Ripon College Cuddesdon
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Ripon College Cuddesdon is a Church of England theological college in Cuddesdon, a village 5.5 miles (8.9 km) outside Oxford, England. It is the largest ministry training institution in the Church of England.
Ripon College Cuddesdon was formed from an amalgamation in 1975 of Cuddesdon College and Ripon Hall. The name of the college, which is incorporated by royal charter, deliberately contains no comma.
Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford, founded Cuddesdon College in 1854 as the Oxford Diocesan Seminary to train graduates from Oxford and Cambridge. It quickly became known as Cuddesdon College. The college buildings, most of them designed by G.E. Street, were built opposite the Cuddesdon Palace. Traditionally "Cuddesdon", as it is commonly known, was in the Catholic tradition of the Church of England.
Ripon Hall was founded in Ripon, Yorkshire, in 1897 or 1898. It was originally a hostel for theological students, known as Bishop's College, founded by the then Bishop of Ripon, William Boyd Carpenter. In 1902 it was merged with Lightfoot Hall, Birmingham and became known as Ripon Clergy College. In 1919 the college moved from Ripon to a site in Parks Road in Oxford and was renamed Ripon Hall. There it became known as a liberal Anglican college. In 1933 Ripon Hall moved again, to a house then known as Berkeley House at Boars Hill near Oxford, the former home of the 8th Earl of Berkeley. The college remained there until the merger with Cuddesdon in 1975 when the site, renamed Foxcombe Hall, became the regional headquarters of the Open University.
Currently, men and women who come with a range of previous experience, but are not necessarily graduates, take a two or three-year course of study incorporating pastoral and academic training. There are about seventy full-time students taking courses of study as Oxford University students matriculated by the college or courses validated by Oxford Brookes University. Nowadays, Cuddesdon students come from across the spectrum of the Church of England but it retains a liturgical approach to worship and a broad approach to theology. It maintains a regular and disciplined approach to daily prayer and seeks to train students in a modern critical approach to the Christian tradition of the Church of England. From 2008 the part-time Oxford Ministry Course, with about fifty ordinands, has been integrated into the college, which now also incorporates the West of England Ministerial Training Course which trains clergy and readers principally in the dioceses of Hereford and Gloucester. The college also runs a fortnightly part-time programme for those interested in theology and ministry, the Cuddesdon School of Theology and Ministry. In 2011 a new programme of training for pioneer ministers has been set up in partnership with the Church Mission Society. The college also hosts a research centre for practical theology, the Oxford Centre for Ecclesiology and Practical Theology (OxCEPT). The college is currently the headquarters of the Bloxham Project, which aims to promote Christian education in schools.
The current principal is the Revd Canon Martyn Percy, who is apparently the only living author to be referred to in Dan Brown's best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code. The Revd Mark Chapman is Vice Principal, Dean of College and Reader in Modern Theology at the University of Oxford. The Revd Joanna Collicutt teaches psychology; the Revd David Heywood is Director of Pastoral Studies; Hywel Clifford teaches Old Testament and Hebrew; Revd Grant Bayliss and Revd Philip Tovey teach liturgy; the Revd Tim Naish teaches mission and is Dean of the Oxford Ministry Course. The college also incorporates the Oxford Centre for Ecclesiology and Practical Theology, headed by Cathy Ross, who also teaches contextual theology. In 2012 the college became the new home of the Sisters of the Community of St John Baptist and Companions of Jesus the Good Shepherd as part of a major building programme to provide more teaching and residential accommodation, named after Harriet Monsell, founder of CSJB, as well as a new chapel named in honour of Bishop Edward King, sometime principal of Cuddesdon.
Since 2011, the college has hosted the biennial international "Christian Congregational Music: Local and Global Perspectives" conference, a gathering of scholars and practitioners across disciplines to discuss issues in contemporary congregational music.
On 1 February 2013, the Bishop Edward King Chapel was dedicated by the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, at a celebration of the Eucharist for the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple. The Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Michael Perham, preached the sermon and the Bishop of Dorchester, the Rt Revd Colin Fletcher, assisted in the solemnities.
Notable former staff
Among the college's previous staff members are:
- Edward King, later Bishop of Lincoln
- Allan Webb (vice-principal 1864–1867), later Bishop of Bloemfontein and of Grahamstown, subsequently Dean of Salisbury.
- John Johnston (principal 1895–1913)
- Charles Gore, successively Bishop of Worcester, Birmingham and Oxford and Founder of the Community of the Resurrection, Mirfield.
- The Lord Runcie (Robert Runcie), Archbishop of Canterbury
- John Clarke, Dean of Wells Cathedral.
When Robert Runcie retired from the archbishopric his barony's territory was "of Cuddesdon in the County of Oxfordshire".
- Simon Aiken – Dean of Kimberley
- Walter Baddeley – Bishop of Melanesia, Whitby
- Timothy Bavin OSB – Bishop of Johannesburg, Bishop of Portsmouth and, later, monk of Alton Abbey.
- Chris Bryant – MP for Rhondda
- Richard Chartres – Bishop of London
- Keith Jones – Dean of York
- Owen Chadwick – Vice-Chancellor of University of Cambridge, Master of Selwyn Cambridge, Regius Professor of Modern History, Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Chancellor of University of Anglia, President of British Academy, Rugby Union International
- David Chillingworth Primus of the Scottish Episcipal Church
- Geoffrey Clayton – Archbishop of Cape Town
- Philip Egerton – founder of Bloxham School
- Austin Farrer – Warden of Keble College, Oxford
- Mark Fox – journalist
- Nicholas Frayling – Dean of Chichester
- Cyril Garbett – Archbishop of York (1942–1955)
- John Hall- Dean of Westminster Abbey
- David Hand – Archbishop of Papua New Guinea
- John Hind – Bishop of Chichester
- Graham James – Bishop of Norwich
- The Lord Harries of Pentregarth (Richard Harries) – formerly Bishop of Oxford (1987–2005)
- The Lord Lang of Lambeth (Cosmo Lang) – Archbishop of York (1909–28) & Archbishop of Canterbury (1928–1942)
- Diarmaid MacCulloch – Professor of church history at the University of Oxford
- Michael Mayne – Dean of Westminster Abbey (1986–1996)
- Frederick Molyneux – Bishop of Melanesia
- John Packer – Bishop of Ripon and Leeds
- Michael Perham – Bishop of Gloucester
- Stephen Platten – Bishop of Wakefield
- Anthony Priddis – Bishop of Hereford
- The Lord Ramsey of Canterbury (Michael Ramsey) – Archbishop of Canterbury (1961–1974)
- John Ruston – Bishop of St Helena (1957–1961)
- Michael Scott-Joynt – Bishop of Winchester
- David Stancliffe – Bishop of Salisbury
- Thomas Stanage – Bishop of Bloemfontein
- Tim Stevens – Bishop of Leicester
- Nigel Stock – Bishop of Stockport (2000–2007), Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich (2007–2013) & Bishop at Lambeth (2013–present)
- Stephen Sykes – Bishop of Ely (1990–2000)
- Robert Willis – Dean of Canterbury
- David Hoyle – Dean of Bristol
- Adam Smallbone and Roland Wise – fictional vicars in Rev.
Sources and further reading
- Chapman, Mark D. (ed.), Ambassadors of Christ: Commemorating 150 Years of Theological Education in Cuddesdon 1854–2004, Burlington (Ashgate) 2004.
- Chapman, Mark D., God's Holy Hill: A History of Christianity in Cuddesdon, Charlbury (The Wychwood Press) 2004.
- "Seeking God – the Story of Ripon Hall" in Oxfordshire Limited Edition, supplement to the Oxford Times, May 2009
- Rev., Series 3, Episode 2