e-Matters 29th January 2021

Dear Members and Friends,

A somewhat belated happy New Year. 2021 has not started as propitiously as we had all hoped and longed for, but term continues with hours of teaching and student engagement happening online.

It’s a particularly challenging time for junior members who, along with our graduate students, remain our top priority.

Needless to say, our Covid Student Support Fund, which has now seen donations from members in excess of £60,000, continues. If you would like to make a donation you can find out more here.

Finally, some members may have heard that I have decided to move on from Christ Church for pastures new. I’ll still be at the House until April, however, and will say more about my future plans when they’re confirmed. In the meantime, of course, there is much to do to support Christ Church in all its endeavours.

With best wishes from us all,
Mark Coote
Director of Development 


News from the House

Photo of Sir Tim Berners-LeeProfessor Sir Tim Berners-Lee: Reimagining the web through Solid, with Inrupt 

The world has undergone a profound period of technological advancement and change since Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web and released it to the world in 1989. Over time, a number of organizations which understood the potential the web offered rose to prominence, transforming the web’s ecosystem into one that is focused on accumulating data, rather than empowering the next era of innovation. 
Unsatisfied with the data collection and usage practices that had come to dominate the web, Sir Tim began a new undertaking with the goal of releasing an innovation to the world that would catalyze change and opportunity while righting the course of the now wayward web. This was the inception of Solid, a decentralized, open source protocol designed to unleash the true power of our data while simultaneously giving users greater control. 
To drive his vision forward, Sir Tim co-founded Inrupt with CEO John Bruce, based on the understanding that commercial adoption would be essential to Solid’s success. 
In 2018, Inrupt was launched, generating a wave of excitement and enthusiasm. Since then, the company has built a world class team of leaders, each visionaries in their own right. Recently, Sir Tim and Inrupt announced the release of new enterprise-grade Solid technology, already in use by organizations including the BBC, Flanders Government, and NatWest bank.

Sir Tim has also brought the opportunity of Solid inside the walls of Oxford, via a new research program within Oxford Martin School.


Photo of Professor Brian ParkinsonBrian Parkinson's 'Heart to Heart' selected a 2020 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title

Professor Brian Parkinson’s book Heart to Heart: How Your Emotions Affect Other People has been selected as a 2020 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title. His book was one of only 40 from approximately 6000 titles to be selected by CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, which publishes an annual list of outstanding academic books reviewed in the previous year.

Book Cover of Heart to HeartThe book focuses on how emotions affect other people by changing their orientation to what happens in the social world. Topics discussed include emotion contagion, social appraisal and emotional labour, and how people regulate their emotions in order to exploit these effects in their home and work lives.

Professor Parkinson is the Tutor in Psychology at Christ Church. His research focuses on the interpersonal effects and functions of emotions, and he has published multiple books and academic articles on the subject. “This is the book I wrote during my period of leave after finishing my term as Senior Censor,” said Professor Parkinson. "I was suddenly faced with the prospect of filling my time with purely academic work and felt obligated to make full use of that increasingly unusual opportunity.”


From Christ Church Cathedral Music Trust...

Cathedral Music TrustThe Music Trust continues to release online content over the lockdown period. Evensong is livestreamed and can be accessed on the Christ Church Cathedral YouTube page
On Thursdays we will be releasing a meditative service of music and prayer called 'Interlude'. All are welcome to join us online to reflect and hear some wonderful music from the House. 
The Cathedral will also be hosting a new service called 'Sacred: Safe, Inclusive, Evangelical. Sacred will meet once a month and aims to provide a safe worship space, evangelical in style, and inclusive of those who are LGBTQI+. This service hopes to provide a spiritual home, hope and healing, for those who look for vibrant and inclusive worship and spirituality. All are welcome. The first meeting of Sacred will take place on 31st January at 8pm and can be accessed by clicking here.  
If you would like to receive more communications about the Choir and music at Christ Church then please get in contact with our Music Trust Development Officer, Micah Mackay (music.trust@chch.ox.ac.uk) who will happily add you to the mailing list. 


