An introduction from your Societies Officer – Tom Pocock

Hello! My name is Tom, I am a 4th year Maths and Physics student, and your Societies Officer for 2017/18! This is a role that was created in 2015 to help spread the news of all the society-related activities that are going on in college. I’m here to let you know what is going on at what times and with what societies, for as you can see we have quite a few of them here at Mary’s. I also help create new societies, so if there is any field that is lacking a society- just let me know and we’ll make sure to fill the gap! I think getting involved in societies is one of the best ways of meeting new people in college, and an extra perk is that you socialise while doing something you enjoy as well. So look out for updates on the notice boards in college, as well as on the Experience Mary’s Facebook Page, to see how you can get involved! Experience Mary’s is also the place where I do weekly interviews with different societies in Mary’s – so this is definitely the best way to see if there is anything that would interest you.

Here’s the link to Experience Mary’s:

If you have any questions whatsoever, just drop me an email on or contact one of the Society Presidents below.

Baking Society

Maddie Kavanagh (

Basement Jazz (within SMCAS)

President: Alfie Leach (

Basement Jazz is a twelve piece jazz band which rehearses on Thursday evenings in the Mary’s Basement. Our repertoire ranges from soul and jazz to pop. We play at some of Durham’s most exciting events with some of last year’s gigs including Fresher’s, Bailey and Mary’s Balls, as well as regular performances at Fabio’s cocktail bar. The band’s reputation has grown very substantially around Durham over several years and many students have been pining to join, although preference has always been given to Mary’s students. Look out for our stand and come and meet us at the Mary’s Fresher’s Fair! If you have any questions feel free to get in touch with Alfie, the President.

Beekeeping Society

Martha Rowe (

St Mary’s Beekeeping society was formed in Epiphany term last year. We now have 5 hives up and running in college grounds with around 200,000 bees and counting. The society has generated a buzz in college already and the hives will be maintained by students. We hope to be producing St Mary’s own honey next year, and the bees travel up to a 3 mile radius so if you ever see a bee in Durham, it could be one of ours! If you are interested in learning more about our bees or want to get involved with maintaining the hives please email me or message me on Facebook to find out more.

Biology at Mary’s (BAM)

Matt Warren (

BAM was made official four years ago after infamous unofficial socials and meetings occurred throughout the year. As a society we enhance your study of Biology at Mary’s with socials so you can get to know your course mates better and have someone to sit next to in lectures, debates so you can argue with your new found friends, and study sessions to help prepare for your exams. If you study Biology, a biology elective module, like biology or simply want to mingle with the cool kids (us) then come along to our biologilicious socials, where you’ll have the chance to meet all the other society members. And with the possibility of stash designed by FAB (fashion at BAM) this year, it’s the place to be!

Chapel Choir (within SMCAS)

Hannah Hartley (

St Mary’s College Chapel sings fortnightly services in the College Chapel, alternating between Choral Evensong and Sung Eucharist, with additional services and our College Carol Service in Durham Cathedral. We have also been on tour to places like Prague and Vienna. We audition in October for paid choral scholar positions but the rest of the choir is welcome to sing on a non-auditioned basis. We are currently accepting applications for a Director of Music and Assistant Director of Music. We would love to hear from anyone who is interested in applying for these posts or for the choral scholarships.

Christian Union (CU)

Jessie McDonnell ( and Jake Atkinson (

We are a group of Christians who meet weekly to encourage one another to grow in faith through Bible studies and prayer. We also aim to share the love of Jesus with everyone in college and so run events (from picnics to question panels) to give every student the chance to hear what we believe. Whether you’re a committed Christian or you just want to find out more, you are very welcome to come along to Mary’s CU. If you are interested or have any questions, come and meet us (Jessie and Jake) at the College Freshers’ Fair or you’re very welcome to email us, we’d love the hear from you! The central Durham Christian Union also puts on the Freshers’ Getaway from 15th-17th September: a great chance to meet other Christians before you arrive, to think about following Jesus at university and to find out more about what Durham CU does. It was a brilliant few days last year when we were Freshers, so do come along – we’ll be there! If you’re interested, get in touch with one of us, or look out for more information on Facebook:

Disney Society

Pip Orchard (

Feminist Society

Estia Ryan (

St Mary’s College Feminist Society was created in 2014 and meets every week. During our weekly meetings we have topical discussions, guest speakers and workshops. In the past this has included working in conjunction with Mary’s student Sugandha Yadiv’s White Shadows charity, Mary’s LGBT+ reps and It Happens Here Durham. We’ve had talks from local charities, a consent workshop and discussions led by members of FemSoc. Recent topics have included Gendered Advertising, Trans (Mis)representation, Intersectionality, and Unconscious Bias. We work alongside other College Femsocs as well as fundraising for our chosen charities. Most meetings are pretty informal so feel free to drop in! If you want any more information please email me!

Fine Arts and Crafts (within SMCAS)

Viet Tran (

Fine Arts & Crafts Society (FACS) is dedicated to celebrating visual arts in Mary’s! Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced artist, FACS is open to everyone and has something for all levels of skills. We have free weekly arts & crafts sessions with all materials provided (and we consider providing refreshments during sessions very seriously). We will also host visual arts competition and exhibition during the year. Join our Facebook group to follow what’s happening with FACS each week. ( Please do not hesitate to contact me by email or Facebook about any questions or suggestions

Foot of the Hill Drama Society (within SMCAS)

Rebecca Kingston (

Foot of the Hill Theatre Company takes care of everything drama related at Mary’s. We aim to put a production on each term, usually comprising of a Christmas pantomime, a play in second term, and finally, after all exams are over, we have a summer musical. We strive to be as inclusive as possible, so whether or not you think “all the world’s a stage”, there is a spot for you in Mary’s Drama and we value any skill you can bring to the team. Whether you find your niche centre stage, at the lighting desk, in the director’s chair or even helping to design/paint props, drama is an unrivalled way to meet tonnes of new friends and have countless, unforgettable experiences and memories. To join, or not to join…there is no question (but feel free to contact Jonathan if you want to find out more)!

Freedom Society

Olivia Morrison (

Journalism Society

Rob Murphy (

The St Mary’s College Broadcasters’ and Journalists’ Society was formed at the end of this academic year as a coalition of Mary’s students – both returners and those graduating – who had an interesting in working in different aspects of the field. As a pilot year, 2016/17 is going to be super exciting – we will be deciding what direction the society will be taking.

You can look forward to talks by alumni, career events, a potential Marys multimedia journalism project, and much more – so get involved!

Karaoke Society

Owen MacCuish (


Mary’s Mixed Voices (MMV) (within SMCAS)

Victoria Richards (

Mary’s Mixed Voices is a relaxed and friendly choir that sings a variety of music from musicals to pop, and we welcome singers of all levels to come and join us. We rehearse weekly and perform at the termly Mary’s arts concerts and at Mary’s day, and last year we were very happy to be asked to sing at the champagne reception at the Masquerade Ball in Epiphany term.

Random Acts of Kindness Society

Bethany Holden (

Reading Society

Bridie O’Connor (bridget.a.o’

St Mary’s Undergraduate Geography Society (SMUGS)

Sophie Topp (



Photography Committee

Peter Watson

A society to provide photography coverage of college events, for example, sports fixtures, formals and balls