least bits of it. Although the audience may be enraged showing newspaper circulation – both broadsheet and by the occasional inanities and interruptions, they are tabloid – resemble black run ski slopes. Twenty years served up enough vibrant debate and analysis to keep ago, The Sun sold 4 million copies a day – now it’s down them at least somewhat informed about what’s going on. to about 2.7 million. The lost readers have not gone The new technology has brought us some to The Guardian or The Telegraph – both way down. distinguished successes. In the US is a Profitability has sunk – in the case of, say, The Telegraph – hugely regarded website for political news and analysis. or been wiped out altogether for The Guardian. The latter Here, Conservative Home is not merely a way of keeping now survives thanks to the success of the somewhat up with right-of-centre politics, but a major source non-serious Autotrader. Its online business, if not focused for political journalists writing in historically more on what most journalists would define as conventionally established titles. And without a camera embedded in a serious matters, provides decidedly serious financial mobile phone we would not have had the evidence that ballast for the Guardian Trust, which presides over showed a policeman beating up the newspaper vendor both publications. Ian Tomlinson (who subsequently died from his injuries) It’s not just print – the oldest of the old media – where in 2009 during a G20 summit in London. the damage is manifest. When I edited the evening And the health of newspapers can no longer be television news on BBC One in the early ‘90s audience judged by newspaper circulation figures. Virtually all figures below 7 million caused furrowed brows and newspapers now choose to publish on the web as well prompted us to cook up morale-enhancing excuses as in print. The numbers racked up by online versions about the poor state of the drama programmes that of newspapers (and indeed the BBC) make for startling preceded our suitably virtuous offerings. Now the reading. The Guardian has 4.5 million browsers a average for the 10 O’Clock News is well under 5 million. day around the world – and now thinks of itself as At least some of that can be explained by the rise of an international liberal brand, not an English radical 24-hour news channels – so viewers can now get their newspaper. The Mail is closer to 6 million a day – though dose of compressed reality when they want – rather

Serious Journalism


its website is based largely on celebrity fluff. To a degree the online figures make up for the slump in print. But – and it is a big but – the online sites are used in a different way to newspapers. With the exception of The Mail, they do not make money. Readers can now pick and choose what they are interested in – and they can do it at speed. They have an almost infinite choice of journalistic goodies available at the touch of a screen from thousands of publications from hundreds of countries. But rather than all this leading to a broadening of horizons, there is some evidence that online browsers choose to explore fewer topics. The average reader of a physical newspaper will spend far longer reading it than the average browser of a newspaper website will read online. Behind the huffing and puffing of some newspaper editors during the Leveson inquiry lies something beyond a belief that they alone should be allowed to define when the invasion of privacy is justified by a public interest. Even before Leveson, they were finding Nixon leaves the White House – will journalism ever produce another Watergate? it hard to keep the idea of a newspaper as a bundle of different types of content – the idea being that the reader might buy a paper because of Wayne Rooney’s ghosted, and no doubt valuable, insights into the mind of Sir Alex Ferguson but might then be delighted to encounter on a advertising revenue. The advertising space in a printed nearby page some enlightening analysis of, say, the crisis ‘There is still newspaper brings in a great deal more money than in Greece. This may seem a self-serving justification for advertising clicks on the web – often 10 times as much. the contents of many tabloids – but there was a logic to it, an audience for elegantly And, needless to say, total advertising income is also on and the web has eroded it. The editors now fear that the told stories that black run ski slope. new tougher regulatory regime – and it will be tougher – In all this we should stop and wonder how it was will kill off their bundle of the daft and the uplifting once with audiences treated as that the burgeoning content on the web came for so and for all. Editors fear they will no longer be able to tell citizens and long free of charge. In many places it still does. It costs their readers quite as much about the private lives of the not merely nothing to read The Guardian online – it costs £1.20 to glamorous and powerful and they know that not many consumers’ buy the printed version. You do pay for the BBC News will bother to buy the paper merely to read the analysis website – but only through the licence fee and not when of Greece – should those editors still bother providing you use it (much to the annoyance of a large part of the it. And so ineluctably circulation will fall and the wilder media industry). Others have now put their content shores of the web, where regulation does not reach, will behind a paywall – with mixed results. When The Times finish off the papers once and for all. online started charging three years ago it probably The economic challenges to mature media businesses lost 80 percent of its online readers. But the Financial go way beyond the financial impact of a somewhat Times, selling a niche product in addition to its splendid different balance post-Leveson that is likely to be struck general news coverage, has done better. The New York between freedom of expression and the right to privacy. Times may soon have more digital subscribers, each Not many, anywhere, have found a business model that paying several hundred dollars a year, than readers of sustains seriousness. Not everyone has an Autotrader the forever smudgy printed version. (and that can’t forever help The Guardian’s losses). For Serious journalism normally costs money. For the the time being, there are enough newspaper proprietors most part the best stuff comes from those who know around who, whether driven by nobility, vanity or a how to get access both to information and to people. desire to secure access to the mighty, are prepared to It needs people (we can call them journalists) who put up with reduced profitability at best or eye-watering can filter, decide priorities, write, edit – and it often losses. But that too is not a given. Not all the great requires access to expensive lawyers who can beat ‘legacy’ titles will survive and some are a shadow of their off those who wish to suppress important news or former selves. The Washington Post may have given us in control it. Watergate the greatest scoop in the history of American There is still an audience for elegantly told stories journalism, but that was 40 years ago and it is now with audiences treated as citizens and not merely decidedly less sophisticated a product – The Los Angeles consumers. Many different models are being tried Times too. to bring in the money that once reliably flowed from And no matter how well you integrate a newsroom newspapers and commercial broadcasting. Something and cajole or force your journalists to be comfortable will work – though there will be serious casualties writing for a medium, the web, that demands constant and by 2025 many newspapers will probably have updating (unlike newspapers), it still costs a lot of disappeared as physical entities. I regret that – but money to distribute content in different ways. You what matters is the content and not the wrapping. The need to employ designers, engineers, and at least a doomsayers have not won. l few more journalists. And then there is the problem of

Social Media


A Should universities’ outreach strategies be more ‘bottom-up’ and less top-down? St Peter’s YouTube maestro Simon Clark thinks so.

s a student coming to Oxford from a non-standard background – the first in my family to attend university, educated at a state comprehensive school – the issue of access to the lofty halls of Oxbridge has been important to me from the day I arrived. The life-changing opportunities that three years at Oxford afford a young person should be open to everyone of commensurate ability, regardless of their social or economic background. My criticism of the outreach work done towards this goal by Oxford (and indeed by every other institution of higher education) has always been that it is impersonal, and focuses, perhaps justifiably, on a ‘top-down’ approach. By this I mean that its access work has always given prospective students all the information about the University that they could possibly want – how many books there are in the libraries, how many

Social Media

‘The channel has accrued over 165,000 video views, with over 600 people watching each video within the first week of upload’

exams are taken at the end of each year, how much financial support a typical student can expect to receive. But what the access work has always lacked is what it feels like to be a student – how students balance their work and social lives, what the food in hall is like, what students think of their rooms and JCR. In other words, what most applicants would like to know! Of course, the reason why institutions such as Oxford have in the past chosen to focus on a ‘top-down’ approach is because in traditional media – paper prospectuses, leaflets – it is simple to represent the institution by statistics, and much more difficult, in terms of information content, to capture the individual. However, while a leaflet can express a few hundred words and a picture is worth a thousand, an online video is worth 24,000 words per second. The St Peter’s College YouTube channel is a series of just over a dozen such videos, produced over Michaelmas term 2011 and