From the Library: Music from a Christ Church Tudor manuscript discussed in New York Times

John Sheppard's score of Media Vita An engrossing article on John Sheppard's score of Media Vita appeared in The New York Times a few days ago.  

The online version is particularly exciting as it has also added a few recordings of the said piece. There is an important connection between Sheppard's composition and Christ Church Library, as the earliest manuscript (recently digitised) comprising this composition is among the treasures preserved in our Special Collections.
Click here for details and links to the article and the recordings.


Emily's Beer Blog

Photo of Emily Robotham

Best lockdown beer boxes

While the Buttery team is furloughed, I’ve had plenty of time to think about drinking at home. In particular, I’ve taken a bit more time exploring craft beer, a category where the Buttery range could be expanded. Here are some of the best deals I’ve come across, or taken advantage of personally: 

  1. Brewdog Lockdown Survival Kit £49.95 for 24x330ml cans, including delivery. Make the most of the countdown until the pub’s re-open with this selection of Brewdog’s finest. It’s quite similar to their advent calendar, but there’s nothing wrong with the idea of a treat every day to get you through.
  2. Belgian Beers UK “Dry January box” £48 per 12 bottles (£38 with code DRY10), plus shipping £7.95. Only the Belgians could think that a box of beers, with minimum 6% abv, could constitute an attempt at Dry January. This is a premium box, but it’s so worth it, with a seriously impressive range of blonds, Trappists and dubbels. Even if you’re doing dry January, you should buy this box and save it as a treat for February.
  3. Brew By Numbers “Variety Lockdown Box” £60 for 24x330ml cans, including delivery. This variety case contained superb examples of a vast array of craft beer styles, including Session IPAs, Triple-fruited Goses, Lagers and Imperial Stouts: the only bad news is that it sold out within hours of release. Keep an eye on the website for future releases.  


Photo of Linnea Drexhage in the labCollege Life Blog: Through the Perspex-Screen

Linnea Drexhage, Christ Church’s GCR Treasurer and a Wellcome Trust DPhil student, describes working in a lab during the pandemic:

"The Sir William Dunn School of Pathology is one of the few institutes in Oxford that is still open for all students, researchers and postdocs who need to continue their research during this new lockdown. Earlier last year, all labs within the institute that were not working on SARS-CoV-2 had to close. Since then, the institute’s pandemic committee has used the experience they have gained to raise COVID safety guidelines to such a high standard that they could create a lab environment that made it safe to work even during another lockdown. These measures include lots of office work being carried out at home, lab work run in shifts, wearing masks whenever on the premises, and lots of portable Perspex screens. DPhil students are only permitted to come in for benchwork experiments, whereas every other part of the job—seminars, meetings, writing, as well as data analysis—is carried out at home and online."

Click here to continue reading Linnea's blog.


Dr Kathleen Vancleef: Research Request

Dr Kathleen Vancleef, Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychology at Christ Church, is looking for volunteers for her research project.

Dr Vancleef is carrying out research on the development of a screening test for vision problems after a stroke, funded by The Christ Church Research Centre. Part of this research involves establishing the normal range of scores on the test. She is currently looking for healthy volunteers above 60 who are interested in taking part in a 1 hour video call.  During the call, participants would be asked to do simple vision tasks like recognising faces and reading a letter chart.

If you are interested, please contact Dr Kathleen Vancleef at kathleen.vancleef@chch.ox.ac.uk for further information.


News from Alumni

New Year Honours List 2021

Photo of Jasper Reid, Cassandra Buchanan, Jonathan Claypole, Christina Scott and Christopher Bulter.

Congratulations to Jasper Reid (1991, English), Cassandra Buchanan (1996, PPE), Jonanthan Claypole (1995, English), Christina Scott (1993, PPE) and Christopher Butler (1986, Geography) on their awards in this year's New Year Honours List.
Jasper Reid was awarded a BEM for his services to UK/ India Relations. Jasper is the founder of IMM who own the Wendy’s and Jamie Oliver restaurant chains in India.

