The Woolf Institute’s Royal Opening

On Monday 16th April, our neighbours over at the Woolf Institute were celebrating a Royal opening of their permanent home on this site. The Woolf Institute was founded in 1998 by Dr Edward Kessler and Reverend Professor Martin Forward. The aim was to provide an ‘academic framework and space in which people could tackle issues of religious difference constructively’.

HRH The Princess Royal arriving with Dr Ed Kessler.

HRH The Princess Royal, the Patron of the Capital Appeal, and supporter of the Woolf Institute was welcomed to the site by Dr Ed Kessler MBE, Founding Director of the Woolf Institute.

In his speech, Dr Kessler said “The brief research presentations demonstrate a pursuit of wisdom, understanding and knowledge, not for their own sake but rather, to foster a society at ease with itself, in which individuals, groups and communities feel at home, and in whose flourishing all wish to take part.  Our new home will house many such actions; in the UK, with new research projects on religious fundamentalism and building resilience in Muslim communities, new courses on migration and immigration as well as a summer school, new audiences reached through our media suite such as the new podcast series, ‘Encounter’”.

Congratulations to everyone involved in the hard work and dedication it took to bring the Woolf Institute to life in its new home, and the continuous work to educate and bring communities together to coexist peacefully.

To read the full speech and see pictures from the special day, please visit:

http://www.woolf.cam.ac.uk/blog/founder-directors-speech-at-the-woolf-institutes-royal-opening

Studying at Westminster in short is, fantastic!


Studying at Westminster in short is, fantastic!
It is a rich and fascinating experience that has welcomed, celebrated and included me from the day I began. Walking with me as I grow in the journey of faith, whilst also enabling me to learn effectively by supporting my needs.

Studying scripture here has allowed me to work through why I believe what I do and how we are all able to discuss, evolve and change as part of a living tradition responding to a living word. Whilst on retreat together in January 2018, the community were reminded by our Principal,  Neil Thorogood of our connection with many people of faith from the past, present and the future. Whilst reflecting on this I was reminded of the journey that has brought me to Westminster.

Before coming here, I was a store manager for WH Smith in a busy Hospital in East London, whilst also being a Church Elder and volunteer youth leader in the little ‘spare’ time I had. I have been able to bring all my life experiences with me sharing with others.

We learn with and from each other, day by day. With many opportunities to interact with peers from around the world. Whom represent diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
It is a blessing to be here!”

by Stephen Ansa-Addo – student, Westminster College

Deck The Halls With Boughs Of Holly!

The Westminster tree has been put up and decorated, with the help of staff and students – one or two braving the step ladder and scaffolding. Christmas music was playing and mince pies were flowing, and it was a great way to join in and have some fun ahead of the end of term.

The Advent service and dinner took place at the end of term with a wonderful menu prepared by our exceptional kitchen staff, who never cease to amaze us with their excellent food.  We thank them all for the hard work in producing the dinner, and the support staff who served it. We are truly blessed with an amazingly professional team.

The College will be closed over the Christmas and New Year period from 23rd December and will re-open on Tuesday 2nd January 2018 for bed and breakfast guests. Students will return shortly afterward, with intensives week commencing 8th January and Federation term starting on Thursday 18th January.

We would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and New Year!  Until 2018…

Westminster College, Cambridge; Walking the way into the future

These are exciting times full of new opportunities for all of us. Here at Westminster College, Cambridge, as we look to further develop our role as a Resource Centre for Learning, we’ve created the new role of Director of Church Resource Development – and here I am! We want Westminster to offer relevant courses for today’s church here at the college and be available to work alongside you, sharing the love of Christ where you are.

As part of our commitment to embracing different ways of expressing faith we’ve recently opened our beautiful Art Studio, located in the college grounds here in Cambridge, beside the Prayer Labyrinth, which adds a creative space for quiet reflection or safe messy area for getting the paints out and having fun! Faith is expressed in many different ways and we are looking to provide the space and opportunities for you to explore.


Our new additions complement our freshly refurbished building, stunning chapel, wonderful meeting spaces and great hospitality at prices that may pleasantly surprise you. We can cater for groups great and small from hosting church weekends, URC Synod events, small committee away days or simply a guided retreat week. We have an excellent chance for deep reflection and personal study called “In the Company Of” (you can read more about that at our website) ideal for a quiet reading week or as part of a ministerial sabbatical.

Alongside our full and part time students training for ministry we run numerous courses, such as Quiet Days, themed Biblical conferences, residential Lay Preacher weeks and can provide some exciting interfaith conversations all aimed at feeding and building faith and resourcing people for service and ministry. We are working on some all age events for 2018 and our teaching staff can be found at churches up and down the country, sharing their knowledge and experiences in a variety of ways. We’re seeking to build a resource area on our website for anyone to access which we envisage will host a selection of worship resources. And of course, if you call or email us, we offer reduced B&B rates for Church members if you’d simply like to visit Cambridge!

As we look to further develop our role as a Resource Centre for Learning for the United Reformed Church we are aiming to offer new and varied opportunities for everyone. I would welcome the chance to have a conversation with you to discuss how Westminster might play its part in serving you, your churches and the Synods.

You can reach me, Revd Peter Ball, on pb694@cam.ac.uk or call our Reception team on 01223 33 06 30.

Interview time…

Thursday 6th and Friday 7th April see us holding interviews for the Director of Studies in Church History and Doctrine.

As many of you will be aware, Revd Dr John Bradbury has accepted a call to be the new minister at Emmanuel, Duxford and Whittlesford URC. He has served at Westminster College and the Cambridge Theological Federation for almost 10 years and will be sorely missed when he vacates his position here at Westminster later in the summer.

We are therefore seeking a new member of teaching staff to fill his role as and the Director of Studies in Church History and Doctrine. The candidates arrived yesterday afternoon and have joined with the community here until later today.

Please hold John, the candidates, and the interview panel in your thoughts and prayers as we seek to discern Gods will.

Charcoal Gospel DVD Launch

We are excited to announce that our Principal, Neil Thorogood, will be launching his DVD ‘Charcoal Gospel’ on Wednesday 22nd February at Westminster College. All Cambridge Theological Federation members are welcome to join us from 5pm-6pm. Refreshments will be available throughout.

Neil will be giving a short introduction to his work, there will be the chance to view the original art work, and you will be able to purchase the DVD for £9.99.

If you are unable to make it to the launch, the DVD is also available to purchase from the URC Shop and from Reception at Westminster.