released in Hilary 2012. The videos attempt to cover all parts of College life, from the sporting accomplishments of the JCR to the activities in the Chapel, and at the heart of each video is a series of interviews that I conducted with students across the years and subjects. The opinions and stories that these students present provide the thrust of the information content of the channel, and seek to construct the College as a collection of individuals. An ice hockey player discusses balancing studying all night with a 6am training session, a PPE student extols the virtues of taking a course in Arabic at the University Languages Centre, a Theologian praises how comprehensive the library’s resources are. The picture painted by these students is that of a College which they are proud of and grateful to. The last question which I asked in each of the interviews was ‘Why is St Peter’s the best College in Oxford?’, and without fail every student could provide, unprovoked, a host of reasons why applicants should only consider applying here. Foremost among these, indeed the reason for attempting a ‘bottom-up’ strategy, is the community that exists in the JCR. The greatest strength of our College is the students who form its statistics – the individuals who make the College such a dynamic, stimulating and, ultimately, fun place to study. They demonstrate that it is possible to thrive in one of the most demanding academic environments in the world and still pursue interests as diverse as football, music, and even the occasional drink in the bar. So why is this project special? Colleges are coming up with new ways to promote themselves all the time, surely? Well, SPCOxford was the first student-produced YouTube channel from any Oxford College. For the first time, students were using themselves to reconstruct their institution for applicants, using technology that was unavailable just a few years ago. Of course, trying a new approach does not guarantee success. But the channel has, as of the time of writing, acquired over 20,000 hits and 140 subscribers. Through the comments left on the videos by potential applicants we also have instant feedback, which indicates that students appreciate the personable perspective offered and that, encouragingly, they now wish to apply to the College. While the video production and coordination was done by me, the project would not have happened were it not for a dedicated team of people. Foremost among these is finalist historian Ryan Kemp, who during his tenure as JCR Access Officer did

more to raise the profile of the College and further the cause of Oxbridge access than possibly anyone else. Under his consultation the scripts for each video came into being, and the message of the College maintained. Special thanks must also go to Alice Wilby, the College’s Schools Liaison Officer, for proof-reading each video release and providing the support of the College. SPCOxford is not the only St Peter’s channel on YouTube. Since 2010, I have been running my personal channel as an attempt to shine a light on Oxford life, and to answer questions that applicants have. In particular, for the duration of this academic year I have been producing a fiveminute video blog (vlog) every week about life in Oxford, covering my studies, my (modest, in case tutors are reading) social life, and the city itself. This is an extension of the ‘bottom-up’ strategy pioneered with SPCOxford, and over the course of several hundred messages and over a thousand comments applicants have left on my videos I have been able to tailor my content to that which applicants find most useful. The channel has accrued over 165,000 video views, with over 600 people watching each video within the first week of upload. Does this represent a future way that the University should conduct its access strategy? While the traditional ‘top-down’ approach is justifiably going to remain the main way in which the University conducts its outreach work for the foreseeable future, I would hope that the potential (and limitations) of this new strategy can be recognised and attempted on a grander scale by Oxford. Perhaps in the age of easily produced, mass-consumed online media the student, rather than a large outreach division, can tell the school students of the world exactly what they can look forward to. l

Visit us online



News in Brief

St Peter’s Networks

St Peter’s is a special community which extends far beyond New Inn Hall Street. The College has networks all over the world through which alumni meet and share stories about their time in Oxford. Alumni gatherings have fostered business networking, new friendships, and general help and support. They are a valuable way to continue to benefit from your membership of St Peter’s. We have a committed and engaged body of alumni volunteers who are tasked with the job of keeping alumni in their area connected. Our Regional Representatives cover Northern Ireland to Nairobi, and Dubai to Hong Kong. They are an asset to the College and we are extremely grateful for the work they do. In the past few months, we have held events in Hong Kong, Toronto, Washington DC, New York and Madrid, and we have more planned for 2013. If you would like to put your part of the world on the St Peter’s map and become a Regional Representative for your area please contact Natasha Denness for further details. l

Year Group SPC 10 Representatives


To promote strong ties within cohorts we are currently recruiting Year Group Representatives. This will enable us to organise special year group activities in addition to the regular Gaudies. If you are interested in joining this new body of volunteers please contact Natasha Denness. l

St Peter’s has always been referred to as the friendly College, so it goes without saying we should lead the way in social media – and we do. The alumni Facebook page has over 2,000 likes, and Twitter and LinkedIn are nearing 1,000 followers. We also have a YouTube channel run by the students, a Master who blogs, and a Flickr page consisting of nearly 3,000 photographs. The social media sites are not only used to share news, events and photographs, they are also a great way for alumni to link up. As the audiences grow we hope we can develop a place where members can connect with others from their cohort, in their region or field of employment and so on. l

St Peter’s is about to launch an event programme for those who graduated within the last 10 years. This initiative is the result of feedback from our younger alumni and mirrors Oxford 10 run by the University of Oxford. We have recently appointed a volunteer to head the scheme (Amanda Lo Iacono, 2004) and the first event will take place on Thursday 11 July at The Oyster Shed, London. All alumni who graduated since 2001 should have received an email providing further details – if you have not then do contact Natasha Denness. We look forward to seeing many of you there and hearing your ideas about how the initiative can grow. l




Gaudy 1960 – 1964 Jocelin Harris, 1964 Those who matriculated between 1960 and 1964 were invited to a Gaudy in College on Friday 14th September. Some 65 graduates from those years attended, many of whom had been up in 1961 when St Peter’s Hall was granted its Royal Charter and full Collegiate status within the University. To start the celebrations the Master welcomed everyone to the Dorfman Centre and gave us all news of recent events and achievements, and a stimulating review of the Governing Body’s current plans for both academic development and the improvement and expansion of College facilities. The importance of contributions from graduates and friends of the College towards the cost of realising these plans was clear. There followed a lively drinks reception in the Chapel and an excellent dinner in Hall (a massive improvement over recollections of the catering in the early 1960s) which concluded with an entertaining and thoughtprovoking trio of speeches from The Master, Dr Laurence Goldman and Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts. For those staying in College who had sufficient stamina there was then an opportunity to move to the JCR bar and catch up with contemporaries – some of whom hadn’t met for nearly 50 years. Many thanks are due to the Master and all at the College who made such an enjoyable evening possible. l

Gaudy 1965 – 1969 Richard Heffer, 1965 It is the Ides of March, and at 5-15pm on a rainy Friday afternoon a group of old friends stroll along New Inn Hall Street fresh from a pre-drinks pint at their old haunt The Grapes... Forty-eight years after our first faltering steps through the Lodge, we are bound for the Master’s welcome in the cleaned Chapel; here the presentation screen awaits, and ranks of chairs are filling with elderly men in dinner jackets (no female undergraduates allowed in 1965, alas – but a few charming members of the Development and Alumni Relations Office are present, and we are delighted to see them). Mark Damazer CBE, our eloquent post-BBC Master, is on fine form; at ease, and speaking at length without notes on many aspects of current life at St Peter’s, giving insight into the complexities of undergraduate admissions and gender balance; this encouraging a lively question and answer session, before the popping of corks at the drink table heralds a pause for refreshment. We mingle; former tutors appear, including Rev William Watson, the irrepressible ‘Billy’, to much acclaim, before we progress to the dining hall. I am delighted to be sat next to Dr Francis Warner, my old tutor and friend, who somehow still manages to appear

younger than his former pupils! Now the familiar view of Master’s portraits and feel of hard benches let the years slip away, as during Grace one observes faces and voices so well known, once again present... Dinner is consumed, wine taken, and a hubbub engendered; the gathering producing a wealth of discussion and conversation; pasts caught up on, futures doubted, hilarity recalled; much picked up seemingly without pause from years before... Thoroughly enjoyable! Speeches are heard, and healths drunk, before the scuffle of feet is heard approaching the College bar, where we scan the throng for those who we missed at table; not term time, so no beer in the pumps! But resolutely we settle for bottles and welcome our overseas friends – well done Canada! This is the time for real fellowship; free from formality, a happy throng in a small room; news, matches seen, family developments explained, beards grown and shaved, ‘absent friends’ grieved for... But all too soon midnight looms, and black ties give way to nightwear in unaccustomed rooms. Breakfast is good, and welcome, and busy; much taking of email addresses, and consolidating future plans for meetings. Then, last private moments shared in rooms, we go our separate ways. I would like to express my thanks to all College staff who helped to make our reunion so pleasant, and rewarding; SPC 1965-69 – a good vintage! ‘Thank you for being here, for what we have shared.’ Francis Warner, Atheneum, 26:10:12 l

Kurt Jackson


Kurt Jackson


Kurt Jackson (1980) reflects on life at St Peter’s in the pre-Xbox generation.

