Coronavirus: FAQs for Girton College

August 28, 2020 News

Please find below the latest information for Girton College members and employees about coronavirus and how the College is responding. These pages are updated regularly.

If you have any questions not covered here please contact


Advice for Students for the Start of the Academic Year 2020-21

  • Information for undergraduate and postgraduate students living in College Accommodation for 2020/2021 (PDF – 28/08/2020)
  • Girton College Arrangements for Quarantine in College Accommodation (PDF – 28/08/2020)
  • If you are quarantining or self-isolating in your College accommodation you can order food to be delivered by the Girton Catering department.  Further information about the process is available here: Catering deliveries (PDF 14/09/2020)
  • The University is continually monitoring the latest Public Health England and Government advice about the virus. You can find useful information on their website here.


Advice for Resident Students and Returning Postgraduates

Exams and Assessments

Local or second lockdown Guidance

In the case of a second or local lockdown, the University and the Colleges will, as ever, be guided by the advice of PHE/National Institute for Health Protection and the country’s legislation. At Girton, in the event of a second wave or localised spike we will do everything we can to support students to stay in residence and continue their studies providing that it is safe, within the law and complies with government guidelines. As always tutors, college nurses and the accommodation officer will be available to give advice in such a situation.


Advice for Fellows and Employees


Status of Spaces and Services


Sources of Health and well-being support for All, including Testing


Communications from The Mistress:


Published: 18 March 2020 (updated: 28/08/2020)

Girton College Announces the Appointment of New Chaplain

August 26, 2020 News

Tim Boniface

Revd Dr Tim Boniface

Girton College is delighted to welcome Revd Dr Tim Boniface as Chaplain and Bye-Fellow from 1 September 2020. Tim comes to Girton from St Nicholas Church in Chislehurst, Kent, where he has served his title-post since 2016. He is no newcomer to Cambridge, however, having trained for ordination at Westcott House in 2012-16, serving the chapel community at Magdalene College, and worshipping with his family at St Paul’s Church on Hills Road, with whom he set up a community singing initiative that continues today.

Revd Dr Boniface has a BA in Theology from Exeter (2006), an MA in Systematic and Philosophical Theology from Nottingham (2012), and a PhD in Theology from Durham (2016). His doctoral thesis – which explored an account of the transcendence of Jesus through the works of Hans Frei and Dietrich Bonhoeffer – was published by Fortress Academic as Jesus, Transcendence and Generosity (2017).

It may not be a coincidence, given Girton’s renowned musical tradition, that Tim is not only a fine priest and respected theologian but also a professional jazz musician, who has, over 20 years, performed and recorded alongside many wonderful British and international jazz artists. Primarily a saxophonist and pianist (he is the saxophone tutor in the Jazz Department at Morley College, London) he can sometimes also be found on flugelhorn, guitar and more.

As well as playing in the mainstream jazz tradition, Tim has recently composed two jazz suites that explore the relationship between jazz improvisation and the reading of Biblical text. The Eight Words (2017) and The Infant: A Jazz Suite for Christmas (2019) are available on CD and digitally; live tours, mainly in church and cathedral spaces, have been enthusiastically received. Find out more on his website:

As the role of Chaplain at Girton is part-time, the College is looking forward to seeing Tim’s musical ambitions flourish together with his ministry here.

Tim is married, with two daughters aged 7 and 9, and being a family friendly College, Girton looks forward to welcoming them too as the term unfolds. As a keen and long-suffering supporter of Brighton and Hove Albion FC, Tim will be well-placed to appreciate Girton’s competitive edge on some of the best on-site sports facilities in Cambridge.

The Mistress, Professor Susan J Smith, observed that “Revd Dr Boniface joins the College at a moment that is both joyful – as Girton opens a new chapter after an exhilarating 150th anniversary year – and challenging, as we approach a new term still under the shadow of the pandemic. With Tim’s appointment, we already feel that the life of the Chapel, which has long been a vital part of Girton’s deep tradition of pastoral support and personal growth, is in safe hands.”

Commenting on his appointment, Revd Dr Boniface said “I am looking forward to serving such a lively and well-regarded college community, and to participating in the combination of academic rigour, intellectual and creative freedom, and musical excellence for which Girton is known. Most of all, however, I am delighted to have the opportunity to play a part in enabling a lively and loving college life for all members of the Girton community.”

