Founders' Day Service

16th November 2023

St Hilda's College Founder's Day service is held close to the feast day of St Hilda (17th November). On this occasion, we remember our founder, Dorothea Beale, and give thanks for all the benefactors who have enabled the continuation of the College since 1893.

In this 130th year, the College community, led by the College Chaplain Suzan Meryem Rosita Kalayci, reflected in different ways on the theme of Humanity.

The service commenced with the Collect for St Hilda:

“O God, by whose grace the blessed Abbess Hilda, enkindled by the fire of your love, became a burning and shining light in thy Church: grant that we may be inflamed with the same spirit of discipline and love and ever walk before thee as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

There was a variety of music and song including, as has become tradition, a new student setting of The Hymn of Caedmon, this year by Momo Ueda (Music, 2021).

The Chaplain reflected on the word 'Insan', which is Arabic for person or human. She recalled a chance encounter with a fish and chip shop owner who explained that if we remove the 'n', the word becomes 'insa', which means 'to forget'. So, the word 'forget' is derived from the word 'human'. Since it was God who created our minds and hearts, He knew from the very beginning that we would quickly forget our history, only to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

The service continued with a sermon by Peter Greenman (Chemistry 2013) and a series of reflections from The Dean Daniel Bulte, The JCR President Georgina Summers, The MCR President Jonathan Rutter, and The Domestic Bursar Gerri Cane. The congregation heard a wide range of thought-provoking words, which spanned from the lived experiences of those at St Hilda’s to an open letter by musician Nick Cave on suffering.

‘May all the members of the College use their special talents and skills to fulfil their vocations’