e-Matters - 5th September 2022

Dear Members and Friends,

Tom QuadWelcome to this month’s edition of e-Matters, from a parched Christ Church. Heavy rain is forecast over the coming week and we can’t wait for the brown lawns of the House to return to green after the long hot summer.  

With holidays over, the Development Office is busy organising the flurry of autumn events.  We look forward to seeing many of you at the Open House weekend (17th September) and to welcoming back the years 1986-1989 for their Gaudy on Friday 30th September.   

The AGM of the Christ Church Association will take place during the Open House event (12pm 17th September).  We are delighted that twelve alumni have put themselves to join the Committee and you have the opportunity to vote for candidates online and at the meeting. Please see below for information about the candidates and how to vote. If you are not able to join the meeting but would like to submit a question, please do email development.office@chch.ox.ac.uk and your questions will be passed on to the Chair, Robin Priest, for discussion at the meeting.  

You may remember that earlier this year, we asked you to nominate inspiring women of the House who deserved photographic portraits as part of an initiative to diversify the walls of Christ Church. Thank you to all of you who took the time to submit nominations.  Photographic portraits were taken over the summer and will be on display together from 30th September for a few weeks before they are moved to their individual places around the college. The exhibition will open on the day of the Gaudy in the recently refurbished Chapter House.  The portraits and short testimonials from the sitters can be viewed on our website in due course and I hope that you will find the exhibition both fascinating and inspiring.

We are looking forward very much to our trip to Washington and New York in October.  Invitations for the events in both cities will be sent out shortly to alumni in DC, New York and surrounding states, and we welcome any alumni outside these areas who wish to come.  See our events list for more details. 

Lastly, and importantly, the independent Governance Review, chaired by Dominic Grieve, will be starting next month.  There will be opportunities for alumni to contribute to the review process and I will be able to you give more information about how this can be done in the next month or two.  

With very best wishes,
Philippa Roberts
Development Director

News from the House

Dr Marc-Andre CormierDr Marc-André Cormier leads key marine science forum at 2022 Challenger Society Conference

Dr Marc-André Cormier, Research Fellow in Biological Sciences at Christ Church, will lead a session on the role of marine mixotrophy in the global carbon cycle at the 2022 Challenger Society Conference.

Held on September 6th-8th at the Natural History Museum, London, the Challenger Society Conference 2022 marks the 150th anniversary of the Challenger expedition and celebrates the birth of  international and interdisciplinary oceanography.

On 7th December 1872, the HMS Challenger departed the Royal Navy Dockyard at Sheerness on the River Medway in Kent, England, on a four-year global scientific expedition across the world’s oceans.

It was the first truly interdisciplinary grand scientific project, international in scope and involving the study of the physics, chemistry, biology and geology of the global ocean.

Together with University of Oxford colleagues Professor Rosalind Rickaby and Georgina Whichello, Dr Cormier will lead a session on the role of mixoplankton and mixotrophy in the global carbon cycle.

Click here to read full article.


Dr Leah Broad presents rare performance of Ethel Smyth’s Mass in D Major at the Royal Albert Hall

Dr Leah BroadChrist Church Junior Research Fellow Dr Leah Broad has been interviewed on BBC Radio 3 about the composer Ethel Smyth.

Dr Broad, whose research centres around women composers in twentieth-century Britain, is current writing a book about four composers — Ethel Smyth, Rebecca Clarke, Dorothy Howell, and Doreen Carwithen – due to be published by Faber and Faber in 2023.

On August 20th, Dr Broad and presenter Petroc Trelawny recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC, and discussed the radically pioneering works of Smyth and Claude Debussy.

She expands on how Smyth was enormously popular in her time, but is only now enjoying a resurgence following a period of being largely unknown.

A contemporary of Dvorjak and Tchaikovsky, Smyth was a suffragette activist, writing their anthem, and a close friend of Emmeline Pankhurst.

Dr Broad goes on to introduce a rare performance of Ethel Smyth’s Mass in D major, the first Proms performance since the composer’s own lifetime.

Written in around 1891 following the death of Smyth’s mother, the piece was performed by Smyth to Queen Victoria at Balmoral, and in 1893 in the Royal Albert Hall, where it divides the opinion of critics, some of whom consider it ‘too masculine’, and effectively the music disappears for 30 years.

Click here to listen to the broadcast on BBC Sounds.


From the Library...

Another sizable group of unique or very rare significant documents from various Christ Church collections have been made available in digital form. Please check the following pages on the college website for details:

1. Listing some items of interest from Christ Church collections

2. More photographs by Lewis Carroll

3. News about the 159 Sarum Antiphoner

Dr Cristina Neagu

Keeper of Special Collections

Christ Church Library


Christ Church Association Committee Membership Election

We are looking for one to two new members of the Christ Church Association Committee, with particular interest in finding one volunteer to help mobilise the alumni network to offer careers advice and mentoring to current students and young alumni. Thank you to those alumni who have expressed an interest. 

A list of nominees and their information can be viewed and downloaded here.

A separate email containing the voting link will be sent to all members of the Christ Church Association in due course. Voting will open one week before the AGM. The minutes of the last AGM and the agenda of the forthcoming AGM can be viewed and downloaded by clicking the embedded links. A list of the current Committee Members can be viewed here.