Published: 26 August 2020

Au Revoir, Revd Dr Malcolm Guite

August 7, 2020 News

The Revd Dr Malcolm Guite in conversation, Lent Term 2020

The Revd Dr Malcolm Guite is stepping down as Chaplain at Girton College. He has been a much-valued colleague for nearly two decades, first as acting Chaplain and then as incumbent Chaplain for 17 years. It is a half-time position, so that as well as being inspired by Malcolm’s ministry, the Fellows, students and staff at Girton have, over two decades, enjoyed the fruits of his myriad writing, poetry, teaching and musical projects.

Tributes to our outgoing Chaplain have poured in over recent weeks. One observation, from a Girton Fellow, sums up the mood: ‘This motorbike-riding, Grateful Dead-quoting, Bob Dylan-singing, Priest, poet and mystic is one in a million

The disruption associated with COIVD-19 has precluded a formal leaving ceremony though, ironically, it has enabled some fragments of a farewell to be captured online. You can, for example, listen to Revd Guite’s last full term of Sunday services on the subject of The Lord’s Prayer here, each offering an opportunity to listen to the Chapel Choir, to Fellows, students and staff reading from scripture and poetry, and to a series of thoughtful sermons. One sermon, uniquely, is much the same from year to year; it is for graduands on the day of General Admission. That service too has been preserved for posterity and is available here.

For a glimpse more broadly of Malcolm Guite’s role within the College, please drop into the GirtOnline Garden Party where you can, in our ‘live at 5pm’ playlist, hear a short tribute from the Mistress. She remarks on how comforting it has been to everyone in College – people of all faiths and of none – to have the Chaplain’s support when times are tough. His wisdom, compassion and kindness, his inclusive, ecumenical use of the Chapel, and his availability to individuals in times of great need, is something that will long be remembered here at Girton. Throughout the ups and downs, those engaging with the Christian faith have enjoyed a lively programme of Chapel activity with a different thought-provoking theme each term, aptly complemented by words and music. An imaginative calendar of activity from candlelit compline, to the rousing advent carol service and a distinctive approach to celebrating the Ascension is all part of Malcolm’s legacy.

Malcolm Guite on Ascension Day

Malcolm Guite on Ascension Day

In the best of times at Girton, Dr Guite has taken an active role in small group teaching, built his reputation as a scholar (with expertise spanning Samuel Taylor Coleridge, T. S. Eliot, C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkein) and been a leading light of the Poetry Society. He has published 11 books, including four collections of original poetry, and later this year his collection of prize-winning poetry at Girton (co-edited with Grevell Lindop) celebrates ten years of the the Jane Martin Poetry Prize. It is no surprise to learn that one of the reasons for Dr Guite’s slightly-early retirement is to consolidate and build on his world-leading reputation as a poet, and to develop his wider portfolio as a writer and sought-after speaker.

For his part, Malcolm Guite has underlined his gratitude to Girton, as a place and a community that taught him much and allowed him to flourish; ‘to put down roots and bear fruit’. An element of that flourishing that is legendary is Malcolm’s musicianship. His group ‘Mystery Train’ has made numerous guest appearances in College, at the annual ‘Booze, blues and chocolate’ party, at the Mistress’s suppers for students, and of course at the Girton150 Festival event Kaleidoscope (a performance you can pick up here).

We are very pleased to announce that Dr Guite will remain part of the Girton community, having been elected as a Life Fellow of the College. However, here is his ‘Outro’ as Chaplain. This beautiful song, with words and music by Malcolm himself, and based on a passage from the book of Hebrews, is about the possibility, even (perhaps especially) in a place like Girton, of encountering ‘Angels Unawares’.

Published: 7 August 2020

#WeAreGirton – Thank you

July 20, 2020 Alumni & SupportersNews

It has been an Easter Term like no other. The College Fellowship and staff have pulled together to deliver the academic programme and provide pastoral support and guidance for students along the way. The JCR and MCR representatives have worked hard to keep the feeling of the College community with movie nights, quizzes, and stash wearing challenges – to name just a few of the activities undertaken since the start of lockdown.


In addition, we are enormously grateful to the all the alumni who have supported Girton in a myriad of ways from sending kind words, to participating in College lockdown activities, to launching their own initiatives that have enriched and engaged our alumni community. A number of Girton alumni also offered their time and talents to add a much-appreciated dimension to this virtual Term in the form of video messages of support, talks to student groups and societies, performances and more. Below is a little more about each of these fantastic volunteers. Thank you!


