One of Westminster College’s key partners is the Cheshunt Foundation. The Foundation continues the work of the former Cheshunt College, whose predecessor institution was established by Selina, Countess of Huntingdon, for the training of Christian ministers. The Countess was a reformer drawn to Methodism who also shared friendships with leading Congregationalists. As Methodist students began to lose their places at existing Church of England colleges, Selina founded a ministerial training college at Trevecka, near Talgarth in mid-Wales, in 1768. In 1792 the college moved to Hertfordshire and was renamed Cheshunt. The move to Cambridge came in 1905 to temporary accommodation, with a new permanent home opening on Bateman Street, close to the University Botanic Gardens, in 1914. Over the decades that followed, the Congregationalists and Presbyterians in Britain drew closer, and Cheshunt moved to Westminster’s campus in 1967.
As an independent charitable trust, the Cheshunt Foundation now supports theological education for ministry in the United Kingdom and around the world. It fulfils this mission in part by financially sustaining a variety of programmes, many of which are based at Westminster. These include exchange programmes, sabbaticals, lay ministry training, and continuing ministerial education. The Foundation partners with other theological institutions and ecumenical groups as well.
The Foundation maintains a robust archive of materials related to its historic activities. These materials are preserved on the Westminster campus and are available for study by qualified researchers. Please contact the Archivist with any enquiries.
For decades, a member of Westminster’s teaching staff has served as Director of the Cheshunt Foundation. The Director develops initiatives to achieve the Foundation’s strategic priorities, cultivates partnerships with peer institutions, and manages its day-to-day operations. The current Director is the Revd Dr Jonathan E Soyars.
The Cheshunt Foundation is a registered charity (no. 311447) overseen by a Board of Governors who represent its various stakeholders. The current Convenor is the Revd Bill Bowman. Copies of the Foundation’s annual trustee reports submitted to the UK Charity Commission are available here.
If you would like more information about the Foundation or are interested in applying for one of its programmes, please contact the Tutorial Office.