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The Opening of Year Service 2017

Posted on 28/09/2017
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The Opening of Year Service took place, yesterday,  Wednesday 27 September 2017 at 13.10 in the university’s Chapel on the Strand Campus.

The service is held annually on the first Wednesday of the new undergraduate term and has come to be one of the largest and most significant services in the King’s year. With an academic procession and a distinguished visiting preacher, senior university Officers and the President of the Students’ Union all attend.

Every year King’s invites a visiting preacher who often reflects on the university’s Christian heritage and the place of this in the search for truth in Higher Education and is also a time to re-commit to working together as a university community.

This year’s preacher was the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark, who preached about the importance of wisdom in the purposes of a university. You can read the Bishop’s sermon in full here.

Past preachers have included King’s alumna, the Rt Revd Dame Sarah Mullally, Bishop of Crediton and former Chief Nursing Officer for England; King’s alumnus, the Very Revd Dr David Ison FKC, Dean of St Paul’s; the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam AKC FKC, Bishop of Salisbury (also a King’s alumnus and Fellow, who installed the Principal in his stall during the 2014 service); the former Principal Professor Sir Rick Trainor FKC (2013), the Most Revd Vincent Nichols, Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster (2010), and former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams (2002).

The service included an Old Testament reading (Job 28:12-13 & 23-28), read by Momin Saqib, President of King's College London Students' Union (KCLSU), and a New Testament reading (1 Corinthians 2:1-7 & 12-13), read by Prof Edward Byrne, President & Principal. Sir Christopher Geidt, Chairman of the College Council, Revd Canon Professor Ben Quash, Professor of Christianity & the Arts, and Professor Russell Goulbourne, Professor of French Literature and Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, were in attendance. The Choir sang two anthems and the Dean welcomed and introduced the two new Chaplains, Revd Nigel Cowgill (Methodist) and Fr John McFadden OMI (Roman Catholic), and blessed the whole Chaplaincy team in their ministry for this coming year.

Commenting on the service, the Revd Canon Professor Richard Burridge, Dean of King's College London, said: ‘The Beginning of the Academic Year Service is always a momentous and important occasion, with the historic King’s College London Chapel filled with King’s representatives celebrating our commitments to working together as a community in higher education, acknowledging both our heritage and traditions and looking forward to our exciting future. I was particularly grateful to the Bishop of Southwark for his important and timely challenge.’

The service was followed by a reception on the Strand Terrace.

The Opening of Year Service at Guy’s will take place later today, Thursday 28 September, at 17.30.  The visiting preacher at this service will be the Rt. Rev'd Woyin Karowei Dorgu, Bishop of Woolwich. The service is also an opportunity to join together at the start of the new academic year, to pray and similarly to re-commit to being a community in work and in study. A reception will follow in the Museum of Life Sciences. 

Notes to Editors:

For furter media information please contact Claire Gilby, PR Manager (Arts & Sciences), on 020 7848 3092 or

For further information about King's visit our King's in Brief page. 



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