Sarum College Presentation Day 4th March 2017

Sarum College Presentation Day 4th March 2017


(my opening remarks at the Ceremony)
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all this morning to this ceremony for the presentation of academic awards for Sarum College. Thanks to St Thomas Church for hosting us and to a former student, Roger Wilcock who is playing the organ.
It is good to see so many familiar faces and to share in this celebration of your achievement. Behind each name on this programme is an individual story that is characterised by effort, creativity, engagement and a deepening of learning and wisdom. Alongside each one of you there are a whole number of people who have encouraged, supported and journeyed – putting up with long nights, scattered piles of books and paper, times spent away and those meals you cooked while deadlines were being met. Thank you for your achievement in the gift of care and patience.
For Sarum College this is also a significant event. For the first time we have a joint ceremony of students from our MA programmes with students from the Centre for Formation in Ministry. I want to thank my team at Sarum working so hard to be part of your academic achievement. The hospitality and housekeeping staff, those who have produced the food to sustain our learning, Jayne Downey and her staff, all those who help us navigate Moodle and the mysteries of Sarum Learn ; but especially the academic team whose enthusiasm, skill and carefulness have supported and enabled each one of you in your learning. Thanks go to you our teachers and the journey you have taken us on.


Sarum College stands in the shadow of one of the most magnificent mediaeval buildings in the world – Salisbury Cathedral. We are indebted to this physical place which also plays a part in the richness of nourishing the human spirit. The Cathedral, a vibrant worshipping, growing and witnessing community, are partners and friends in this venture and on your behalf I welcome the Dean of Salisbury, June Osborne. When the history of this particular and sometimes turbulent period of church life is written I am confident that June’s name will appear as a person who has made a difference through her perseverance and witness to enabling a richer, wiser and more inclusive spiritual economy. June’s contribution to the development of women’s ministry into the whole life of the church is incalculable. I also believe that she remains one of today’s eminently skilled narrators who communicates like few others. Unafraid to grasp the nettle; a fearless preparedness to name some of those things which prevent us all from flourishing; a restless desire for us to go deeper; strong and bold leadership all characterise June’s ministry. June thank you for your presence with us and we look forward to your address in due course.


I wish you a happy day. Bidden or Unbidden God is present and into that presence we offer this stage of our journey

James Woodward
Sarum College

Photographs copyright Ash Mills

Sarum College Grads Highly Distinctive

Alongside the usual Saturday morning shoppers Salisbury’s High Street on March 4th was a procession of more than 50 Sarum College graduands in robes and mortar board hats making their way from the Cathedral Close to St Thomas’s Church to be awarded academic degrees.

‘Presentation day is a time for the College to come together to congratulate our graduates and those who have supported them in their considerable achievements and it is good to see so many young people at the ceremony to affirm their parents’ achievements,’ says Sarum College Principal, The Revd Canon Dr James Woodward. ‘Nearly half of our postgraduate students have earned merits or distinctions and all have worked incredibly hard. I am delighted to congratulate each individual but also to take pride in being part of a team here at Sarum that supports such excellence.’

‘Well done to you students for all you have achieved in gaining your award,’ said The Very Revd June Osborne, Dean of Salisbury Cathedral, who gave this year’s Presentation address. ‘But an even greater accolade is due to you for exercising the gifts of moderation, without which human communities will not find solidarity or glimpse the character of God.’

On Presentation Day, graduates, their family and friends and Sarum College staff come together to celebrate their achievements. For the first time, the awards ceremony combines those who have earned postgraduate degrees across Sarum’s five MA programmes as well as those being formed for ministry in the Churches.

About Sarum College
Founded in 1995, Sarum College is an ecumenical study, conference and research centre situated in historic grade 1-listed buildings in Salisbury’s Cathedral Close.

Welcoming people of all faiths and none, Sarum’s educational programmes are organised into seven centres of learning: Centre for Contemporary Spirituality; Centre for Leadership Learning; Centre for Liturgy and Worship; Centre for Theology, Imagination and Culture; Centre for Encountering the Bible, Centre for Human Flourishing; and the Centre for Formation in Ministry.

Ministry studies became integrated into Sarum College’s education programme after the merger with the Southern Theological Education and Training Scheme in February 2015.

There are four postgraduate programmes validated by the University of Winchester. Ministry courses are validated by Durham University and students can choose full-time, part-time or practice-based study and training. These courses create opportunities for all to learn, to think, to speak and to act with greater theological confidence and can lead to a postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma or an MA degree.

Guest bedroom and meeting rooms also can be hired by the general public when not in use for courses and college events.

For more information about Sarum College’s postgraduate study programmes, call 01722 424827 or

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