HRH Prince Charles visits Cranmer Hall
Students at Cranmer Hall were delighted to welcome HRH Prince Charles on his recent visit to St John’s College, Durham. The Prince was introduced to three students training for ministry in the Church of England during his day visiting Durham and Barnard Castle.
Revd Dr Philip Plyming, Warden of Cranmer Hall, said after the visit ‘Prince Charles was clearly interested in, and supportive of, the work of Cranmer Hall in training people for ordained ministry. He asked about the academic demands of training but also the varied practical experience which students receive, something which has long been a focus of Cranmer Hall’s programme. We were so pleased that in his busy day in County Durham the Prince wanted to find out more about the contribution that Cranmer Hall is making to the future of mission and ministry in the Church of England and beyond.
Cathrine Ngangira was one of the students who met the Prince. She commented, ‘It was a great honour to meet with Prince Charles and to talk about my personal experience on my journey to be here training at Cranmer Hall.
Pouya Heidari told the Prince of his experience in the underground church in Iran and his arriving in the UK in 2009. He said ‘I was delighted to meet Prince Charles. He was pleased to know that I could live and train in a safe place as a Christian.’
Craig Bentley was serving in the RAF before training for ministry at Cranmer Hall. He said, ‘It was such a pleasure to meet His Royal Highness and get to discuss the training that I’m undertaking at Cranmer Hall. He asked about my military experience and was interested to know how my military experience compared to studying at Cranmer Hall.’
Prince Charles also met Bishop Libby Lane, Chair of Cranmer Committee, Bishop James Newcome and Dr Jamie Harrison, Chair and Vice-Chair of St John’s College Council, and Prof. Mike Higton, who oversees Common Awards within Durham University.
The Prince also took time to meet Cranmer Hall students who were waiting on the street to greet him. One student, Rose Jones, said, ‘’The Prince asked if we have to do lots of essays. I said unfortunately yes, so he suggested I could blame him for missing the deadlines this week!’
The Prince went on to unveil a plaque at St John’s College commemorating his ancestor, Elizabeth Bowes, who lived in what is now part of the College, before visiting Durham Cathedral and meeting the crowds on Palace Green.