The Visitor, The Right Honourable the Baroness Hale of Richmond (Honorary Fellow)

The College Visitor, Lady HaleLady Hale read Law at Girton and started her career teaching Law. She was the first woman to be appointed to the Law Commission and was the first female Law Lord. In October 2009 she became the first woman Justice of the Supreme Court, eventually becoming its President from 2017 until her retirement in 2020. She is a Dame of the Order of the British Empire, a Fellow of the British Academy, and holds honorary doctorates from 27 universities as well as Fellowship of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. An inspiring role model for Girton, she is a champion for equality: for women, of course, but for all under-represented communities, whether because of their class, gender, sexual orientation or ethnic background.


Her Imperial Highness Princess Hisako Takamado (Honorary Fellow)

HIH Princess Takamado studied Chinese and then Archaeology and Anthropology at Girton, is a member of the Imperial family of Japan. She is Honorary President of BirdLife International and has a variety of other roles devoted to fostering international goodwill. She has a keen interest in Japanese sport, culture and the arts, and is Visiting Professor at the Osaka University of Arts.




Her Excellency Dame Karen Pierce (Honorary Fellow)

Her Excellency Dame Karen Pierce

Dame Karen studied English at Girton, and is one of Britain’s most senior Diplomats, with service in Japan, the USA, Eastern Europe, and South Asia. She was the first woman to hold the position of Ambassador to the UN in New York and Permanent Representative at the UN Security Council. Earlier this year Dame Karen was appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the United States of America, the first woman in this post.




Sandi Toksvig (Honorary Fellow)

Sandi Toksvig

Sandi is an award-winning writer, broadcaster and comedian. She is a playwright, the author of more than 20 books, champion of women’s equality and co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party. She was Chancellor at the University of Portsmouth (2012-17), and has honorary degrees from no fewer than five British Universities. Sandi Toksvig studied Law, Archaeology and Anthropology at Girton.




Dr Suzy Lishman (Honorary Fellow)

Dr Suzy LishmanSuzy read Medicine at Girton and is a former President of the Royal College of Pathologists who has done perhaps more than any other individual to raise the public profile of pathology in the UK. In 2013, she was named as one of the 50 most inspirational women in healthcare by the Health Services Journal. Alongside her ‘day job’ as consultant cellular pathologist and head of department at Peterborough City Hospital, she has collaborated to improve public understanding of Pathology with the Science Museum, the Royal Society, the Royal Institution and more.



Dr Belinda Bell

Dr Belinda BellBelinda is Programme Director of Cambridge Social Ventures, at Cambridge Judge Business School which supports a wide range of businesses achieving social and environmental impact. She is a social entrepreneur herself having established a range of social ventures over the last decade including those focusing on finance, ageing and young people. She has acted as a mentor, advisor and supporter to many more social entrepreneurs and in this role has developed a broad knowledge of business models for social innovation.

Belinda studied for a Masters in Community Enterprise while at Girton.


Dr Adam Crothers

Dr Adam Crothers

Adam came up to Girton in 2002 to read English. After completing an MPhil in Dublin, Adam returned to Girton to undertake a PhD, completing his dissertation in 2010. Adam was selected as one of Poetry Ireland Review’s ‘Rising Generation’ poets in 2016 and he was previously a Commissioning Editor for the online magazine The Literateur. His first collection, Several Deer, was winner of both the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry First Collection Prize and the Shine/Strong Poetry Award in 2017. His second collection The Culture of My Stuff includes sonnets and prose poems, anxiety and swagger, confession and nonsense.



Ann Fullick

Ann FullickAnn was the first person in her family to go to university, studying Natural Sciences at Girton (1974-77). She began her career in teaching before becoming an author. To date Ann has written around 200 books, widely used both in the UK and around the world. They include textbooks for Key Stage 3, GCSE Biology, IGCSE, A level Biology, and for Biology qualifications in countries including Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Liberia, Nigeria, Tanzania, and across the Caribbean. Ann has also written on topics ranging from infertility treatment, forensics and organ transplants to a biography of Marie Curie. Her books are used on five continents. Ann also produces on-line resources, and helped develop an award-winning revision app. In her curriculum work she has advised Government ministers, worked with Ofqual and Ofsted – and she also works with charities, most recently on the UNICEF Learning Passport, supporting students globally where access to education isn’t easy. She has recently been awarded the Royal Society of Biology President’s Medal for services to biology education and to the Society.


Steven Irvine

Steven IrvineSteven is founder, CEO and Editor of Week in China. He has spent over two decades working in the media industry as a business journalist and editor with a strong China-focus. He came up to Girton in 1991 to read English.