Cassandra Buchanan, Executive Headteacher at Charles Dickens Primary School, London, was awarded an OBE for her services to education. Cassandra is also the Trust Leader at The Charter Schools Educational Trust.

Jonathan Claypole, Director of BBC Arts, was awarded a MBE for his services to the Creation of the Culture in Quarantine Virtual Festival of Arts during Covid-19.

Christina Scott was awarded a CMG for her services to British foreign policy. Christina is the Deputy Head of Mission at British Embassy in Beijing, China.

Christopher Butler, lately Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in Lithuania, was awarded an OBE for his services to promoting British commercial interests in Lithuania.


Christopher Ainsley Memorial Fund

Christopher studied Geography at Christ Church from 1976 to 1979.

He loved his time at Oxford, believing his studies at the House were instrumental in his later successes in life. So much so, that Christopher gave back to Christ Church as soon as he could, supporting the American Friends scholarships, the Boat Club, the Geography Tutorial posts, and above all the wonderful Jubilee Bridge, which was opened in 2014, and is pictured below.

Jubilee bridge and the lakeJubilee bridge


Christopher sadly died earlier this month and Mary Beth and the family have now decided that they would like to improve the area around the bridge with the planting of some specimen trees and the addition of a beautiful oak bench, as a lasting memory of Christopher.

You are invited to contribute to the Christopher Ainsley Memorial Fund. To make a gift, please click here. If you have any questions please feel free to email Simon Offen at simon.offen@chch.ox.ac.uk 

The Ainsley family and Christ Church thank you for your support in helping to produce a fitting memorial for Christopher.




Richard Sharp Appointed BBC's New Chairman

Photo of Richard SharpThe Hon Richard Sharp (1975) has been appointed the new chairman of BBC, succeeding Sir David Clementi.

Richard read PPE at the House and was a banker at Goldman Sachs for 23 years. He will be working closely with director-general Tim Davie on the future of the licence fee.

Click here to read the BBC article about Richard's appointment.



Joanna Smith QC Appointed High Court Judge

Photo of Joanna SmithCongratulations to Joanna Smith QC (1986), who has recently been appointed as a Justice of the High Court.

Joanna has kindly shared with us memories of her time in the House:

"Over 30 years ago now, but it seems like yesterday.  The nervous teenager not knowing what to expect, the dark wood panelled room on Tom Quad, the low chair set between the two law tutors.  John Cartwright’s probing questions, Teddy Burns’ enigmatic smile.  A lively discussion about the merits of the jury system and the anxiety I felt on leaving the room about whether I had been good enough.  Little did I know then what my career at the Bar would hold, or that I would be lucky enough, many years later, to be  appointed to the High Court Bench; a privilege that my teenage self could barely have imagined. 
So much  about my Christ Church experience contributed to the lawyer I am today.  The rigorous intellectual challenge of the tutorials, the calm space of the law library (often enlivened by laughter over some seemingly incomprehensible judgment), the support and encouragement of (now) lifelong friends, even the occasional all-nighter.  Of course it was not all work; I am immensely proud of the two  blades I won as stroke for the womens’  first VIII.  I loved the sweaty bops on a Friday night and sunny afternoons in the Master’s Garden.  I remember picnics in punts, fairy tale nights at College Balls and dressing up as the white rabbit for a charity tea party.
However, in the end, the jurisprudence that I studied at Christ Church gave me the strong foundations on which to build my career and the confidence that I could do so on my own terms. I shall always be grateful for that.


