University’s Commemoration of Benefactors service this Sunday

  • 29 October 2019

The University’s Annual Commemoration of Benefactors service will take place in Great St Mary’s, the University Church, at 11:15am on Sunday 3 November. Gonville & Caius Former Fellow and Tutor, The Reverend Canon Professor Sarah Foot will be this year’s Lady Margaret Preacher at the annual service.

Sermons before the University of Cambridge date back to the 1300s and these historic services have covered a range of topics of particular interest to students. Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII, founded the Lady Margaret’s Preachership in 1504; a preacher is now appointed annually to deliver the sermon and Sarah Foot will preach on ‘Unwitting benefactors: John Moore, Bishop of Ely, and the Venerable Bede’.

Sarah Foot read Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic and then History at Newnham College, completing a PhD before migrating to Gonville and Caius as a Research Fellow and later Official Fellow and Tutor. She took up a lectureship at Sheffield in 1993, eventually holding a chair in Early Medieval History before moving to Oxford as Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Canon Professor of Christ Church in 2007. She was ordained deacon and priest in 2017.

A Fellow of both the Royal Historical Society and the Society of Antiquaries, Professor Foot is a former President of the Ecclesiastical History Society and serves on a number of editorial boards as well as chairing the Frideswide Foundation Trustees, supporting a choir for girl choristers aged 7-14, which was recently adopted by Christ Church Cathedral.

Her publications include ‘Veiled Women’ (2 vols 2000),’Monastic life in Anglo-Saxon England 600-900′ (2006) and ‘Æthelstan: the First King of England’ (2011) and she is working on the Anglo-Saxon Charters of Bury St Edmunds, on ‘The Venerable Bede: a Located Life’ and on a revised translation of and new introduction to Bede’s ‘The Ecclesiastical History of the English People’.

The Chapel Choir of Queens’ College will sing at the service and will be conducted by Dr Christopher Robinson.

The service will last about an hour and is open to all. There will be a drinks reception in Michaelhouse afterwards for those present. Members of the University wear their gowns and Doctors wear scarlet.


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