Paresh Patel

Paresh PatelParesh is an entrepreneur and businessperson, and on the board of Cambridge in America. He is co-founder, Chairman and CEO of HCI Group, Inc., a multi-national, NYSE listed company,  engaged in various business activities including software technologies, insurance, and real estate. He is former Chairman of Oxbridge Re Holdings, Ltd., a publicly listed reinsurer and has also served in the past on a number of bank boards as well as local civic chambers. He matriculated at Girton in 1981, reading Engineering.



Dr Nikhil Shah

Dr Nikhal ShahNikhil read Mathematics at Girton from 2003-06 before completing a PhD at Imperial College London (Earth Science & Engineering) 2009-13. He then joined Chevron USA in Exploration Geophysics R&D where he led the time-domain Full Waveform Inversion development program taking it from proof-of-concept to full-scale production deployment for the E&P business units on acreage offshore Brazil and Nigeria before founding S-Cube where he now serves as CEO.

GirtOnline Garden Party

June 19, 2020 News

Friday 19 June 2020

Girt-Online logo

The Garden is Open! Enjoy at your leisure…

Girton WordsLive at Five HighlightsMeet the new Chaplain | The Lockdown Scrapbooks |

Girton QuizGir-tenGirton Cocktails and Desserts | Mystery Train

Garden Walk

Start your afternoon with a stroll round the gardens, in the company of the Mistress and Deputy Head Gardener, Mr Richard Hewitt.

In the background you can hear a well-known 18th century folk-song, arranged for Queen Victoria’s Consort by Alan Gout. If you know the words, keep an eye out for the tongue-twisting lists of wildlife that Robert M. Jordan’s lyrics suggest you might find. If you don’t know the words but want to learn more about Girton’s biodiversity, visit the Cambridge Green Challenge website:

Did you guess the weight of the tree? Answer near the bottom of the page.

Girton Words

If you are missing not just the sights, but the sounds, feel and atmosphere of the College, why not listen to five new poems on a Girton theme written during lockdown by members of the Poetry Society. You can watch the whole Girton Poetry Festival YouTube playlist.

A quick guide to poetry writing from Girton’s Poetry Society here.

Mattie O’Callaghan reads her poem ‘For Girton College’

Words – PDF


#HatsOffGirton with Matt Davies and Pieter Durman

During our ‘live at five’ session on Friday 19 June, with an online crowd of over 100 party-goers, we raised funds for Imkaan, a black feminist organisation that addresses violence against BME women and girls. Find out more at, and if you would like to add to our total, visit our GoFundMe page:

HatsOffGirton Collage


Live at 5pm Highlights

1. Introduction, plus Rachel Hill
2. Farewell to Malcolm Guite
3. Hats Off ‘awards’, with Tom Page and Hannah Samuel
4. Tim Boniface plays ‘Old Folks’
5. George Jackson L-O-V-Es Girton

Outro and Intro

During the live segment of the Garden Party we thanked the Revd Dr Malcolm Guite for 17 amazing years as our Chaplain (see above), and heard a snatch of jazz from his successor, who joins Girton on 1 September 2020. Here is a message from our incoming Chaplain, the Revd Dr Tim Boniface:


The Lockdown Scrapbook is Open!

Over the past few weeks our whole College community has been asked to submit pictures and words to our lockdown scrapbook. Here is a selection of stories. Don’t worry if yours has not arrived in time to feature: all the entries we receive will soon be available in the College Archive. We want to make sure that our successors have a good feel for what the Girton community was up to during lockdown. ‘The Term When College Closed’ will surely become a Girton legend.

If you would like to send an entry for consideration for a future update of the Lockdown Scrapbook you can do so via the below link!

Submit your photograph and/or story here via WuFoo.

Current Students

Staff and Fellows




FEMSOC Collage

Try your hand at the Girton Quiz!

P.S. The weight of the tree is 22.5 Tonnes (as estimated by our Tree Surgeon)!

Wind down…

…to music recorded by the Gir-ten, over an early evening cocktail.

Gir-ten Creature’s Comfort


Garden Party themed beverages, created by Bridget Ryan


Dessert Competition

Why not try out this challenge from the Head Chef. Design a dessert, and send the recipe to the

Our Head Chef will be the Judge. He is looking for a recipe that captures the spirit of Girton, looks extravagant, tastes delicious, and is appropriately named for the College. The next time we are altogether, he will put it on our menu!


Baking class

Bridget Ryan has two tasty recipes for you to try at home!