Bitcoin: gradually, then suddenly!
By Cameron Winklevoss (2009), President, Gemini

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss

Suddenly, there are articles about Bitcoin on every news media site. ‘Crypto Twitter’, that sub-segment of Twitter populated by people enmeshed in the cryptocurrency ecosphere, is bursting at the seams with new participants. 
Like water showing no visible changes as it advances towards boiling, the crypto movement with the goals of moving secure monetary transactions into a digitally native state has been bubbling under the surface since the end of the 1980s, if not earlier.
It wasn’t until 2008, when a pseudonymous author, Satoshi Nakamoto, published the whitepaper, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” that the beginnings of a solution to some of the hardest problems in ensuring safe, identifiable and immutable transactions became a reality. The Bitcoin (capital “B”) blockchain solves the problem of multiple databases by creating a single, immutable, and verifiable record of transactions for all participants (i.e., a ledger). And bitcoin (lowercase “b”) is the native asset that is used for representing value on that blockchain and in this new ecosystem.
The current rally in bitcoin prices to new all-time highs can be directly linked to the policy responses addressing the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Central banks globally have been expanding liquidity via extremely low rates for extended periods and dramatically expanding the money supply. The anomaly stands out very clearly on the chart highlighting the growth of M2 in the United States this year as compared to historic averages.

Bitcoin Chart 1 showing US Dollars creation last year

Additionally, there has been a tremendous amount of work done supporting the current perception that bitcoin is a modern digital replacement for gold, the classic inflation hedge. In mid-May 2020 the correlations between the two assets also reached all-time highs as we descended into the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bitcoin-Gold Realized Correlation Chart

This increase in money supply and the desire of investors to protect their assets against potentially dramatic moves in the value of their fiat currencies is pushing them to seek out the protection of bitcoin for their portfolios. 

Traditional Portfolio Returns with a Small Allocation to BitcoinOne way to think about this is to consider a small bitcoin holding within a traditional portfolio. In the performance grid below you can see the degrees to which bitcoin holdings of 1% and 5% helped performance against traditionally blended portfolios and other asset classes. Since 2011, the average return of a portfolio with a low percentage allocation to bitcoin has outperformed a traditional portfolio by more than 200 basis points.

One of the most important considerations for investors should always be implementation. Generally, investors access their investment products via direct purchases of stocks and bonds or through funds. Over the last 20 years, investors have invested in gold almost entirely through exchange-traded funds (ETFs). While this leads to portfolio efficiency, the fund wrapper adds additional fees for investors. While every jurisdiction has different regulations regarding bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies they are most easily purchased directly by setting up accounts at exchanges like the Gemini.com exchange, which I co-founded with my brother Tyler in 2014. Gemini is licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and is open to all customers in the United Kingdom and most of Europe.

We are still in the early days of investor education and adoption of cryptocurrencies as a core holding within investor portfolios. Recent volumes and price movements reflect intense investor interest and are a reflection of the hard work by a lot of people over the last decade to drive the modernization of currency around the world.

About Gemini:
Gemini Trust Company, LLC (Gemini) is a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian that allows customers to buy, sell, and store more than 30 cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, litecoin, and Zcash. Gemini is a New York trust company that is subject to the capital reserve requirements, cybersecurity requirements, and banking compliance standards set forth by the New York State Department of Financial Services and the New York Banking Law. Gemini was founded in 2014 by twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to empower the individual through crypto.


Alex Heffes: Together Apart

Photo of Alex HeffesAlex's Heffes' (1989) latest piece, Together Apart,  has been released on all digital platforms. Please click the link to hear and share.
"The experience of being isolated from each other is probably the largest collective experience we may all have had in a generation. It was a year of loneliness for many, confusion, loss, and some hope. Music shortcuts through the language and reasoning part of our experience to somewhere deeper. For anyone who has felt any of the above this year I hope this might reach that deeper place and give solace that we are apart but together."

Alex Heffes is a Golden Globe nominated composer known for his scores to over 60 movies and TV series including Mandela Long Walk to Freedom, The Last King of Scotland, State of Play, Roots, Black Mirror and many others. Originally rising to critical acclaim with his scores to Kevin Macdonald’s Academy Award-winning film One Day In September and Touching The Void, he has worked with many of cinema’s top filmmakers such as Stephen Frears (The Program), Mira Nair (Queen of Katwe, A Suitable Boy), Catherine Hardwicke (Miss Bala) and JJ Abrams (11.22.63).



