Principal's Blog: Mid May

blogBowerscrop1Week 8 of Lockdown. We currently have 32 students on site (of whom 20 are graduates) and the Porters’ Lodge is working as normal. We are carrying on with our regular activities as far as we can. I hope that you will join the Principal’s Conversation on 19 May at 5pm. This will take place by MS Teams and is our first attempt at doing this. I am delighted to have secured our Fellows William James and Philip Goulder for this occasion. They will be talking about Academics and the Real World; Flighting the Covid-19 Pandemic.

I am delighted that virtual music has started and virtual chapel has established itself. You may have seen the story about the Oxford May morning celebrated virtually with a virtual choir.

The Chaplain’ comments are below.

The latest edition of Brazen Nose is out and is available here, if you have not yet received your copy:

VE Day:
One event where we were not able to continue normal activity was the plan we had to commemorate VE Day. So many Brasenose alumni lost their lives and we pay tribute to the courage of those who fought. Of all the Oxford and Cambridge Colleges, only Brasenose had more men killed in the Second World War than in the First, as abundantly clear on the chapel memorials. I am grateful to Graham Richards for telling me this.

Key worker alumni:
I pay tribute to all of those alumni who are key workers. I mention just a few.

One of our alumni is Ying Cui, who matriculated in 2004 for a DPhil in Physiology. She tells us that she has organised and fundraised to purchase, deliver and donate certified PPE to the NHS over the past few months: the recent consignments were of 790 face shields to OUH and 300 masks to St Andrew's Care Home.

I also wanted to mention our alumni Eddie Chaloner (Medicine, 1983) and Matt Wordsworth Clinical Medicine, 2005). Tcovidhealthworkershey are, respectively, Consultant Surgeon/Clinical Lead, Medical Workforce, and Plastic-surgical Trainee/Tactical Ward Commander, at the Nightingale Hospital in London, the specual hospital at the Excel Centre. They got together for this great photo.

The Chaplain writes:
It seems quite astonishing that it has been barely a month since Chapel and Music made a 360-degree transformation to go entirely online.

Weekly 5pm Sunday College Prayers on YouTube seem so normal now with fantastic contributions from the choir singing in lockdown, as well as members of all three Common Rooms offering the readings and prayers. I continue to be amazed by the 'can-do' spirit of Brasenose and our collective creativity. We've had two terrific preachers on our theme of Philosophy of Religion: Professor Celia Deane-Drummond on Creation and Dr Bethany Sollereder on a Good God in a world of Evil and more around the corner. The streaming of services, including weekday Morning Prayer, can bring peace to our homes and is enabling us to reach out to each other to retain some connection as a community. Huge thanks to all involved. Aside from College Prayers, we look forward with much anticipation to our first online concert on Wednesday of 4th  week and have enjoyed social gatherings over breakfast (bring your own of course) on Sundays, and two virtual pub quizzes for Chapel, Choir and friends on Zoom are on the horizon. Chapel and music are, in spite of the closures, very much alive and kicking.

Brasenose Chapel and Music Channel


BNC Chapel and Music - YouTube

Videos from Brasenose College Chapel and Music


I have been reading Catherine Belton’s excellent book Putin’s People and Michael Ignatieff’s magisterial biography about Isaiah Berlin.

Keep safe.


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