Pudding Potato

Pudding Potato


View Ingredients (PDF)

The method demonstrated by Bridget Ryan


Black squirrel cupcakes

Black squirrel cupcakes


View ingredients (PDF)

The method demonstrated by Bridget Ryan


Twilight Garden

Photography: Dr Lila Janik
Music: Locus Iste, by Anton Bruckner (1869), played by Queen Victoria’s Consort


Dance the night away… with Mystery Train’s set from the Girton150 Festival


Thank you and Good Night!

If you are still wide awake and raring to go, why not listen to the Girton DJ Society’s House Mix below?


A Virtual May Week Concert

June 16, 2020 News

Tuesday 16 June 2020, 3.30 pm



Sonata in C minor for violin and harpsichord, BWV 1017, Largo – J. S. Bach (1685 – 1750)

Margaret Faultless (violin) & Martin Ennis (harpsichord)

Bach’s six violin and keyboard sonatas were most likely composed during his Cöthen period (1717–1723).  The sonatas are unusual in that the keyboard part is written out by the composer; most contemporary works for this combination consist of two staves of music – one for the violinist, the other a bass-line to be realised, in all likelihood, on the harpsichord.  Here, the keyboard is assigned two independent contrapuntal lines; together with the violin part these create the texture of a trio sonata. The Largo is in a simple binary form; the swinging dotted rhythms of the violin suggest the siciliano, an Italian dance.

Prelude and Fugue in G Minor, BWV 535 – J. S. Bach (1685 – 1750)

James Mitchell (organ)

The Prelude and Fugue in G Minor, BWV 535, exists in two substantially different versions, possibly up to twelve years apart.  The version presented here, the later version, is more expansive.  The opening prelude is a florid display of arpeggio figuration and seamless runs.  The fugue theme appears briefly in the prelude as the first notes in the pedals; the fugue proper extends this subject.  The repeated notes and intervals suggest the influence of earlier German organists such as Nicolaus Bruhns and Dieterich Buxtehude.  However, the fugue is just as free as the prelude: free voice-leading abounds, and the work concludes with a brief cadenza before a final flourish.

Suite in D minor for solo cello, BWV 1008, arranged for viola, Prelude – J. S. Bach (1685 – 1750)

Robert Jones (viola)

Sandwiched between the famous G major and the youthful C major suites, Bach’s second suite for solo cello is set in the sombre key of D minor, taking a markedly serious take on the Baroque dance suite.  The expressive opening Prelude comes in waves of emotion that reach ever higher, culminating in a moment of catharsis for both performer and listener.  This arrangement replaces the gruff sound of the cello with the mellow tones of the viola, providing an opportunity for a particularly subtle range of expression.

O sacrum convivium, with divisions by Timothy Roberts – Andrea Gabrieli (c. 1533 – 1585)

Jeremy West (cornett) & Gareth Wilson (organ)

The text of this piece, attributed to St Thomas Aquinas (mid 13th century), was set to music by Andrea Gabrieli in 1565, shortly before his appointment as Director of Music at St Mark’s, Venice.  Gabrieli may have used it as a part of his application to that post as it is unquestionably an exquisite Eucharistic motet.  Originally set for five voices (possibly performed with instrumental support from cornetts and sackbutts), here the four lower parts are played on the organ while the top line is taken and elaborately embellished by the cornett.  Text: O sacred feast in which Christ is received, the memory of his passion is renewed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.  Alleluia.

Trois pièces, iii Toan-Yan – Pierre-Octave Ferroud (1900 – 1936)

Lloyd Hampton (flute)

Each of Ferroud’s Trois pièces draws inspiration from different aspects of Chinese culture.  Toan-Yan, subtitled La Fête du Double Cinq, or ‘the festival of the double five’, depicts the Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, according to the Chinese calendar.  (In 2020, the festival takes place on 25 June.)  As well as improvisatory and spirited sections, the piece features an authentic Chinese melody, and the performer is directed to imitate a traditional Chinese flute.

Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Op. 35, Book I – Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897)

Nicholas Maier (piano)

Brahms wrote his two books of variations on a theme by Paganini in 1863.  He was not the first – or the last – to write a set of variations on Paganini’s famous twenty-fourth Caprice, but his collection contains perhaps the most comprehensive sequence of technical challenges inspired by that theme. The piece offers a summary of many of the techniques Brahms used throughout his output; it is a well-balanced meeting-point between the étude and the concert piece.