Kurt Jackson



hinking back to Oxford days – it seems an awful long time ago now! The end of the ‘70s, beginning of the ‘80s. I had had a childhood in Hertfordshire, attending the local comprehensive and spending my time ferreting around the countryside in a feral sort of way, following my dual passions of natural history and art (I was the son of two artists). I was that pre-pre-Xbox generation that still followed a rural lifestyle of the outdoors; bird watching, tree climbing and generally mucking about in the countryside. This dual carriageway of science and art was actively encouraged and enthused by my parents and continued to develop right up until the sixth form when I found myself one summer holiday camping on a Greek beach with a girlfriend from school, immersed in the local wildlife and sketching at the same time. Here I met two blokes, recently graduated from St Peter’s where they had read Zoology. We shared a week or so together and they described their times at ‘Pot Hall’ and encouraged me to apply. At this time I had never really come across Oxford (or Cambridge) – it just wasn’t part of my comprehensive Hertfordshire world. Back at school I demanded to apply to Oxford – it seemed no one had ever read science at Oxford from my school and since I was the only pupil in the sixth form not to have been made a prefect (I got some teachers drunk on my homemade apple wine) it was a little unexpected. I attended the interview in a borrowed pink flared suit (it was the ‘70s) and met Professor Malcolm Coe – I could answer the questions and we had a good chat. Then came the entrance exam at school – out of the blue, all on my own in an empty room; I remember writing about Van Gogh – it seemed to go alright and I received my place at St Peter’s. I arrived in Oxford in 1980 – to me it was very ‘Now when exotic, exciting but also a bit foreign. I did feel out of we look back place in that rarefied atmosphere but also aware of Caroline and the incredible opportunities – the buzz of academia I feel that Oxford and research as well as the social whirl. The Zoology gave us the department’s modernist architecture put me at ease confidence to and I got stuck into the world of being a zoology do whatever student. The edge of Oxford’s rural treats and the river’s presence with its easy access was a delight and a we wanted’ bonus and useful as an occasional retreat. I discovered the Ruskin School of Art and began attending courses there – I had given up the offer of a place at the local art college to come to Oxford. I returned to my dual interests of natural history and the arts. Through the three years I was in Oxford I had times of self-doubt and questioned the purpose and reasons behind my degree – the arts did gradually become more prominent. I grew tired of the academic side to science and needed more contact with nature, I would often find myself sketching on the banks of the river rather than attending lectures. I became politically active with the Oxford groups of nuclear disarmament (CND) with the encouragement of the College Master, and I supported Friends of the Earth with the then much-discussed threats of acid rain, whaling and depletion of natural habitats. I went to the Amazon on a University expedition

with two Oxford fellow students searching for cancerbusting caterpillars but found new species of wasps instead – I still have the paintings. While there I spent time with the Indians, heard their troubled stories and on returning passed them onto Survival International. I continue to work with them and am now an Ambassador for Survival. The three years passed. I met Caroline – ‘my lover, my partner, my darling young wife’ (to quote Chris Wood!). She read Zoology at St Hugh’s in the year above me. I finished my degree, I was a BA Oxon. Then straight out of Oxford Caroline and I decided to set off for Africa to try and walk from top to bottom of this vast amazing continent. I had spent my first five years in Nigeria (from the age of one month old) and wanted to return to that place; I also wanted to visit the Tuareg, the Pygmies, the Tutsi, and the !Kung. Nine military coups and 15 countries later, we reached the border of apartheid-ridden South Africa, after nearly a year. Numerous sketchbooks were filled, my head was buzzing with the idea of being an artist, and life was laid out before me – exciting, colourful, and joyful – so much to get to grips with – so much to paint. I have lived in Cornwall ever since pursuing a career as an environmentally-informed artist. Now when we look back Caroline and I feel that Oxford

Kurt Jackson


gave us the confidence to do whatever we wanted. It was a launch into a vivid world, and now as 50-something-year-olds both equally involved in the arts we look back on that culturally-rich and vibrant time and realise what an important part Oxford played – a vital part in directing and channelling our lives. l

‘The Thames Revisited’ will be the next major exhibition in November 2013 at The Redfern Gallery, Cork Street, London W15 3HL. Two books about Kurt’s work have been recently published by Lund Humphries.

Kurt Jackson MA (Oxon) DLitt (Hon) RWA

Kurt Jackson MA (Oxon) DLitt (Hon) RWA was born is 1961 in Blandford, Dorset. On gaining his degree he travelled extensively and independently, painting wherever he went. He moved to Cornwall in 1984 where he still lives and works. A dedication to and celebration of the environment is intrinsic to both his politics and his art and a holistic involvement with his subjects provides the springboard for his formal innovations. Jackson’s practice involves both plein air and studio work and embraces an extensive range of materials and techniques including mixed media, large canvases, print making and sculpture. He has been Artist in Residence on the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, at the Eden Project and at Glastonbury Festival since 1999. He has an Honorary Doctorate (DLitt) from Exeter University and is an Honorary Fellow of St Peter’s College, Oxford University. He is an ambassador for Survival International and frequently works with Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, WaterAid, Oxfam and Cornwall Wildlife Trust. He is represented by the Redfern Gallery in Cork Street, London. He is an academician at the Royal West of England Academy.

Humanitas 2012



Humanitas 2012

Mark Thompson’s Inaugural Professorship in Rhetoric and the Art of Public Persuasion

Mark Thompson, former Director General of the BBC and new CEO of The New York Times, gave a series of lectures at St Peter’s as Humanitas Visiting Professor in Rhetoric and the Art of Public Persuasion. This was a significant and serious set of lectures, focussing on the ways in which political debate has shaped and been shaped by the forms of language we use. They attempted to explore the gap between ever-increasing access to information, and a diminishing public understanding of contemporary political issues. Mark Thompson said: “These lectures spring from an abiding interest in language and argument but also from my more than three decades as a journalist and public service broadcaster wrestling with the challenge of how best to help the public understand and engage with the big policy questions of the day. As an

Oxford humanities graduate, it means a great deal to me to be asked to become the University’s first Visiting Professor of Rhetoric and Public Persuasion.” Thompson drew upon his experience at the top of the BBC in offering case studies of the ways in which political issues are shaped by language. He used close analysis of forms of language to address some major issues: debates over healthcare; climate change; war. The lectures and symposium were accessible but academically rigorous, and their success was evidenced by the capacity crowd that filled the Chapel every evening. They were enjoyed by students, staff and academics, as well as media colleagues and the general public. The audience included some high-profile public figures, such as the University Chancellor, Lord Patten, Tim Davie (then acting DirectorGeneral of the BBC), Nick Robinson, and Sir Roger Bannister. The series ended with a symposium on ‘Politics and Language – Friends or Enemies?’ with Mark Thompson, Polly Toynbee, David Willetts MP and Lord

O’Donnell, chaired by Andrew Marr and modelled on his ‘Start the Week’ programme on Radio 4. David Levy, Director of the Reuters Institute said: “Mark Thompson’s lectures provided a series of beautifully crafted and insightful explorations into the ways in which some of the most pressing issues of our time are conceived, constructed and communicated by politicians and the media.” Humanitas is a series of Visiting Professorships at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge intended to bring leading practitioners and scholars to both Universities to address major themes in the arts, social sciences and humanities. Created by Lord Weidenfeld, the Programme is managed and funded by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue with the support of generous benefactors and administered by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities in Oxford. l For further information go to

Professor Henry Mayr-Harting

Professor Henry Mayr-Harting discusses lasting impressions.


It is a matter of great pride to me that I was for 29 years Medieval History Tutor at St Peter’s. I never got bored with tutorials. Anna Illingworth recently thanked me for never giving the impression that I had ‘heard it all before’. But the truth is that I rarely had ‘heard it all before’, least of all from her, one of the most independent-minded of my pupils. Almost everyone had their individual take on a subject, and it was a rare pupil on whose shoulder the muse never sat. Admittedly, one had to wait for her longer with some than with others, like a patient angler waiting for a bite on the line. I had the practice, after hearing an essay, of always building up its credit column before embarking on any criticisms, and that way I often surprised myself by how good I really thought the essay. Hence the following reminiscences are only a small selection of what I could have produced.

