Summer graduations 2022: A reflection

We were fortunate to be able to celebrate the wonderful achievements of St John’s students graduating in the Cathedral this summer. Let’s take a look at what some of these students had to say about their time as a student in Durham and St John’s College.

“everything outside the institution is as important as the academic stuff, so make the most of everything”


Georgina Elsey, BA Theology, Mission and Ministry

What have you been up to since you left John’s/Cranmer?

I have spent 2 years as assistant curate at St. John’s Church Hyde Park, continuing my priestly training.

What do you plan to do next?

I am applying to be an army chaplain.

What is your favourite memory from your time at John’s/Cranmer?

Playing the card game Dutch Blitz in the CCR.

What was it like to graduate?

It was a relief on the fourth attempt to get some closure and being able to mark and celebrate our time at Cranmer.

What’s your best piece of advice for new and current students?

Student life is still you living your life; everything outside the institution is as important as the academic stuff, so make the most of everything.


Lucie Loridon, PPE

What do you plan to do next?

Masters at LSE in international development and humanitarian emergencies starting September 2022.

What is your favourite memory from your time at John’s/Cranmer?

John’s bar and the events.

What was it like to graduate?

Heartwarming.

What’s your best piece of advice for new and current students?

Work hard play hard!


Billy Crook, BA Music

What do you plan to do next?

I’m hoping to do a graduate internship with Universal Music in their Classics and Screen division!

What is your favourite memory from your time at John’s/Cranmer?

Bailey Ball 2021, was such a magical night after almost two years of covid!

What was it like to graduate?

Surreal and emotional.

What’s your best piece of advice for new and current students?

John’s is the best community I’ve ever been a part of, so get involved, you won’t regret it!!


Cathrine Ngangira, BA Theology, Mission and Ministry

What have you been up to since you left John’s/Cranmer?

I have been a Curate (Trainee Priest) in a Church in Bearsted Kent in the diocese of Canterbury.

What do you plan to do next?

Complete my curacy training and go where God sends me next to serve.

What is your favourite memory from your time at John’s/Cranmer?

The prayer times in the Chapel and meal times especially in Haughton Dining Hall.

What was it like to graduate?

It was special coming back to graduate as an alumni but also College Councillor. I was surprised by how joyful the ceremony was and a positive sense of duty to the College community.

What’s your best piece of advice for new and current students?

Expect to be pushed out of your comfort zone. The good thing is you don’t have to face the challenges alone, you are surrounded by a community of staff and students who can support you, if you allow them to.
Have fun.


Shiqi, MSc

What have you been up to since you left John’s/Cranmer?

Freelance Mandarin interpreter.
Developer.

What do you plan to do next?

Developer or software engineer

What is your favourite memory from your time at John’s/Cranmer?

Everyone is so nice.

What’s your best piece of advice for new and current students?

Cherish your time at university, it’s wonderful.


Abigail Spanner, MA Classics

What have you been up to since you left John’s/Cranmer?

I’ve been working part-time doing exam invigilating, odd jobs, and volunteering at Kedleston Hall (National Trust).

What do you plan to do next?

I’m planning to do a PhD in Classics at Nottingham University.

What is your favourite memory from your time at John’s/Cranmer?

I loved sitting in the bar on a hot summer day in June 2021, chatting with my friends and enjoying a Pimm’s.

What was it like to graduate?

A fantastic experience and one of the best days of my life!

What’s your best piece of advice for new and current students?

If ever you’re finding things stressful, just remember that friendship, community and faith can get you through difficult times. Be honest and reach out to people for help.


Matt Guilder, BA Theology, Ministry and Mission

What have you been up to since you left John’s/Cranmer?

We left Durham in 2020 to join St Thomas’ Lancaster, where I serve as curate and Jenny became a Blackburn Ordinand and also joined St Thomas’ for her placement whilst studying for a MA at Emmanuel College.
At St Thomas’ we have a great team and offer a wide range of ministry and missional opportunities. I have attempted to take all the valuable lessons we learnt whilst in Durham into our roles here.

What do you plan to do next?

I hope to go on to become a Vicar, a priest of a parish Church. But that really is down to God, The Bishop and the leadership team.

What is your favourite memory from your time at John’s/Cranmer?

So many wonderful memories. Cheering people out of the chapel on Matriculation. Worshiping together across the North East but particularly in chapel worship. Stand out moment The Walk we did in the Holy Land led by Rev Dr P Plyming, life changing.

What was it like to graduate?

I was quite emotional, I would not have made it through the academic work without the expert support from all the team at Cranmer and St John’s.

What’s your best piece of advice for new and current students?

Love Jesus, Love the Community and understand the wonderful privilege it is to have two or three years in this special place.


After hearing the advice of our new alumni for new and current students at St John’s, it is only fair we return the favour! Here is Rev Arun Arora with some words of advice for our recent graduates:

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