Sonatine en trio, Op. 85, Très lent – Animé – Florent Schmitt (1870 – 1958)

Lloyd Hampton (flute), Maddy Morris (clarinet) & Louie McIver (piano)

Educated at the Paris Conservatoire by, among others, Gabriel Fauré, Florent Schmitt is best remembered today for his large-scale orchestral works. His Sonatine en trio (1935) shows a more delicate and playful side to his music, while still exuding French elegance. Although originally written for flute, clarinet and harpsichord, versions of the work survive for flute, clarinet and piano, and for violin, cello and piano. The third movement is spacious and lyrical, while the fourth is filled with musical wit.


Vins et fraises selon son goût

Vals, Op. 8 No. 4 – Agustín Barrios Mangoré (1885 – 1944)

Kevin Loh (guitar)

The Paraguayan virtuoso guitarist and composer Agustín Barrios Mangoré wrote his celebrated 4 Valses, Op. 8, under the clear inspiration of Chopinʼs piano waltzes. The fourth Waltz, in D major, is written in a quasi-Viennese style, though with Latin American flair.  Barrios Mangoré uses the guitar in his own distinctive way to create an atmosphere of enchantment and romance.

I will never leave your side – Rachel Hill (b. 1999)

Rachel Hill (voice and guitar)

Paper people – Rachel Hill (b. 1999)

Rachel Hill (voice and guitar)

You’ve lost me (acoustic) – Rachel Hill (b. 1999)

Rachel Hill (voice and guitar)

Rachel is an acoustic singer-songwriter working within a fluid musical genre mostly commonly described as ‘folk-pop’.  Her music draws on influences such as Passenger, Masie Peters, Birdy and Gabrielle Aplin.  Having studied classical singing from a young age, Rachel draws particularly on her unique high notes which characterise most of her music; her lyrics have been described as ‘witty, catchy and deeply personal’. Her debut EP Through Rain or Snow was released on 27 January 2020; it features five original songs.

Chanson russe – Igor Stravinsky (1882 – 1971)

Jemma Starling (violin) & Sam O’Neal (piano)

This ‘Russian Maiden’s Song’ was transcribed for violin and piano in 1937 by Stravinsky in collaboration with the celebrated violinist Samuel Dushkin.  It is based on an aria sung by the character Parasha, a Russian maid, at the start of Stravinsky’s comic opera Mavra; in it Parasha expresses longing for her lover.  Stravinsky produced a number of other violin transcriptions and arrangements for Dushkin, including the ‘Divertimento’, based on music from Le Baiser de la Fée.

Concert Etude No. 6 (‘Pastoral’) – Nikolai Kapustin (b. 1937)

Louie McIver (piano)

Written in 1984, ‘Pastoral’, the sixth étude from a set of eight, is based primarily around a four-note motif which is transformed throughout the piece.  It is a joyful work that demonstrates Kapustin’s impressive insights into jazz.

With you – Dave Stewart & Glen Ballard

Hannah Samuel (voice), James Mitchell (cello) & Louie McIver (piano)

‘With you’ is taken from Ghost, a musical based on the classic movie starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore.  The song explores loss and the process of grieving for a loved one.

Amazing grace [Traditional]

Ailsa Critten & Rachel Armitage (trumpet)

Amazing Grace is a popular hymn first published in 1779 with words by the English poet John Newton (1725–1807).  In 1835 William Walker assigned Newton’s words to a traditional song New Britain, creating the version we know today; this was published for the first time in 1847 in Walker’s ‘shape-note’ tune-book Southern Harmony.  The arrangement for trumpet quartet heard here is by Andrew Reid.

O thou, the central orb – Charles Wood (1866 – 1926)

Girton College Chapel Choir & James Mitchell (organ), directed by Gareth Wilson

Charles Wood was born in Ireland in 1866 and received his earliest musical education in the choir school of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh.  He was among the first class of students at London’s Royal College of Music in 1883, before moving to Selwyn College, Cambridge, and later to Gonville & Caius, where he became that College’s first Director of Music.  On Stanford’s death in 1924, Wood became Professor of Music at Cambridge.  He is best known for the liturgical music he wrote for the Anglican Church.  O thou, the central orb, a setting of a text also used by Orlando Gibbons, is one of his most-loved pieces.

Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral – Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883)

Gir-Ten Brass: Rachel Armitage, Ailsa Critten, Tessa Doubleday, Dennis Lindebaum (trumpet); Jeremy West (horn); The Mistress, Catriona James (euphonium); Alex Liu, James Mitchell (trombone); Andrew Kershaw (tuba)

Elsa’s Procession, a fragment from Act II, Scene 4, of Wagner’s Romantic opera Lohengrin, is heard as the two main characters walk to Antwerp Cathedral where they will later be married.  This version was arranged by Ian Shepherd and is a Gir-Ten lockdown recording prepared for Girton’s online graduation celebration in July.

Girton College Chapel Choir


Ailsa Critten, Rachel Hill, Catriona James, Maddy Morris, Lisa-Maria Needham, Hannah Samuel and Jemma Starling.


Robyn Bartlett, Frances Conboy, Charlotte Howdle, Rosalind Skillen and Joe Wardhaugh.


Oscar Ings, Kevin Loh, Luke Tutton and Deasil Waltho.


Thomas Beauchamp, Henry Colbert, Dennis Lindebaum, Louie McIver, Jasper Newbold, Sam O’Neal, Ben Pymer, Mark Sawney and Tom Williamson.

Black lives matter. Two-minute silence in memory of George Floyd.

June 8, 2020 News

In the aftermath of the brutal killing of George Floyd, and in light of the wider issues of social injustice this tragedy highlights, we at Girton join all those who stand against violence and oppression, condemn racism, and affirm that black lives matter.

Today we are observing a two-minute silence at 2pm in memory of George Floyd who died two weeks ago. This silence expresses our solidarity with George Floyd’s family and all who suffer with him, including those in our own community: it is about listening to grief and anger, drawing breath to speak out, and aiming to work together for a better, fairer world.

In that spirit, after the silence, some may wish to listen to our Chaplain, Revd Dr Malcolm Guite, read his new poem ‘Cry Out Loud’ – a response, in light of these events, to Psalm 94, itself an ancient call to speak out against injustice, and not to be silenced by fear.

Cry Out Loud

My saviour stands and keeps my soul serene

But also sends me back into the world

To speak his word and challenge the obscene


Injustices we take for granted, sold

As we are on systems that preserve

Our privilege and barter truth for gold


Putting our souls to silence.  We reserve

Our judgement but the psalmist makes it clear

Justice is coming for God’s poor. We serve


Him best if we can serve them here,

Rise up and take their part against the proud

Deliver them from harassment and fear.


We have been pietistic, quiet, cowed

But we must come out publicly and cry

For equal rights and justice, cry out loud.


A reflection by our Chaplain, Revd Dr Malcolm Guite, on Psalm 94, in light of the news of the past fortnight.

This poem is part of a series Malcolm is writing responding to the book of psalms. In the course of writing these poems he has been reminded forcefully of God’s concern for the voiceless and oppressed and how imperative it is that we should advocate and speak up for one another.


Published: 8 June 2020

Notice to students re collection of belongings

June 1, 2020 News

On Thursday 21 May, the UK government announced changes to their guidelines for students with belongings left in Halls of Residence and Colleges. Under these new guidelines, students who have possessions are now able to travel back to their university to collect them. All vacated rooms must be cleared using one of the options below – doing nothing is not an option!

There are various options:

  1. Collect in Person via a booked slot.
  2. Nominate another student to pack and collect for you.
  3. When restrictions allow, arrange for a packing company to come in securely to pack, collect and ship (including insurance) your belongings to your destination e.g. This company is not endorsed by the College and other similar schemes may be available.
  4. Alternatively, the College can arrange a packing company for you on request and at your expense.
  5. If you packed your items ready to ship before you left, request that the College posts these on to you at your risk and expense. If you packed in a hurry without protecting items for shipping, used unsuitable containers or didn’t leave a list of what was in your boxes, you must choose either options 3 or 4 instead.
  6. Request unpacked items be packed by College staff and put into storage – this option is only for those unable to collect now (international students and vulnerable home students) and only if returning in Michaelmas term. We will send you a quote for packing and cleaning your room, based on an hourly rate of no more than c£20 per hour plus laundry costs.
  7. Please contact if your situation isn’t covered by any of the options above.

Booking for Collection in Person / Nominating a fellow student to pack for you, FORM

Collection is via PRE BOOKED SLOTS ONLY, between Saturday 20 June and Friday 31 July.  If you arrive at College without having booked a slot, we regret that you will be turned away, no matter how far you have travelled.

The booking form is here. Slots are mostly 2 hours long, with a couple of 4 hr slots per day for those packing for others as well as themselves.

If another student has offered to pack/collect for you, you should fill in the appropriate nomination box on the form otherwise they won’t be permitted to access your room.

Your booking will generate a confirmation email which you should bring with you.

Please note that in the event of a covid outbreak in the flat/corridor you wish to access, we might have to cancel your visit at short notice.