Photo of Dr Lisa PropstMarina Warner and the Ethics of Telling Silenced StoriesDr Lisa Propst: Marina Warner and the Ethics of Telling Silenced Stories

Dr Lisa Propst (2001), Assistant Professor of Literature at Clarkson University, has published a new book Marina Warner and the Ethics of Telling Silenced Stories.

Efforts to fight back against silencing are central to social justice movements and scholarly fields such as feminist and postcolonial studies. But claiming to give voice to people who have been silenced always risks appropriating those people's stories.

Lisa Propst argues that the British novelist and public intellectual Marina Warner offers some of the most provocative contemporary interventions into this dilemma. Tracing her writing from her early journalism to her novels, short stories, and studies of myths and fairy tales, Propst shows that in Warner's work, features such as stylized voices and narrative silences - tales that Warner's books hint at but never tell - question the authority of the writer to tell other people's stories. At the same time they demonstrate the power of literature to make new ethical connections between people, inviting readers to reflect on whom they are responsible to and how they are implicated in social systems that perpetuate silencing.

By exploring how to combat silencing through narrative without reproducing it, Marina Warner and the Ethics of Telling Silenced Stories takes up an issue crucial not just to literature and art but to journalists, policy makers, human rights activists, and all people striving to formulate their own responses to injustice.

Click here to order Marina Warner and the Ethics of Telling Silenced Stories.


Sarah Leonard: The Islanders

Photo of Sarah LeonardSarah Leonard (2009) introduces her new book The Islanders:

"My debut novel, THE ISLANDERS, will be published on 11th March 2021. In a nutshell, it is Agatha Christie meets Love Island. The idea for it came to me in a flash, when I was watching a reality show during the summer and I thought how interesting it would be if a killer used that as the basis for their crimes. I drafted it in about 3 months and edited it during Lockdown. Then, on my 30th birthday, I participated in a Twitter Pitch Competition and from that I got my literary agent (Emily Glenister at DHH Literary) and a two-book publishing deal with editor Sian Heap at Canelo. It was the best birthday present anyone could ask for. 
Book cover of The IslandersTHE ISLANDERS BLURB:
Kimberley King has spent the last five years trying to outrun the reason she left the police force. Her life is a mess and she's desperate for change. So when she is randomly selected for the new series of the hit show LoveWrecked, she can't pass up the chance to win the £100,000 prize. 
But the island isn't the paradise she was promised and within hours, one of the contestants is dead. Then the announcement comes: one of the islanders is a murderer and Kimberley must find out who, live on television. For every hour it takes her, one more person will die. The game is rigged, everyone is hiding secrets, and time is running out..."

The Islanders is now available for pre-order in paperback and e-book on Amazon, Waterstones, Foyles, Blackwells and Bookshop

Photo of Sir Brian UrquhartSir Brian Urquhart (1919  2021)

Sir Brian Urquhart (1937), an Honorary Student of Christ Church, passed away on the 2nd of January.

Coming to Christ Church in 1937 from Westminster, where he had won a scholarship, he enlisted in the British army at the start of the second World War. After the war, Sir Brian played a fundamental role in the construction and development of the United Nations, and was perhaps best known for being the principal architect of the UN's peace-keeping operations, playing a critical role in a number of locations such as the Cyprus, the Lebanon, Kashmir and the Congo. The Guardian and the Telegraph give a much more detailed obituary and a rather more colourful one is in the New York Times.


Other News

Stargazing with Professor Roger Davies

The long, cold, Winter nights present us with much to see in the southern sky guided by the spectacular constellation of Orion, the hunter. Due south at 9pm in February it is our signpost to the Winter skies.

The constellation of OrionThe stars of Orion are invaluable for finding your way around the Winter constellations. Follow the three stars of the belt upwards towards the red giant star Aldebaran, it is the brightest star in the constellation of Taurus.  Further in the same direction is the famous star cluster the Seven Sisters or Pleiades. Follow the line of the stars of the belt in the opposite direction towards the blue star Sirius, (in the constellation of Canis Major) the brightest star in the sky. A line pointing eastward through the top two stars of Orion takes us to the star Procyon in Canis Minor. Procyon & Sirius are amongst the closest bright stars to the Sun being 11.5 and 8.6 light years away from the Sun respectively. Starting from Rigel in lower right a line through Betelgeuse (often pronounced beetle-juice) points to Castor & Pollux, the brightest two stars in Gemini. By familiarising yourself with Orion you can quickly become familiar the southern Winter sky. 