For most of my time as a tutor at St Peter’s, the first-year historians had as a set book the Northumbrian Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People (731), a vivid account of the conversion of the English to Christianity. Many of our students came from Tyneside or Teesside, and feared that they were going to have to make what they could, in Oxford, of a society of southern values, and southern toffs. Lo and behold? The centre of the world which they found themselves studying was their own northern world, of Jarrow, Wearmouth, Hexham, Yorkshire, and Hartlepool. Yes! Hartlepool was actually mentioned by Bede. A young man from Newcastle once wrote a marvellous essay about the Farne Islands, the islands off the Northumberland coast to which the great Holy Men Bishops, Aidan and Cuthbert, would retreat for prayer. This man was a good student, but here exceptional. I said to him, ‘how do you know so much about this?’ His answer fairly took my breath away. He said, ‘my grandfather was lighthouse keeper of the Farne Islands!’ I should have known it. His name was David Darling, doubtless a collateral descendant of the famous Grace Darling. From rather later than this in the 1970s one of the most brilliant of my pupils was David Edwards. A rowing blue in his second year, he gave up rowing in his third year to work for a first in History, which he got – and then at the age of 37 he became Professor of Pediatric Medicine at London

Professor Henry Mayr-Harting

University! To one of his tutorials he came with a lute which he had made himself, and played some Elizabethan lute music most beautifully. The paradox here is that he would never have done this had he thought that I was not really interested in English medieval history, or had he not been so interested himself. One of the strengths of the tutorial system at Oxford (not at every university which has tutorials) is that, because a tutor can never influence a student’s class of degree for good or ill, pupils do not have to tow the line; they have a certain independence from their tutors, and can say what they like to them. It was my delight that many of my pupils made themselves free with this liberty. One of these was a man as clever as he was friendly. While he was taking a course on the Carolingian Renaissance with me, I lent him my copy of one of the bulky volumes in French of Jean Devisse’s work on Hincmar of Rheims. When he gave it back he said, ‘interesting your pencil comments in the margin; they gave me a good idea of your line on certain topics.’ After a delicate pause, he added, ‘and they showed me which parts of the book you had read, and which you hadn’t!’ When David Eastwood, always a fine scholar and now Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, was a secondyear undergraduate, he came to see me once and said that he wanted to stay on after his finals to do research. I asked him what about. His answer was immediate: ‘about the effect of the French Revolution on English society.’ Not many years later he completed a fine doctorate on just that, showing how the economic effects of the French Revolutionary Wars put a greater strain on the institutions of rural England than they could bear and that was partly why in the 1830s, those institutions imploded. I always admired that long view and sense of scholarly purpose in my pupils, David and others. About the same time, he brought his delightful parents and his younger brother, Mike, to have coffee with me. After a while I asked Mike, then 12, what he was going to do later. With Eastwood definiteness, he replied, ‘I’m going to read history at St Peter’s.’ So he did, and like his brother he got a first. Mike is now administrator of the cathedral and diocese of Liverpool, the first in the Church of England to combine both tasks. During the late 1970s and the 1980s we had a number of powerful history years in the College, many of whose members have subsequently achieved great distinction in various walks of life. Many of the undergraduates in this period looked rather


raw intellectually when they arrived, but matured enormously during their threeyear course, mostly through each other’s influence and their mutual interest in what they were doing. I’ll give the example of Jonny Gray, because of the unusual mark his interest left on his family life later. Jonny was at that time intending to make his career in the army. When we bumped into each other in the quad he would greet me as ‘Professor (a title not then mine), and I would repay the compliment by calling him ‘General’. He took a course on the Crusades with me in his third year and I was impressed by his subtle understanding of crusader military tactics, as well as of the skul-duggery of some crusader barons. One of these, Tancred by name, a colourful character, particularly caught his imagination. Many years later his elder son was named – Hamish Tancred Gray! My morning tutorials began at 9.30, 10.45, and 12.00. One morning, in the early ‘90s, a man arrived for his 12 o’clock tutorial a quarter of an hour late, profusely apologetic – his alarm clock had not woken him up in time! Moreover, he had only a fragment of an essay. I explained to him my usual principle: no essay, no tutorial. He looked so crestfallen that I said, ‘OK, let’s hear the fragment.’ It could have been published! I remember the brilliantly expounded argument to this day. Two years later the same man wrote a BA thesis, in those days an optional extra, on a fascinating religious firebrand of the sixteenth century. Nobody knew that he had even intended to write a thesis until he produced a copy, bound and all, for me to see. ‘Where’s the Table of Contents?’ I asked him. ‘Oh, I hadn’t thought of that,’ he replied. But the thesis rightly got a firstclass mark. That combination of inspiration and disorganisation is not uncommon amongst the ablest undergraduates, in my experience. Two other optional BA theses stand out in my mind. One was by Gillian Orrell on Prostitution in nineteenth-century Shrewsbury. The highly respectable Gillian is an amusing, bubbly person, who gave as good as she got when she received the ribald comments of some of her fellows about this work, but it was a serious and in-depth study of the Shrewsbury Archives on the subject, which was properly awarded a first-class mark in her finals. The other was Chris Briggs’s thesis on the eighteenthcentury Westmoreland Quakers, again a witty thesis based on serious archival work. The external examiner in the Oxford finals that year commented on its brilliance and on how beautifully written it was.

My former colleague, Tim Mason, was always very keen on these optional theses (before such theses became a compulsory element in the university course, a regrettable development), and after his untimely death, Lawrence Goldman and I established a fund to award an annual prize in his memory for the best St Peter’s BA history thesis. Did space allow, I could begin all over again with anecdotes and impressions of very many others. My former pupils speak of me sometimes as having had a certain influence on them. If that is so, I believe it was not usually so much because I impressed them, as because I allowed them to make an impression on me. That is perhaps an underrated form of influence in the world at large; and in my case it is the measure of how much I owed to the vast majority of my pupils. September 2012 l The tutorial system is the unique and beating heart of an Oxford education. However, it is inherently expensive to provide and Government funding for teaching posts is being significantly eroded. Please support our campaign to endow a further Fellowship in History at St Peter’s so that today’s students can access equally dedicated and inspiring tutors. If you would like to donate, please contact Andrew Thomas, Director of Development & Alumni Relations.



Arts at St Peter’s: A Retrospective from a Nostalgic Finalist Jessica Campbell (2010)


hen I arrived at St Peter’s in 2010 I loved the friendliness of the students and relaxed atmosphere created by the tutors, but it became increasingly clear in those early weeks that St Peter’s had no strong identity within the wider University. ‘Christ Church is the posh one, St Anne’s is ugly but has good food, Magdalen is right-wing, Wadham is lefty, Oriel is sporty …’. These stereotypes surfaced again and again, but when asked which College I was at, and I proudly announced ‘St Peter’s’, my reply was generally greeted with a polite blank. Three years ago no-one knew much about the College. As I graduate this summer and announce I’m leaving St Peter’s, there is a knowing nod; today St Peter’s is seen throughout the University as the ‘Artsy College’. We have created this label, we have earned it, and we are exceptionally proud of it. The College’s newfound identity has come about largely due to the efforts of our illustrious Master, Mark Damazer, who joined St Peter’s at the same time I did. (When he announced at our first College dinner that he, like us, had survived freshers week, I remember thinking rather uncharitably that he had

‘St Peter’s is seen throughout the University as the ‘Artsy College’. We have created this label, we have earned it, and we are exceptionally proud of it’


‘What’s extraordinary is the experience of the Arts that St Peter’s has afforded me. I’ve been invited to interview amazing speakers, including Ken Loach, Andrew Marr and David Mitchell’


not had to endure the obligatory pub crawls, sumo wrestling, ‘foam night’, and getting lost in Cowley on the way back from ‘that house party’ which was the real essence of my and every other freshers’ week.) While it goes without saying that the education has been exceptional, what seems extraordinary when I reflect on the past three years is the experience of the Arts that St Peter’s has afforded me. I’ve been invited to interview a selection of amazing speakers, including Ken Loach, Andrew Marr and David Mitchell. I have been privileged to attend College talks from such luminaries as Hugh Dennis, Mark Thompson, Philip Pullman and Shami Chakrabarti. As an aspiring theatre producer the College has been unstinting in its support, from lending us a van to move set pieces from the store in Summertown to the Burton Taylor Studio in central Oxford, to allowing me to stage my production of Brian Friel’s Lovers in the Chapel when rain stopped play in the garden. The St Peter’s Arts fund has been unfailingly generous, helping fund my production of Ariane Mnouchkine’s Mephisto at the Oxford Playhouse, then contributing towards the cost of re-staging the show when it was selected for the International Student Drama Festival last year (the first Oxford show to be selected since 1956, when the University was represented by a production featuring another Peterite, Ken Loach). When I managed to convince the playwright Howard Brenton to speak at the opening night of his play Bloody Poetry that I was producing, Mark and Rosie put him up at Canal House. And several weeks later when Rosie overheard me standing outside Canal House boasting to my family that there was a real Hockney in the dining room, she came out and invited us in see it. The support from all staff at the College has been exceptional: the librarian Janet Foot came to my production of Statements After An Arrest; Hanneke Grootenboer who oversees the Cross Keys Arts Society has given funding towards every show I’ve produced, and publicised the film funding body I set up; early on in my extra-curricular career Kate Longworth, Development Manager, took me out for ice-cream to talk about contemporary theatre; and Paul and Ernie – and indeed all the College porters – have turned many a blind eye to props languishing in the Lodge and lent me everything from stage weights to emergency gaffer tape.



The College’s reputation as the arts College has certainly been enhanced by the astonishing influx of particularly talented students. Anna McCrory was my next-door neighbour in first year: in our open mic night at the start of first year she admitted she’d been too shy to speak to anyone since she arrived, so was going to ‘commit social suicide’ and perform a couple of poems. The audience was charmed and she went on to write a modern-day verse adaptation of ‘The Wizard of Argoz’ – a 20-minute play put on by the College for the varsity drama competition. Last year she became President of the Oxford Poetry Society and this year she has her own solo show at Latitude Festival. Then there’s the band we proprietorially call ‘The Peter’s Band’ – aka reggae group Marvellous Medicine. In huge demand for every College ball, club night or 21st birthday, they are painfully cool and five of its six members come from St Peter’s. I challenge you to listen to ‘Memories Break’ (it’s on YouTube/SoundCloud/all over Facebook) and not melt. Our reputation for arts was secured this year when Lily Green became the College Arts Rep. And when Lily announced she was running a series of life drawing classes I, in a moment of foolish bravado, said I didn’t ‘get’ the taboo about nudity. When the life model cancelled at the last minute Lily called my bluff and asked if I fancied stepping in… In fact it was a fascinating experience, much less terrifying than I anticipated, and given that it pays four times what one earns waitressing, I ended up filling in for the rest of the term. As I contemplate the end of my time at St Peter’s I feel particularly privileged to have been in such a vibrant, cosmopolitan and supportive college. I am sure in years to come, when St Peter’s alumni are shining in the spheres of theatre, television, music and the visual arts, I will feel a secret sense of pride that I was part of the generation that helped shape the College which nurtured them. l

‘When St Peter’s alumni are shining in the spheres of theatre, television, music and the visual arts, I will feel a secret sense of pride that I was part of the generation that helped shape the College which nurtured them’

Jessica Campbell is a finalist reading English Literature. She is producing the Oxford University Drama Society/ Thelma Holt summer tour of The Comedy of Errors this summer. The show is playing at the Southwark Playhouse 14-17 August, the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, Japan from 21-24 August, Hatfield House on the 29 and 30 August, and the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, from 2-7 September.

Arts at St Peter’s: From Cello Lessons to Fashion Shows Lily Green (2010)



hrough the formation of the Arts Website, ‘With the support ( Twitter Feed, Tumblr and of the St Peter’s Facebook Page, members of the College, College Arts University and indeed the City can see Fund, arts.spc what Arts at St Peter’s has to offer. Every week those has been able to on the arts.spc mailing list receive a newsletter with provide free life details of the artistic projects and activities of both drawing sessions, students and arts.spc. Aside from the ever-popular ballet classes areas of music and drama, students have been getting and cello lessons stuck into photography, film, dance, creative writing for students’ and publications, as well as raising money for charity through fashion projects and arts and crafts. With the support of the St Peter’s College Arts Fund, arts.spc has been able to provide free life drawing sessions, ballet classes and cello lessons for students, while putting on an incredibly wide variety of events. These aim to increase accessibility to the Arts, and have included an experiment in translation, a photography project for the freshers using disposable cameras, a debate on the place of religious symbols, a stand-up poetry show from Anna McCrory (3rd year, Theology) alongside the many Open Mic Nights. As touched on by Jessica Campbell in the previous article, music continues to be at the heart of the student body at College with brilliant bands forming


left, right and centre. Marvellous Medicine often headlines balls and charity events across the City, and the college Jazz group, Cross Keys, has treated us to some intimate sets in the College Bar. Open Mic Night regulars Sarah Thewlis (3rd year, English) and Zander Sharp (1st year, English) are both making waves with their respective EPs, Sarah with her band Ragged Claws and Zander as a solo singer-songwriter. After a year’s hiatus, MiSC – the College Arts publication – is up and running again and went to print with a new bright and colourful look. Edited by Evelyn Hickin (1st year, Art History), the Michaelmas issue worked around the theme of Hidden Spaces and was published online ( The Hilary term issue, ‘Carnival’, was double the size of its predecessor and was launched in conjunction with this year’s Brazil Week at a masquerade night with live Afro Samba music. The final issue of the year will look at ‘Objects and Observation’ to match the theme for this year’s Arts Week. In February, freelance photographer Carolin Wienkopf flew over from Berlin to give an inspiring presentation of her work, against the backdrop of reels of her stunning portraits of people from all corners of the globe. The event was rounded off by Carolin choosing the winner of the College photography competition, which focused on the theme of dignity. Some of the entries will be exhibited in College for the rest of the Academic Year. The biggest project, with involvement from Oxford Brookes University and several other Colleges, was saved for 7th week of Hilary Term. A team of five of us had been working on a publication focusing on the fashion and culture of the 1920s. Taking inspiration from F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, The Green Light Fashion Showcase quickly became a highlyanticipated event, making The Tab Hotlist (a weekly selection of the City’s five must-see events). After many weeks running around the city sourcing clothes, dashing back and forth from the printers, and hours of rehearsals and fittings, the Turl Street Kitchen event space was transformed into a 1920s soiree, with chocolate truffles at the door, a fantastic vintage clothes sale and the main event – a sensational fashion show. The show raised over £500 with the proceeds going to The Oxford Hub, and to Project Rehema, a small grass-roots organisation in Tanzania that provides childcare and training to single mothers and women who have been victims of abuse. It’s been a whirlwind year for Arts at St Peter’s and the College is gaining a reputation as one of the most creative in the University – as evidenced by the video feature made on arts.spc by The Tab Oxford. If you would like to be kept up to date with all that St Peter’s Arts has to offer, join the mailing list by emailing ‘yes’ to Any questions or enquiries should also be directed to me, Lily Green, at the same address. And finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the St Peter’s College Arts Fund for its continuing support and enthusiasm for student Arts endeavours. l

I arrived at St Peter’s in October after a number of years working in the sports industry, and four years helping to fundraise for the University’s sports programme. Despite no longer having sport as a formal component of my job, it is never far away during a typical week at the College. Andrew Thomas talks Sport at St Peter’s.


t often starts with the Porters’ Monday morning dissection of the weekend’s football, each of whom follow highly dubious teams (see page 38 for details). It continues in the office with my colleague Kate’s misplaced passion for Manchester City, and is topped off with the Master’s self-confessed addiction to Spurs and his unswerving belief that they will self-destruct in any given circumstance. Our mission is to try and provide a truly rounded education for our students. For a good number of them, sport provides a route to personal discovery and team skills that employers are so often seeking. Inevitably challenging academic programmes will hamper the extra-curricular, but in many ways it is even more vital that we encourage our students to look to sport and


other activities for stress relief and a source of ‘It would be social inclusion. Representing the College in Cuppers or the Summer remiss to not highlight the Eights is the primary achievement for the majority of enormous our students, but we also take great pride in those who dedication and manage to represent the University at a Blues level. In success of Karl 2012/13, we have been well-represented in lacrosse Hudspith in the and netball, while St Peter’s students have also been 2013 Boat Race’ the mainstay of the rugby league team. It would be remiss to not highlight the enormous dedication and success of Karl Hudspith (PhD student in Clinical Neurosciences) in the 2013 Boat Race. Although Karl had won in 2011, his year as President of OUBC in 2012 will be remembered for Trenton Oldfield’s protest and the halting of the race. The devastation of losing a race they were likely to have won, together with Karl witnessing his friend Alex Woods carried unconscious from the boat, should have led to his ‘Boat Race retirement’. Karl, only St Peter’s fourth Boat Race participant since the 1980s, did avoid repeating Steve Redgrave’s famous comment that if he was seen in a boat again we all had permission to shoot him(!), but the inner strength he found to go through another gruelling winter training programme was real testament of his character. This same character also enabled him to volunteer to go and deliver a motivational speech to


kids at a local Oxford state school in the week after the 2012 race, and to initiate a face-to-face meeting with Trenton Oldfield to explain why he thought his motives were misplaced and the collateral damage his actions had created. To cap his year, Karl has been selected to row for Great Britain in the men’s pair in the World Cup regatta at Dorney Lake in June. This is only the second time a Peterite has competed internationally at senior level in rowing while still a student, emulating Mike Blomquist in 2005. Following London 2012, we should also mention our Olympian links. Firstly, congratulations to Abigail Edmonds (Mathematics), who competed in the Canoe Sprint at the Games but who has now managed to convert to being a basketball Blue inside just a few months! And then there is a tale of what might have been (or even what might still be to come). Lawrence Okoye, who asked to have his place to study Law at SPC deferred, finished 12th in the Discus final and had every chance of reaching the top of the world rankings in this discipline, possibly winning gold in Rio. However, the talented 22 year-old former rugby player was encouraged while training in the US to become part of this year’s NFL Draft and, amazingly, for someone so new to the sport of American Football,



‘In essence, a lack of funding has meant that our teams don’t typically train because we haven’t been able to afford to hire indoor venues or to engage coaches’

he will play for San Francisco 49rs next season. If he does eventually come to St Peter’s, we will clearly have a one-man Cupper’s team capable of winning everything! Having been involved for a number of years in sporting organisations that focus on bringing together the right ingredients for success, whether that be performance sport or participation, I have enjoyed liaising with the JCR Sports Reps to establish what needs to be done to ensure that sport at SPC is as well organised as possible. In essence, a lack of funding has meant that our teams don’t typically train because we haven’t been able to afford to hire indoor venues or to engage coaches. Our kit and equipment has also left a lot to be desired, but there is some good news on this front. The St Peter’s Foundation has generously funded a new Nike football kit, which means that even if we don’t play like Brazil, we will now look a lot like them! Further support from the Foundation is also being earmarked for other aspects of our sporting provision, but after years of under-investment we have a long way to go. If you can help us in anyway (eg funding, coaching, company sponsorship), please do get in touch. The camaraderie built up by playing College sport is clearly demonstrated by the enthusiasm with which alumni support our various events. The Old Boys vs the current students rugby match was a real contest and so well attended. Our Alumni Golf Team came third in the University’s Inter-Collegiate Golf Tournament held at Frilford Heath – congratulations to Barry Anson (1958) and his team. Last but not least, our 1965-69 Gaudy celebration was greatly enhanced by a crew from the era that was reunited on the river by enthusiastic alumnus, David Darling (1969). You never lose it! As a new boy to the College, I could not have had a better illustration of several decades of sport at St Peter’s than when two boxes of old photographs were delivered to the Development Office recently. They had been stored away in the pavilion when the College stopped using its old sports ground in Hinksey some years ago. Covering the ‘60s to the ‘90s, they depict a bewildering array of hair styles and sporting fashions. As a fundraiser, they offer the ideal ammunition to bribe some embarrassed alumni, but on a more serious note, they provide the source of some truly great memories. We are in the process of adding them to the College Flickr page. Do take a look. l

If you have any great memories and memorabilia that you think we should share, please do get in touch with the Development Office.



Sport in Brief

St Peter’s CRICKET TOUR Rory Menage, 2006 In August 2012, Cross Keys Cricket Club (CKCC) engaged in an inaugural national tour. The tour, albeit brief, was judged a resounding success, and will undoubtedly serve as a springboard for future summer trips. Two fixtures were organised, one against Bamburgh Castle, and another versus ‘The Derby XI’. On Friday 17th August, CKCC arrived to a beautifully-kept pitch, under what must be our island’s most stunning setting for a non-professional club. The Northumberland wicket is nestled under the shadow of a cliff-face beneath the red-stoned castle, with the shores of the North Sea just a stone’s throw away. Bamburgh has a fascinating history – it was besieged by William II, and was the first castle in England to be defeated by artillery during the Wars of the Roses. It was a true privilege to be invited to play in such a beautiful spot. The weather was foreboding, with an extremely overcast start to the afternoon, but our hosts kindly agreed to play as long as no rain fell. Indeed, we were in luck – the weather held, and after a brief lunch in the local pub, Bamburgh opened the batting, and ultimately scored 247-6 off their allotted 40 overs. One resident Australian hit 71 runs in 43 balls for the seasiders. The challenge was thus set, and openers Pearman and Langridge managed 34 together before the other SPC batsmen were put through the motions. Perhaps lack of practice, tough bowling and an unpredictably damp wicket (yes, these can be our excuses!) led to our batting decline, and we finished 119 all out in 33.2 overs. Spirits remained high, however, and the team headed south soon afterwards to Newcastle for a night’s celebration. It was fantastic to see graduates from years ‘08, ‘09, ‘10 and ‘11 all in one team, with many old college stories and anecdotes being re-told. Suitable fines for both effective and ineffective play were distributed among the squad in order to spur us on for the Derby game. The next day the sun was out, and after a further journey southwards, we were treated by the family and friends of Luke Sherlock (‘08-’11) to a lovely lunch and game in Matlock. Unfortunately the statistics from this match were not documented, but the CKCC

can be proud of its follow-up performance against the Midlanders. After an extremely jovial 20/20 game, the team won by a comfortable margin, with some very memorable catches made by the outfield. An evening in Derby followed, and the team could reflect on the highs and lows, the ducks, the boundaries, the could-have-beens and the successes of the last few days of sport. The resounding sentiment was one of triumph – and we plan to have a repeat tour in 2013 which will, of course, include the current SPC XI. Genoa, Jersey and Gibraltar have also been discussed... we welcome other suggestions! International media coverage will of course be permitted. We would like to thank the Sherlocks and Bamburgh Castle Cricket Club for their kind hospitality. l

St Peter’s Golf Team in Third Place Richard Woolmer, 1965 On a cold, windy, supposedly spring day, in a rare gap between snow showers, the St Peter’s Alumni Golf Team had its best ever result at the annual Inter-Collegiate Golf Tournament at Frilford Heath. We came third (out of 17 colleges) behind Wadham and Merton in difficult playing conditions. Only one player of the 180 or so golfers managed to score better than their handicap. Our bronze medal position beats last year’s best result of fifth. So we are moving up the rankings. Who knows – maybe next year we could go for gold? We even merited a note of congratulation from the Master for ‘the obviously gifted and satisfyingly multi-generational golf team’. Though he added sadly that golf was not ‘a major developmental priority’. We did not have the overall individual winner as we did last year (Bill Berry with 41 points) but we did have a nearest the pin winner on the Blue course 13th hole. That was Barry Anson who won a tankard for his efforts.


Looking ahead to next year we warmly invite any readers interested in golf to consider joining us in our push for gold. We are a friendly and welcoming bunch and would probably benefit from an injection of youth. Natasha Denness in the Development Office, who does sterling work in organising us all each year, would be delighted to add some new names to the list for selection by our captain Barry Anson. I see that last year it was noted ‘our team is gradually getting younger’. If only! Sadly this year we were all one year older. Only one College could put out a player of greater pensionable age than us. Our age profile ranges from those who matriculated in the ‘50s, through the ‘60s and ‘70s and even up to the ‘90s. We were, I believe, the only team to include a pair of brothers. Of course St Peter’s (Oxford, not Rome) is happy to welcome all newcomers irrespective of age or gender. Any handicap, though 18 or below is preferred. So please contact Natasha Denness or Barry Anson (via Natasha) and see if we can do even better next year. l


St Peter’s Old Boys’ Rugby Kris Doyle, 2005 We won Cuppers at the end of my first Hilary term. It was an historic moment, but more significantly it was the fulfilment of a longheld ambition that went way back beyond my involvement. Winning wasn’t just about the victory, it was about knowing you’d not let your mates down. For all but the newest of us it was a successive appearance in the final; for some of the team this was the culmination of three or more years of playing for Peter’s, a last chance at the title. The closing minutes of the game were tense and it looked for a while like we might just finish as runners-up again. When we won it became immediately clear how much this meant to the team and when we got back to the bar it was even more apparent just how much it meant to the College. We filled the Cuppers trophy with ‘Pembroke

blood’, drank deep, and passed it on. Bleary, stinking and yet surprisingly jubilant, I cycled down to Marston the following morning for my first taste of Old Boys’ Rugby. It probably won’t surprise any readers to hear that the current lads lost the game that day – badly. We trundled slowly about the field, failed to face up in the tackle, and were bossed off the park by a team that wasn’t injured, hungover or inebriated. The miasma at scrum time was otherworldly. After the drubbing, the pleasantries began. We met recent leavers and those long-departed, and as we swapped tales of the previous evening’s events I realised how extraordinary it was to be part of a group of people that shared a College, a fondness for the better ball, and the desire to give the Hall a healthy slice of shoe-pie. It made for good company then and it makes for good company now. This year’s match – and they’ve been going for over a decade now! – was a hardfought affair, with the current XV showing exceptional grit after the Old Boys powered to an early lead. The clock was always going to favour the young (read: fit) and they came back to give us a real scare. We can only thank them for turning out at the end of a long season and playing so well, even if one of their tries was scored by an Old Boy on loan. After the better side won, we retired to Hall for a delicious supper, a few cups of tea and a charming rendition of one or two of the more quaint English folksongs. A merry time was had by all – and within the limits of the law. An enormous thank you must be said to the SCR and the catering staff for allowing this tradition to continue in such fine style, and to Mike Botcherby for organising and managing the Old Boys. Should you wish to play, dine or watch next year, please contact Natasha Denness in the Development Office – you’d be most welcome. l

‘This year’s match was a hard-fought affair, with the current XV showing exceptional grit’


The Very Revd Dr Chris Hancock

From St Peter’s to Where?

Kate Longworth meets the College’s new Chaplain. In addition to his liturgical work at St Peter’s, the College’s new Chaplain, the Very Revd Dr Chris Hancock, is an academic based at Wolfson College and Director of Oxford House Consultancy. I caught up with Chris in his room in Besse, overlooking the front quad and the entrance to the College: the outlook to a world beyond St Peter’s matched the nature of our conversation.

friends and advisors challenged me that the work had grown to such a point in Asia and elsewhere that we should scale everything up to be a global resource addressing the new profile religion has in contemporary geo-politics, a kind of ‘Chatham House for religion’. The Consultancy work does something rather unusual in the social sciences; it engages in practical ‘knowledge exchange’, using academic resources and a world of professional and political connections to effect change, or ‘impacts’ on the ground.

You are, I know, part-time at St Peter’s. Members of College and guests may see or read of you leading services in Chapel but almost certainly have no idea of what you do the rest of the time. I understand you are Director of Oxford House Consultancy, what does that involve? When I stepped down as Dean of Bradford Cathedral in 2004, it was to give time to my work as a visiting professor of theology in India and, particularly, to have the freedom to teach in religious studies programmes at Peking University and other leading Chinese universities. My original doctoral work was on a ChineseChristian topic, so when I was invited to join a small group developing the Christian Studies programme in the Philosophy Department at Peking University (Beida), the combination of China and India was too vast and fascinating to resist. So my wife and I did what I rapidly discovered Deans are not supposed to do, which was to exercise faith! It has proved to be the best decision we could have possibly made, and been the most thrilling, stretching, privileged decade of my life. Oxford House began about three years ago when close

Can you give some examples of the kinds of academic projects you are involved with and the way the consultancy works? At Wolfson, my old friend and academic colleague at Yale, Professor Ted Malloch, and I work to encourage research initiatives in culture, business, religion and international affairs. Ted has a major global profile in the area of comparative business ethics and is, like me, an academic+plus, who speaks globally and provides high-level counsel to corporations, governments, think tanks, etc. My bit is to bring together the work on culture, religion and international affairs. To illustrate the kind of research we are doing: I have a young post-doc colleague who is an expert on Islam in the Caucasus, who is engaged in a fascinating project on religion in post-Soviet Russia; another colleague due to join me in a few weeks is an outstanding Iranian Baha’i human rights lawyer, who is concerned to equip herself to be a more effective international advocate for the much-persecuted Bahai’s in Iran. My own work tends to be focussed more on China and India, where I do a fair amount of teaching, writing, commenting and resourcing of agencies on socio-religious developments. As an erstwhile Oxford

historian, my writing this week is a chapter of a book on the first Protestant missionary to China, Robert Morrison. Needless to say, there is always something turning up! And the consultancy? About three years ago, I was in conversation with a range of experts on different parts of the world and found myself speaking up for the application of ‘reimagining’ to seemingly intractable problem areas. Places seemed to me to be stuck in mind and interpretation by oppressive regimes, shrill human rights protests, un-nuanced Western reporting and a sense of inevitable changelessness! Faith in the Resurrection will always baulk at the shallow determinist idea that ‘What must be must be!’ At the time, Burma was much in mind, so we set about working with Burma experts to ‘reimagine’ Burma. A lot has happened since we began to try and think ‘outside the box’ there. In the end, our Oxford House Consultancy work on Burma is focussed on setting up a major new Burma Development Fund – something between a private equity fund and sovereign wealth initiative – to model and encourage ethical inward investment in Burma (something everyone agrees the country needs) and so nudge along socio-political change by what diplomats call a ‘carrot and stick’ approach. I work with a team of professional experts from a range of disciplines inside and outside Burma, including the executive who runs Aung San Suu Kyi’s Nobel fund. It is exciting to see things coming together. In Albania we are engaged in a project to build a new town north-west of Tirana, again to model the possibility of doing something ‘good’ in a place that is notorious for corruption. I met with the President a while back and found myself challenging him, ‘What are you doing to keep your

The Very Revd Dr Chris Hancock

bright young folk in country, and to tempt the best back?’ It is such a beautiful, Alpine place and deserves a better future and more impressive reputation. I suppose we have six or seven comparable projects on the go at the moment. My role is mostly now to have cups of tea with the Project Managers to make sure things are moving ahead in the right way. So how does your faith, or religion as a whole, fit into these projects? The most important – and potentially controversial thing – to say is that the essentially secular Western establishment is behind the curve when it comes to understanding the early 21st century world. We only need to look at conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan to realise how little cultural understanding was brought to bear upon the decisions that were taken to go to war. Having been a professor on the edge of Washington DC, I am still in close touch with policy-makers there and know how deeply chastened both the US – and, indeed, the UK – government is about its lack of cultural resourcing. To use the language some social scientists use, we now live in a ‘post-secular’ world: to understand and make policy-decisions in that world the realities of cultural and religious diversity need to be at the heart of international affairs. I suppose all I have been doing in China and elsewhere over the last decade is to speak un-embarrassedly the language of religion, ethics, culture and mutual understanding. Though the Western media doesn’t report this as well as it should, there has been little push-back from China’s elites to this: they know the power religion has to help or hinder social cohesion and economic efficiency, and as exemplary pragmatists have pretty consistently supported religious and ethical initiatives. My own faith comes into all of this through my own groundzero commitments to the ‘common good’ (expressing God’s love for all), Christ’s ‘reconciliation mandate’, and the ‘dignity of every human’ (inspired in some measure by God’s Spirit). And then, of course, the heart of it all is prayer, which makes all the difference and the seemingly impossible look rather different, thank God! It all sounds fascinating, but what would you say to the sceptic who dismisses it all as idealistic, naive, or, simply impossible? After 10 years of hard graft, I promise you there is very little idealism left in me! The troubling thing for me – and I mean this seriously – is that the more I go on the less energy I have (it has been pretty gruelling at


times) but the more objective data I glean to confirm the need – and desire – for the kind of seemingly hair-brained things we get up to. The sad fact is officialdom is too often constrained by politics, media reporting, the expectations of the electorate, and the limitations or frustrations of bureaucracy. Our kind of Track II or III engagement in complex places offers a values-based flexibility and freedom – together with a certain academic rigour – that affords all sorts of new social and political options. We have already been encouraged to consider turning our Burma Development Fund into a model for other places that need a robust, ethically-rigorous, cross-culturally sensitive, religiously articulate, nonimperialistic fund. Work we are beginning to do in North Korea will probably take a different shape. Surely, if things had to be possible before we began them nothing very interesting would ever happen! My hunch is that some of your sceptics are the worst kinds of arm-chair socialists, who pontificate on problems and never really roll up their sleeves to address them. I hope very much that is something I will never be accused of! Let’s be more confident in the goodwill and power of God and people. One of the life-changing lessons I have learned in this work is how many good people there are out there in the most unlikely places. I am just frustrated I can’t bring them all to St Peter’s to prove it! You seem to have moved a long way from teaching theology, which I understand you used to do at Cambridge, let alone running a parish or a Cathedral? Well, yes, and no. I think I was always suspicious of that closed study door theology that seemed unrelated to the questions normal people ask and the issues the world faces: it is why I left my tenured chair to run a parish. I am now more and more convinced that, if you like, ‘God is too important to be left to the professionals’. When you read the paper or listen to the news, religion is a hot, public topic. I feel very at home as an erstwhile theologian operating in the social sciences – and it seems social science colleagues welcome a professional theologian in their midst... most of the time! But there is a deeper change that I think has taken place in me, and that is a profound sense that the Enlightenment bifurcation of truth and act, or fact, was deeply wrong. The Bible certainly doesn’t teach that. Concepts such as ‘justice’, or ‘peace’ or ‘love’ in the Bible are big, rounded realities that hold together truth and act, theory and practice. What I