Christ Church's First Ever Giving Day

We are delighted to announce that Christ Church’s first ever Giving Day is taking place on Tuesday, 29th November! 

The Giving Day is an opportunity for our community to come together and raise money for a Refugee Academic Futures Scholarship. This graduate scholarship will fund a DPhil place for a student who has been displaced due to conflict, persecution, or other serious human rights violations or deprivations.  

Gifts on Giving Day go even further too, thanks to the generosity of our match funders. We are pleased to announce that the Governing Body has already pledged 50% of the total cost, meaning that every gift is automatically doubled by the College. 

Funds raised by the Giving Day will help widen access to the transformative education offered at Christ Church, and we welcome participation in any way you can. More information will follow soon so please keep an eye out!  

To enquire about match funding opportunities please email olivia.tan@chch.ox.ac.uk.


News from Alumni

Kevin Street (1989): Keta's Journey - 47 Peaks

Keta's journeyMembers and Friends may remember the article about Keta's journey in our last e-Matters. 

Christ Church Alumna Keta Hansen (1989, Chemistry) was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2014 and passed away in 2019. Her husband, Kevin Street (Engineering, 1989), and their two daughters participate regularly in events to raise money to fight this awful disease.

In August, Kevin and his two daughters (Hebe & Violet) embarked on Keta’s Journey – The 47 Peaks our latest fundraising challenge to raise money for MNDA. They aimed to climb 47 peaks in Snowdonia in 5 days – one peak for each year of Keta’s life.

This followed on from the hugely successful Keta’s Journey in 2019 when they walked 352 miles in 15 days from Hartlepool (Keta’s hometown) to Godalming (where she sadly died in 2019), enjoying widespread media coverage through National Press, TV and social media which helped them raise over £100k.

Keta’s Journey – The 47 Peaks started on 18th August, the day of Hebe’s 21st birthday and Violet’s A-level results. What better way to spend such a day than to start a 100km climb totalling 28,000ft – the equivalent of climbing Everest from sea level! As previously, they were supported by Neil (Kevin's brother) and Matt Morgan (school mate).

On the 22nd, they reached the 47th and final peak, and, at the time of writing, they have raised 98% of their fundraising goal. Any donation in support of Keta’s Journey – The 47 Peaks would be hugely appreciated. Please donate via:


Follow Kevin, Hebe and Violet on social media @ketasjourney on Instagram and @Ketas_Journey on Twitter.


The Late Robert Furniss Riding (1959) leaves sixteen cars to benefit the RNLI and other charities

Robert Furniss RidingRobert Furniss Riding (1959, Chemistry) was a passionate car collector and yachtsman, and he dedicated his post-retirement years to these two hobbies, while becoming an active part of the community in the Isle of Man, where he relocated after retiring from the Bank of Scotland.

Over the years, Riding acquired an impressive collection of classics and modern vehicles, 16 of which he bequeathed to several charities, including the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), a charity that specialises in lifeboat search and rescue, flood rescue, water safety education, and lifeguards. They will be selling at auction with the H&H Classics auction house, at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, on October 19, 2022.

The collection includes vehicles dated between 1924 and 1991, many of them awarded at various international events, and the majority in impeccable condition. Riding had a soft spot for Bentley and Rolls-Royce, but he also made room in his heart for the odd Mercedes-Benz and Maserati. A few of the vehicles are rare collectibles, survivors of old limited series.

More information can be found here.

We are touched and grateful that Bob remembered Christ Church in his will with generous gifts to the college and to the Cathedral Music Trust.  Bob will be remembered at a memorial Evensong next term, with a date to be set in the near future.


Professor Hugh Sockett (1956): Marriage and the Gargerys

Professor Hugh Sockett published the first of three books in the second Gargery Triology. The tale of Gargery family continues in Marriage and the Gargerys. Read More about the trilogy


Steven DeLay (2013): Life Above the CloudsLife above the Clouds

Leaving a promising career in academic philosophy to embark on a career in film, American director Terrence Malick has created cinematic works of art that are also deeply philosophical. His contribution to philosophy through a half century of filmmaking has become the focus of increasing scholarly attention.

Inviting the reader along a journey of reflections at the intersection of film, art, and philosophy, Life Above the Clouds brings together an international team of contributors to present the most current and definitive statement of the filmmaker's work. Accessibly written and exploring films such as Badlands, Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, The New World, The Tree of Life, To the Wonder, Knight of Cups, Song to Song, and A Hidden Life, the nineteen essays herein will be of interest not only to scholars and students of philosophy, theology, film studies, and aesthetics, but also to anyone with a true love of film.

Steven DeLay is Research Fellow at the Global Center for Advanced Studies. His many books include Everything; Faint Not: Twelve Brief Meditations on the Word of God; In the Spirit: A Phenomenology of Faith; Before God: Exercises in Subjectivity; and Phenomenology in France: A Philosophical and Theological Introduction.


Life Above the Clouds is out in February 2023. Click here to pre-order.


Oxford Crypto VillageJack Chong (2019): Oxford Crypto Village

Entrepreneurs build our world. Modern Western institutions fail them. This is why we are launching a global hacker house movement with HomeDAO.Read More


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