The constellation of OrionThe top left star of Orion, Betelgeuse, is a young, massive star, 550 light years distant. It is 10-20 times more massive than the Sun and formed just 8 million years ago - the Sun is more than sixty times older. It is a red supergiant, with a diameter larger than the orbit of Jupiter, it is more than 750 times the size of the Sun! So big in fact that the most sophisticated telescopes can image its surface, a feat only possible for a few stars. In the Winter of 2019/20 Betelgeuse was seen to fade, much more than expected for its normal cycle of variability, a change easily noticed by the casual observer. A picture of the surface showed that one side of the star was dimmer than the other, leading to the idea that a dust cloud, probably formed from material ejected from Betelgeuse, was dimming the light from one side of the star. There was even speculation that Betelgeuse was about to explode as a supernova, an idea now largely discounted. Betelgeuse is one of the easiest variable stars to observe, fading and brightening by ~ ±25% over 400 days, these changes arise because of pulsations in the outer layers of Betelgeuse, essentially is it is brightest when biggest.  Betelgeuse is a typical massive, young star – constantly changing.

The Orion nebulaOrion is home to one of the nearest regions of our galaxy where new stars are forming. The glowing patch of light found below the middle star of Orion’s belt is home to a stellar nursery of new stars forming from the gas and dust in interstellar space.  The nebula glows because the gas is excited by ultra-violet radiation from the young hot stars, most notably those of the Trapezium that can be picked out by a small telescope.

The central of the Orion nebulaWe have enjoyed Mars high in the southern sky for the last few months. It is still with us in the first half of the night. On February 18th NASA’s latest Mars rover, Perseverance, will land on the red planet. The van sized vehicle carries a suite scientific experiments, including microphones so that we can listen to the Martian winds.  The landing sequence involves a decent by parachute through Mars’ thin atmosphere. At an elevation of 2000m a series of eight small engines slow the decent until, about 20m above the surface, a skycrane will lower the rover, suspended by cables, onto the surface. Once the rover touches down the cables are released and the descent stage flies off to make its own uncontrolled landing on the surface, a safe distance away. The whole thing takes 7 minutes. Keep your fingers crossed for success. This unique feat of engineering will be relayed live back to earth by TV cameras on the rover starting at 7.15pm GMT on Thursday Feb 18th. It takes 11 minutes for the signal from Mars to reach Earth, so by the time we get the first pictures it will all be over on the Martian surface. Don’t miss it! (on the NASA Youtube channel). 


Christ Church and IntoUniversity

Countess of Wessex in IntoUniversity Oxford South EastThe third national lockdown has added to the challenges faced by the staff and pupils at the Blackbird Leys Centre supported by the House and Oxford University. The centre closed for a second time and remote support began again. 

The senior fundraising officer at IntoUniversity writes:

“As our students’ lives are overturned again, we know the problems they face are growing:

  • Covid has deepened inequality, especially in education. The Institute of Fiscal Studies warns the pandemic has exacerbated the divide between our students and their better off peers.
  • School closures deal another blow to our students’ education, adding to the estimated six months of learning lost in 2020. This is on top of the learning gap disadvantaged students were contending with before the pandemic struck. Space to work, access to resources and help with online learning and motivation remain issues for many of our young people. 
  • Students face further confusion and uncertainty. Another year of cancelled exams, added concerns over going to university, and bleak employment prospects mean that young people need expert advice to navigate the years ahead.

In response, we’re determined to work harder than ever for our young people: this year, and the years to come. 

Right now, we are reaching out to our students to make sure they know we are there for them, even though our centre doors are shut. 