absolutely love about my work is that I can champion the cause for a way of thinking and being Christian which is holistic in vision and very practical in application. Of course, I respect those who still beaver away in the heart-lands of traditional theology: I am just glad that is no longer me – and, as I said, I am not sure if it ever has been! You seem to have plenty to do, why be Chaplain of St Peter’s as well? I sometimes ask myself that, too! Yes, there is a great deal going on. I do sometimes wonder if my role in St Peter’s isn’t the straw to break the camel’s back. The fact is, I suppose, ‘once a clergyman always a clergyman’. Over the years I have intentionally sought to ride the two wild horses of the Academy and the Pastorate: two spheres which too often fail to relate or support one another. This time last year, I found myself missing regular practical, liturgical, and to some extent pastoral ministry, and was challenged by my elders and betters to look for a limited setting in which I could function as a priest. I wondered about helping out more regularly in a local church. A college seemed a slightly more natural environment in which to operate, particularly given the demands on my time from international travel and multiple commitments. St Peter’s historic evangelical identity, commitment to ‘access’, and basically informal spirit, are all dear to my heart – and good friends, including my eldest brother, were members here in the ’70s. I am not sure how much of what I do outside St Peter’s I can – or should – really bring into the few hours I am Chaplain, but it has been an immense privilege to be here this year. l Chris is always happy to meet alumni. He can be contacted at christopher.hancock@ or on +44 (0)1865 278905. He takes Choral Evensong (led by our fine Choir) on Thursday and Sunday evenings at 6.15pm and 6.00pm respectively. If you would like to be added to a mailing list for the Chapel Term Card, then please contact Clare Charlesworth in the Development Office.


The Porters

Those familiar to St Peter’s will be aware of the warm welcome the College porters provide. It’s time to meet the men behind the glass.

Paul Irons Paul is Lodge Supervisor and has been in post for seven years. Before coming to St Peter’s he was manager at the Oxford Greyhound Stadium. Previous roles have included welder at the historic Oxford car factory. Paul spends most of his annual leave in the US visiting family in Florida, Alabama and Tennessee. He has five children and five grandchildren. Like the Master, he suffers the fortunes of Tottenham Hotspur. Paul says that the thing he enjoys most about his job is watching the students develop from nervous freshers to graduates.

Ernie Crawford Ernie has been working in the lodge for three years and is currently the second longest-serving porter (as well as the jolliest and cheekiest). When he is not welcoming the public to the College he is kept busy with his three children, Peter, Michelle and Lee, and five grandchildren. Before he came to St Peter’s Ernie ran a taxi company in the City. Oxford is his home town, and he supports Oxford United. He also likes to play golf.

Andy Shell Andy has worked here for two years. He says the best part of the job is the people – both students and staff. Before coming to St Peter’s Andy was at the Post Office for 22 years. He was formerly in the Royal Air Force where he served in the Gulf and the Falklands. Andy is a keen follower of rugby – union and league – and plays crib and dominos. He (nervously) admits that he is not as passionate about football as his colleagues, but he does keep an eye on Reading and Leeds.


The Porters

Vince Ellis Vince has been at St Peter’s for 11 months. He is also a Special Constable for Thames Valley Police, and has previously worked in the prison service and aviation security at Oxford Airport. Vince is from Oxford and, for reasons best known to himself, supports Liverpool. He also enjoys watching speedway, and sharing both these enthusiasms with his two children – Jack and Laura. He is a befriender for OxBEL (Oxford Befrienders for Life), offering friendship and support to people living with a life-limiting illness.

Ryan Moore We know that Ryan must have performed very well at interview to have been hired at a College in which both his line manager and the Master are Spurs supporters – he supports Arsenal. He came to us from the Ashmolean eight months ago. In addition to his work in security services, he is a talented entertainer, and has delighted audiences at various holiday camps, including Butlins and Parkdean Holidays. In his spare time he is a country and western singer and songwriter, and also works as an Elvis impersonator.

Lee Garvey Lee has been at St Peter’s for 16 months and is currently our youngest porter. He previously worked at Lancaster University in both the Student Union and the Security Department. He says that it is an ‘interesting job because you never know what to expect!’ He enjoys meeting people, particularly the celebrities who come through the Lodge, and has recently provided directions to Hugh Dennis. Lee supports Newcastle. When he isn’t watching them lose he likes going to the gym, fine wine and good food.

Neville Pimm Neville has been working in the lodge for 18 months. His career started at Molins where he worked as an electrical draftsman. He then started his own corporate hospitality business – which he describes as a ‘twoyear party’. Subsequent positions included various managerial posts in conference and banqueting. Neville has worked as a tennis coach and played high-level football, cricket, rugby and table tennis. He is married with two children – Simon and Charlotte – and supports West Ham. He says that working in the lodge is good fun because he loves meeting people.

The Development Team


Keeping in Touch

The Development Team Andrew Thomas (left) Director of Development and Alumni Relations Clare Charlesworth (centre left) Development Assistant





Natasha Denness (centre right) Alumni Relations Manager

Keep us up to date with all your contact details and receive:

Kate Longworth (right) Development Manager

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Members of St Peter’s frequently contact us with questions about the College’s online giving page:


Why the University of Oxford branding? Just as St Peter’s is part of the University, so the College’s fundraising efforts are part of the broader ‘Oxford Thinking’ campaign. Launched in 2008, this is the biggest fundraising Campaign in European history – the Collegiate University’s future is dependent on it, and we are proud of the part that the generous support of our members is playing in advancing its aims. The University processes donations for St Peter’s and all the Colleges. Any donation that you make via this site will reach us in full – no charge is made by the University. Which purpose should I select for my donation? On the giving page you will see a range of options concerning the particular fund you want to direct your donation to. We are required not just by charity accounting requirements but equally by a deep institutional concern for our members to direct donations in full to whichever fund you specify. The available options on the giving page constitute a broad reflection of the College’s ongoing concerns: from general funds used to sustain the quality of teaching and research, the student experience, and the College site itself; to specific timelimited campaigns. The majority of gifts we receive are designated ‘where the need is greatest’, the first, auto-selected option that you will see on this screen. Gifts in this category might be applied to any of the other listed causes on the basis of priority. They are preferable, simply because they enable us to meet urgent needs as they arise, as well as make improvements that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

01: Select the purpose of your donation from the available list. ‘Where the need is greatest’ helps us to meet urgent needs as they arise.

I’ve clicked the ‘Give’ button and now the St Peter’s crest has disappeared. Am I definitely still donating to St Peter’s? Yes. The University will shortly be launching a new giving site, and some of these design flaws will be ironed out then. But for now, please be assured that you have selected to donate to the College, and your gift will reach us in its entirety.

02: Click ‘Give’. Despite the fact the St Peter’s crest has disappeared, your donation has reached St Peter’s in its entirety.

Thank you for your valued support!






2013 Thursday 11 July 7pm / SPC 10 Event at the Oyster Shed, London Friday 20 – Sunday 22 September University of Oxford Alumni Weekend 2013 Saturday 21 September 12.00 pm / Garden Party for Alumni Volunteers 6pm / Gaudy for the years 1990 – 1994 Sunday 22 September 11.30am / Howard Society Lunch 3.00 pm / Lucy Cox (2008) soprano with Tom Jesty (2011) piano in the Chapel Friday 27 September Engineering Seminar and Celebration Saturday 28 September 1988 25th Year Anniversary Reunion Tuesday 10 December Kurt Jackson Reception at The Redfern Gallery Thursday 12 December The Varsity Match 2014 Friday 21 March Oxford Inter-Collegiate Golf Tournament 2014 Friday 21 – Sunday 23 March Oxford Asia Weekend in Hong Kong

Gaudy 2012

Friday 11 – Saturday 12 April North American Reunion 2014 Friday 19 – Sunday 21 September Alumni Weekend 2014 Please contact the Development Office if you would like to attend any of the events. For further details of all our events please visit the website GAUDY DATES 2014 1995-1999, Saturday 29 March 1970-1974, Saturday 20 September 2015 Easter Vacation 2000-2004 September 1985-1989 2016 Easter Vacation 2005-2009 September 1975-1979

St Peter’s College is a Registered Charity, No. 1143166

Cross keys 2013 / St Peter’s College  

The official magazine of St Peter’s College, University of Oxford.

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