Booking for options 3-6

Please email to arrange any of these options. Your possessions are insured for secure storage in College, but if you need them to be packed and shipped abroad you or we must arrange a packing company to do this. If you are worried about costs/valuables, please contact

How will collection work?

*Location of Bookboxes, handwash points, designated WC and storage may vary over the booking period and will be signposted on your arrival.

  • If you or a member of your household have any symptoms of COVID-19 then you must not travel to collect your belongings. Please follow PHE guidance on self-isolation and notify the Porters of your cancellation.
  • Check that you have read and understand the current measures on social distancing:
  • Follow the current PHE advice on safe travelling in the UK during COVID:
  • Please bring any boxes, bags or suitcases that you will need with you and your appointment email, plus hand sanitiser.
  • Please also bring any Girton/faculty library books you have at home, your unicard and any College keys including your bike key if you are taking your bike home.
  • On your appointed day, arrive at College/Swirles shortly before your slot. At College, please park in Cloister Court, at Swirles, please park at the top of Pheasant Drive near the Lodge. You may bring one other person only to help.
  • Go to the designated handwash point* and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Check in at the Lodge (helper to stay outside please). Both Lodges have social distancing measures in place – you must observe them. Only one at a time in front of the counter staying 2m from Lodge staff at all times please.
  • The Duty Porter will issue your key/card (if you handed it in), sani wipes, black bags, and gloves and disposable face masks for you and your helper. A hoover will also be available to borrow.
  • The Duty Porter will direct you to your room following a designated route and will open any access gates necessary, e.g. back drive gate at College. Please clean touch points (door handles, bannisters) along the route as you go.
  • At the main site please do not use shared wcs in the residential areas.
  • At either site, if you are collecting from an occupied area, only you and not your helper should enter the shared kitchen; time spent in the shared areas should be kept as brief as possible and no contact with residents indoors please. (You may meet outside and distanced, after your visit, as per published government guidelines).
  • Once you have packed, and cleaned your room, leave any rubbish inside your room, securely bagged and tied.
  • Limited storage is available for international students only. If you are packing for a friend who is abroad, please phone the Lodge when you are ready to place labelled (with the owner’s name) boxes in storage and the Porter will direct you to the storage area. Up to 3 boxes may be stored.
  • Please leave any library books (ours and any from other CU libraries) in the lodge collection boxes*
  • Ask the Porter to check your pigeonhole and the parcels register.
  • Collect your bicycle if you are taking it with you (you may leave it locked on site, we are not doing a bike cull this summer).
  • Return the hoover if you borrowed one and leave it as directed by the Porter.
  • Return your key (and your unicard if you are a finalist) at the Lodge and check out.
  • Once you have checked out, you must not re-enter the building.
  • If you are packing and collecting on behalf of another person, as well as yourself, you may collect both keys at the same time if both rooms are in the same flat/corridor, otherwise please do one at a time and follow the Porters’ instructed route to the second room. Please note that you are responsible for your friend’s possessions once removed from the room and they will not be the responsibility of College.
  • Foodstuffs: All perishable items, opened packets and items past their ‘sell buy date’ have been disposed of. Please do not leave usable items behind in the kitchens, donate these to a foodbank if you cannot use them yourself.

To protect the College’s staff and resident students, published government social distancing rules will apply at all times. Students collecting their belongings are expected to:

  • Limit the number of ‘helpers’ to one person per student.
  • Bring food and drink provisions with you, and eat outside please or in your car, and don’t interact with staff more than necessary.
  • Use the WC designated for visitors* and wash your hands both on arrival and as you leave.
  • Depart promptly – the next person can’t come in to site until you have left. If you wish to have a last look around the gardens and take photos etc please do this after you have handed your keys in to avoid delaying the next person on the list.

Students with special circumstances and those unable to travel

  • If you are unable to come to Cambridge and have difficulty with options 2-6 on the list above, or the end deadline then please contact the Accommodation Manager.
  • If you are a finalist and still have your room key and unicard at home please arrange for these to be posted back to College by June 30th.  Replacement key charges apply after this.
  • Books etc. for any library (College, faculty/department, UL) can be posted to the UL, who will then return them to the appropriate library.

I hope that the process runs as smoothly as possible, and thank you in advance for your cooperation. We are very sorry not to be able to provide reception and hospitality to your families collecting in the usual way, but we will help as much as we can and look forward to welcoming you and your families and friends back to College at a happier time in the future.

All best wishes,

Maureen Hackett, Junior Bursar

Published: 1 June 2020