Ladies of Quality and Distinction


In this, the centenary year of women’s suffrage, the Cheshunt Foundation has been asked to join in with a fascinating celebration of influential women from the 1720s and 1730s- the 21 ‘ladies of quality and distinction” who helped philanthropist Thomas Coram set up his Foundling Hospital in London. Long before women were given the right to vote, these ladies were influential in helping Coram secure a Royal Charter for his Foundling Hospital, which was set up to support and care for some of London’s abandoned ‘foundling children’.

One of the ladies was Selina, Countess of Huntingdon, who also founded Trevecca College for young men to train for ministry- which later moved to Hertfordshire and became Cheshunt College.

Portrait of Selina Shirley, Countess of Huntingdon.

  These marvellous ladies are being celebrated this Autumn with a remarkable exhibition at the Foundling Museum in London. The Collections Manager, Alison Duke, came to visit the College recently to look at the painting in situ, and to discuss how best to transport it to London for the exhibition. Alison has written about her visit for Art Funding here .

We look forward to seeing the Countess surrounded by her peers- or, strictly speaking, her Peeresses- on September! The exhibition opens to the public in September and will run through into January 2019.


To find out more about the exhibition at the Foundling Museum, have a look at the Foundling Museum website

…And to find out more about the 21 Ladies, and about Thomas Coram, visit the website of Coram, the charity which continues their work today.

To see all the oil paintings at Westminster online, visit: https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/view_as/grid/search/keyword:westminster-college-Cambridge


 

Blog by Helen Weller- Westminster College Archivist.

Valediction- Goodbye “God be with You”

Goodbye to all.

As this academic year draws to a close, it is also time for us to say goodbye to many people who have been with us over the years.

On Friday 15th June, our annual evening of Valediction took place. We celebrated the hard work of students and teaching staff, who have worked tirelessly throughout the year bringing great results all round.

The night began with a service in the Chapel. Joyous hymns, readings of thanksgiving, and blessings to those continuing on in to the Ministry of the Word and Sacraments marked the end of the academic year for Westminster College.

Revd. Samantha White read a beautiful Sermon titled ‘A Firm Footing’, including the meaning of ‘goodbye’. According to the Cambridge English Dictionary the definition of Valediction is “the act of saying goodbye, especially formally, or a formal speech in which someone says goodbye”.

To be of firm footing, requires a keeping close to Christ. It is so easy, when times are busy, or there are decisions to be taken, or others expectations for you seem to cloud your judgment as you care for their needs, to give up the spiritual disciplines that help to underpin your faith and that have helped you to be resilient while you have been here.

‘So Valedictorians, ‘Goodbye, farewell, Auf Wedersein and Tuss’. ‘Goodbye’, is an adaptation of the phrase ‘God be by you’ and that is exactly what we wish for you.’

Following the service, we all joined together in a meal and celebrations when the successful students came to the stage to collect their leaving certificate. Followed on by several speeches to thank various members of staff and wishing farewell to Revd. Dr Yak-hwee Tan, tutoring New Testament studies for the past three years and Liz Cazwell, our Chaplain.

A special mention must go out to the amazing Tutorial team, who have worked consistently hard throughout the academic year to provide high quality support and assistance to the students and Senatus.

Last but by no means least, we cannot thank the Hospitality staff enough for their exquisite meal and attentive service throughout the evening. Thank you not only for this evening, but for the entire year where you provide us with only the best food and impeccable service, filling the needs of all who enter our community.

A wonderful evening enjoyed by all.

Congratulations, and well done to: 

Those who will continue on in to the Ministry of the Word and Sacraments:

Ted & Cristina

Jo & Bernard

Helen & Tessa

Alison & Paul

Josh & Gillian

Those who have successfully completed or who will soon complete their studies:

Jane , Jill & Lan

Those who have shared in Westminster’s community on sabbatical this year:

Iain & Peter

Stephanie, Ron & Bronnie

Allan, Terry & Karlotta

Doug & Barbara

Once again, congratulations to everyone for their successes over the year. We wish you all the best for your future endeavours. 

 

 

Castlebrae, the twins’ home!

Castlebrae, 13th April 2018

What an inspiring site visit today!

A small group of domestic bursars interested in our co-founders, the twin-sisters,  were on their second-leg of their discovery journey. We met today at the Colony, a site owned by Clare College for centuries now. There we were welcome by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable Clare team whose housekeeper was genuinely delighted to show us around today! http://www.clare.cam.ac.uk/The-Colony-2/

Castlebrae was built between 1888-1890 to the partial design of S.S. Lewis and by Marshall & Vickrs architects of Bedford square in London. The land was leased for 125 years by our famous co-founder Agnes Lewis and her husband, and her twin sister Margaret Gibson after becoming a widow suddenly. Their life was well captured in Janet Soskice’s book ‘Sisters of Sinai’, a video for the ones who haven’t read it yet – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSVPUU8unms

I attach some picture to show the excellent efforts by Coulson and Clare College to revive and restore this stunning building. It now offers 26 student bedrooms but it has conserved some of its quirkiness, a grand job!

We never saw the infamous ghost (apparently of a maid sitting on the bed), I will remember a warm, welcoming and beautiful gem’ that truly feels like it could be on Westminster College, it is in keeping with the sisters’ exquisite style.

Fabulous!

Contact me mg609@cam.ac.uk , if you would like further details.

All best,

Magalie

A few words from Peter Ball – Director of Church Resource Development

From the 19th-21st January I was at the URC Youth Assembly running workshops and enjoying the opportunity to meet and share with a host of different people from across the denomination.
The first of the new Westminster College Draw Breath and Reflect Upon days took place on March 24th with the theme of Aspects of the cross. The day was a mixture of reflection, personal space and some input from the leaders of the day.  Various options were offered to help people think about how then cross impacts on their daily lives and then space to develop thinking. The pictures are of one participants response in the form of a painting and a cross that we used as part of reflection in the afternoon.

  

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