With learning from the last lockdown, we’re expanding our remote support, so that students can come together for online Academic Support sessions, or learn about university and think about their future in virtual workshops. We will work with partner schools, offering online versions of our programmes, and looking at new ways to help pupils stay motivated and engaged. We’re determined that our young people get structured opportunities to learn about careers and gain meaningful soft-skill development, even while many workplaces are closed. 

With greater need than ever for our work, we’re undaunted in our plans to grow, and press forward with our most ambitious year to date, opening six new centres. We will work with our first Scottish young people in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Centres in Norwich, Bradford and Newcastle will open over 2021-22. This growth will enable us to reach a further 6,000 young people. We know the impact of this pandemic will have long-term effects. We will be here to meet them. 

Thank you for helping make this possible. Your support is so valued as we face the stark difficulties ahead. We will be writing again with a fuller update on our response over the coming weeks.”

Christ Church’s current agreement with IntoUniversity, and partnership with Oxford University, to help fund the Blackbird Leys Centre expires in August 2022. But we are pleased to say that due to the generosity of alumni members of the House we have the funds to continue our support for a further two years. Negotiations to that effect are underway.

Click here to download and read the full IntoUniversity Annual Report and Oxford South East Centre Updates.


The Christ Church 3rd Torpids Crew in 19141914: Last in the Last Torpids Before the War By Teresa Stokes

As a change from the elite athletes usually depicted on Hear The Boat Sing, in this article Teresa Stokes presents her maternal grandfather, Terry Durham, whose crew finished last in the 1914 Torpids, the final Torpids before war intervened and they were cancelled for five years.

Terry Colley Durham of Appomattox was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship for Virginia in December 1912 and went up to Christ Church, Oxford, in October 1913. Tennis had been his game at Richmond University, and he had never rowed before, but now he took it up with enthusiasm and rowed bow for the Christ Church 3rd Torpid crew in 1914. They had a postcard made of themselves rowing on the Isis (see above), taken by George Davis, Varsity Photographer, of 7 The Turl, Oxford.

Terry is at bow. He seems to be leaning a very long way back, long before the Lady Margaret style was invented. My father, Adrian Stokes, who rowed for Oxford twice, laughed at the bad rowing when he saw the picture.

To read the full article, please visit Hear The Boat Sing website.


Women 40th Online Celebrations

Women 40th pin badgeWe would love to hear from all our alumnae about their experiences at the House, and aim to create a collage of photos, images and snippets, and an archive of written reminiscences, for everyone to enjoy at the September 2021 weekend. We cannot promise to return anything sent in so please only send copies to the Development Office at the address below, or digital copies to development.office@chch.ox.ac.uk

We will be thanking those who contribute by sending out a special 40th Anniversary lapel badge in return.


40th Anniversary Silk Scarves

Mandy with Women 40th ScarfA reminder that our limited-edition 40th Anniversary silk scarf can be ordered through the new online shop. To visit the shop please click here. 

Poem for the Fortnight

Resonance Crosses Time
By Chris A. Jones (1999)

You are worthy of greatness, and of much love
Our collective senses, warm embraces, yearning for fun
As we roister through cloisters built for this sort of thing, learning along the way:
To protect those great secrets with time and touch,
And hoist sails toward star-guided lands
To release with ease our sheets and clothes and knots which others have spun, wrinkled or tied
So long ago
Our course may be reversed
But I am not one to speak vaguely
My kisses are real
When we whisper each other by name
Your hand gently caresses mine
And I feel you feel the same
Resonance, of course
As if the whole world is soothed
Each time we feel, make or sense
The other’s fingers move


All members of the House are welcome to submit poetry. If you would like your poetry considered for feedback from the judges of our poetry competition, then please send your poems to development.office@chch.ox.ac.ukA poem will be selected every fortnight from St Frideswide's Well and the poet will receive feedback via email. Poems will also be featured on our website.

Alumni Photography

We encourage all alumni and friends to submit photographs to us inspired by the poems featured on our Alumni Poetry Page. Poems and photographs will be collected together in the coming months and will eventually form an online exhibition celebrating alumni creative work. 

To submit your photograph please: