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Independent day school
|Headmaster||Simon H. L. Williams|
|Chairman of the Governors||Michael Gallagher|
Petersfield & Liphook
|DfE URN||116579 Tables|
Red, White & Blue
|Former pupils||Old Churcherians|
Churcher's College is an independent, fee-paying day school for girls and boys, founded in 1722. The Senior School (ages 11–18) is in the market town of Petersfield, Hampshire with the Junior School and Nursery (ages 2 years, 9 months–11) in nearby Liphook. It is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC).
The headmaster is Simon Williams who replaced Geoffrey Buttle in September 2004. The college has several notable alumni, known as Old Churcherians or OCs. Male OCs are eligible to become members of the East India Club, whilst women may join the University Women’s Club.
The school was founded under the will of Richard Churcher in 1722. Churcher was a wealthy local philanthropist who had made his fortune through interests in the British East India Company. His will, dated 1722, decreed that the College was to educate:
10 or 12 local boys from Petersfield, of any age from 9 to 14, in the arts of writing, arithmetic, mathematics and navigation so they could be apprenticed to masters of ships sailing in the East Indies.
Under the terms of the will, Churcher's College was created as a non-denominational foundation, a status it has kept to this day. The original school, built in 1729, is in College Street. The school became increasingly popular due to its successes, and in 1881 moved to its present location in Ramshill, which accommodated 150 boys.
For much of the 20th century Churcher's College operated as a voluntary aided grammar school. In 1979, Hampshire County Council decided to cease to maintain the college, which became an independent fee-paying school. The school's expanding population (by the mid-20th century the school educated some 400 boys, of whom about a quarter boarded) has necessitated the addition of a number of modern buildings alongside the original 1881 buildings.
Girls were first admitted to the Sixth Form in 1980, and the school became fully co-educational in 1988. Reflecting its naval history, the college's houses are named after the naval heroes Drake, Grenville, Nelson and Rodney, with the later addition of Collingwood.
In 1993 the school purchased Morton House School in Petersfield, which became Churcher's College Junior School. Like the senior school before it, the junior school is very successful, and soon outgrew its premises. Following an unsuccessful attempt to relocate in Petersfield, the school eventually purchased an existing school campus in Liphook (Littlefield's School), which from 2003 became the junior school's new site.
Sport and outdoor pursuits
The boys compete in rugby union, field hockey and cricket, whilst the girls play netball, field hockey and rounders. The College was the first school to affiliate to the Hampshire RFU in 1924. OC Frank Guy was responsible for the founding of local rugby union club Petersfield R.F.C. in 1927. In 2015, Churcher's won the NatWest Schools Cup under-18 Vase with 13-5 victory over SEEVIC College, the first Hampshire school to do so.
- Michael Auger (born 1990), member of the band Collabro which took the top prize in the TV show Britain’s Got Talent, 2014
- Brig Henry Baxter CBE GM, Commander of the Ulster Defence Regiment 1973–6; awarded the George Medal 1957 for removing an IRA bomb in Armagh
- Charles Beeson (born 1957), TV director
- Dr Geoffrey Boxshall, Deputy Chief Scientific Officer from 1997 of the Natural History Museum, and joint winner in 2004, with John Dransfield, of the Linnean Medal
- Rhidian Brook, writer and broadcaster
- Arthur Brough, actor (Are You Being Served?)
- Rt Rev Harry Carpenter, Bishop of Oxford 1955–70
- Calum Chambers, footballer for Arsenal F.C. and England
- Howard Drake OBE, High Commissioner to Jamaica from 2010-2013, and Ambassador to Chile from 2005–9
- Tim Footman, writer and quiz show regular
- Reg Gammon, artist
- Jim Hetherington, former England rugby union player
- Simon Ings, writer
- Edward Kelsey, actor (The Archers – Joe Grundy, DangerMouse)
- Alex Lawther, actor (The Imitation Game)
- Rear Adm Philip Mathias MBE, Director since 2010 of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (Nuclear), and President in 2004 of the Admiralty Interview Board
- John Peters (RAF officer), pilot shot down in first Gulf War on 17 January 1991
- Stuart Ernest Piggott (1910–1996), male archaeologist
- Fiona Pocock, rugby union player for England
- Barrie Roberts (1939-2007), author, folk singer, freelance journalist and criminal lawyer
- Tim Rodber (born 1969), former England rugby union player
- Tiny Rowland (1917–1998), businessman and chairman of the Lonrho conglomerate 1962-1993
- Tim Spanton (born 1957), journalist
- Rear Adm Chris Snow, Flag Officer Sea Training since February 2009, and commanded HMS Ocean from 2005–6
- Graham Stratford, cattle breeder and mayor of Alton
- Robert Tronson, TV and film director, including police dramas and The Darling Buds of May
- "Churcher's College: History". Archived from the original on 16 December 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
- "Hampshire Gardens Trust: Broadland House". Retrieved 21 February 2015.
- "British Listed Buildings". Retrieved 21 February 2015.
- House of Commons: Schools reorganisation (col. 486W). Hansard. 2 July 1979. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
- "NatWest Schools Cup 2015: Churcher's College win under-18 Vase with 13-5 victory over SEEVIC". Daily Telegraph. 25 March 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
- "IMDb: Charles Beeson". Retrieved 25 November 2014.
- "Old Churcherians". Archived from the original on 5 April 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2016.