Keeping in touch during Covid-19

In Memoriam
Garden Benches

The Corvid-19 virus has stricken a number of our Old Members. Here we remember those who have sadly succumbed

Keith Maclennan (1959)
Keith died in hospital in Cumbria on 24th March, aged 79.  He came up in 1959 to read Classics and enjoyed a successful career as a school teacher, latterly at Rugby School until he retired in 2000 as Housemaster.

Peter Sinclair (1964)
Peter was a popular figure at College events and we will miss him enormously. He spent his career as an economist, teaching the future Prime Minister, David Cameron, as a don at Brasenose. Our deepest sympathies go out to Peter’s wife and family.




Corpus in the Community

With the College in lockdown, and the great majority of students back at home preparing for online teaching next term, most Corpus staff are either working from home or have been sent home in order to observe Government guidelines. This has not prevented a number of them volunteering to do their bit in the community at this time of national crisis.

Chris Daw

Cat Daw, the partner of our Master of Works, Chris, has set up a cottage industry at home making headbands and bandanas for NHS staff who have to wear facemasks. Wearing these for any more than three hours causes soreness and discomfort to their ears. They sew a button on each side of a headband and bandana around which the facemask elastic is hooked. Chris's contribution is sewing on the buttons. Simple but effective. The result is happy ears and slightly less stressed nurses.

John Jackson, our Hall Manager, is normally to be found balancing salvers whilst skipping around guests at High Table. With the Hall in mothballs John is instead volunteering at the John Radcliffe hospital delivering food to patients. Those white gloves are no doubt coming in very handy.

Alumni can read more on these initiatives as they develop on our Facebook page. (




Billboard of Corpus Memories

For those at home looking for things to do, you might wish to consider going through your old photograph albums and digging out your favourite Corpus pictures. Scan them, head over to the Facebook page ( and post them.  We’re already building a large virtual billboard of college memories – see if you or your friends are on there.

Marauding Wildlife

Nature abhors a vacuum, so with the main quad devoid of human activity, nature has moved in. The ducks and blackbirds are welcome visitors, but dominion over the ancient buildings has been ceded to the famous marauding Corpus squirrels. Readers of The Sundial may recall that last year they broke into the President's office by tunnelling through a window frame.

Over the past two weeks they have turned to less sophisticated methods, organising sallies into the lodge to raid the pigeon holes of students who had forgotten to check for food parcels before they left. I couldn't get a photo of an actual heist taking place, but the duty porter is confident we have them on CCTV and an identity parade before the Dean is already planned.



New Technique to Study Blood Cells Developed by Corpus Team

New physiological techniques that measure the blood's oxygen saturation are particularly important in light of the current pandemic, as COVID-19 patients present an abnormally low concentration of oxygen in the blood. Handa Fellow and Tutor in Biomedical Sciences, Professor Pawel Swietach, and his team of DPAG scientists have developed single-cell oxygen saturation imaging to study oxygen handling by red blood cells.  Read more here.

From Corpus Christi Chapel: Sunday Chapel for Pentecost

From the Chaplain:

Please find the link below to a short service we have prepared for this Sunday, which is Pentecost Sunday.  It is only a bit over 20 minutes long – less than half the length of a normal Evensong back in the day when we could do that sort of thing, so if you’ve never been to the College Chapel, why not give this a go?

I am grateful to everyone who is involved in the production of these podcasts:  the Organ Scholars, chapelwardens and members of the choir – and especially Matthew Murphy who has yet again pulled out the stops to put this service together.  

Corpus Christi Chapel
31 May 2020

From Corpus Christi Chapel: Ascension Day Service

From the Chaplain:

Please find the link below to a short service we have prepared for 21 May, which was Ascension Day.  It is around 20 minutes long – less than half the length of a normal Evensong back in the day when we could do that sort of thing, so if you’ve never been to the College Chapel, why not give this a go?

We had planned to have a joint service with our friends from St Hilda’s College, followed by supper, as we’ve done in the recent past.  Sadly, we can’t be together but the address is given by Canon Brian Mountford, St Hilda’s Chaplain and well known to us in Corpus as Brian was Acting Chaplain here in 2018.  The Prayers are led by Becky Short from St Hilda’s. 

Corpus Christi Chapel
Ascension Day Service

College Van’s Exploits Delivering PPE around Oxfordshire

At the request of the local NHS and through another College, Corpus was asked if we could supply the College van and a driver for the daily distribution of PPE from the Oxford hub out to sites within and around Oxfordshire. The College was delighted to offer this service and has been providing the van and a driver from a roster of seven volunteers on a daily basis for several weeks. The requirement has ceased as the local NHS now has its own vehicles and regular drivers. The following members of the College volunteered:

Sav Barresi (Maintenance), John Jackson (Hall and SCR Manager), Steve Brooks (Maintenance Manager), Nick Melhuish (Estates Bursar), Steve Bartlett (Health and Safety Co-ordinator),  Andrew Lord (Accountant), Andrew Goodbourn (Property Consultant), Andy Rolfe (Domestic Bursar) and James Serjeant (Lodge Porter).