Press Release

03 October 2012

A unique day in the University's history touched world-wide audiences on Friday, September 28, with a global webcast of its Chancellor's lecture.

Hosted by Canterbury Christ Church University, The Dr Rowan Williams Annual CUAC Lecture presented by the Archbishop of Canterbury was beamed across the world in the first lecture of its kind.

LtoR: Stephen Clark, Deputy Pro-Chancellor, Professor Robin Baker, Vice-Chancellor, and Professor Michael Wright
LtoR: Stephen Clark, Deputy Pro-Chancellor, Professor Robin Baker, Vice-Chancellor, and Professor Michael Wright

The event was part of a special day of Jubilee celebrations for the University, which brought together the original Class of '62, staff retired and present, students and invited guests.

In the morning, the University held a Jubilee Thanksgiving Service in Canterbury Cathedral during which an Honorary Doctorate was presented to the University's Chancellor, the Archbishop of Canterbury, an Honorary Fellowship was presented to former Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Wright CBE, and Honorary Degrees were presented to 39 members of the Class of '62 in attendance.

Later in the day, the Archbishop of Canterbury delivered an international lecture entitled 'What’s the point of Anglican Universities?' to an audience of over 300 in Augustine Hall. The CUAC (Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion) lecture was also broadcast over the web to audiences across the world.

The Archbishop of Canterbury delivers the inaugural Dr Rowan Williams Annual CUAC Lecture
The Archbishop of Canterbury delivers the inaugural Dr Rowan Williams Annual CUAC Lecture

During his lecture, the Archbishop praised the work of Canterbury Christ Church University. He said: “I’m struck every time I engage with the life of Canterbury Christ Church by the degree to which the institution has its finger on the pulse of life in this part of the world, from the training that it offers for nurses, social workers and the police. The training it offers to those who are most at the cutting edge of society’s problems.

“It illustrates what it means for a Christian and Anglican institution to be engaged with the culture as it is locally; the culture of East Kent and the priorities these people actually feel.

“The fact that Christ Church has so clearly and boldly positioned itself in the public life of East Kent is one of the great triumphs of the University’s recent and on-going profile. Through this engagement Christ Church demonstrates that it knows what the point of a university is: to foster public intelligence.

“It shows that it knows what being an Anglican university is about, because it manages mysteriously to be both credibly local and credibly global.

“We have a great deal to celebrate in this half century of Christ Church’s existence, but I believe we also have a great deal to celebrate in the legacy it represents.”

Class of '62
Class of '62

The celebrations finished at St Martin’s Priory, where the University’s history began 50 years ago, and where the Class of ’62 studied.

The Very Reverend Dr Robert Willis, Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, opened an exhibition in the Priory’s ancient chapel, where in a small secret antechamber is a wall painting on canvas dating from 1680. The painting, depicting the story of Abraham and Isaac, has been especially restored in time for the Jubilee and can be seen along with another 400 year old wall painting and a magnificent stone edition of the Ten Commandments thought to be Tudor or Elizabethan in origin.

Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University, Professor Robin Baker CMG, said: "We always envisaged that our Jubilee year would be filled with opportunities to celebrate five decades of progress and achievements. Friday’s events, however, have been particularly poignant, bringing together so many people who have a special connection with the University and providing a one-off opportunity to celebrate collectively their unique association with Christ Church.

"We have also been enormously privileged to host the first CUAC lecture, delivered by our Chancellor, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Our service in the Cathedral earlier in the day was a wonderful opportunity to thank the Archbishop for his seven years of immense support and inspiration as Chancellor of Christ Church.”

The Dr Rowan Williams CUAC lecture will be available for 30 days via A permanent on demand video file is available to download at

Visit the University's Flickr site for more photos:

Notes to Editor

  • The Priory exhibition is free and open to all from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday until Christmas. The exhibition also includes a short four minute film telling the story of the University from its foundation in 1962 to present day and a small display of artefacts from Canterbury Museums and the Canterbury Archaeological Trust (CAT) comprising of locally found Roman pottery, a Roman coin and a Greek urn disposed of in the house’s rubbish tip and re-discovered by CAT.

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students, and five campuses across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 93% of our recent UK undergraduates are in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • Christ Church is the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2011 UCAS).
  • We are the South East’s largest provider of courses for public service careers (outside of London).
  • 2012 is the University’s Golden Jubilee, reflecting on 50 years of higher education and innovation.

*2010/11 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey



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Last edited: 14/12/2018 22:15:00