From Bishop Mark re: Covid

The following is intended as an update for those who place students at The College of The Resurrection, for existing students and for those who may come to the College in September this year.

The College of The Resurrection, Mirfield intends to return to Residential Training at the earliest safe opportunity and is working towards a September 2020 start. The QAA expects universities to adopt one of three approaches to opening in September:

  1. Dispersed & remote learning.
  2. A ‘blended’ or ‘mixed mode’ combination of face-to-face and ‘remote’ teaching.
  3. Fully residential teaching & learning

Whilst the majority of university settings are likely to adopt the second model, we believe the particular circumstances of Mirfield allow us to adopt third model, but with contingency plans to use a or b if appropriate.


The Mirfield site, shared with the Community of The Resurrection privileges the College with extensive grounds and spacious buildings for an institution that habitually operates on a relatively small scale (we anticipate 25-30 students this year). Like all institutions, we are planning the foreseeable future on the assumption that we shall need to operate within government regulations on “social distancing” and related matters.


Lectures & Seminars are generally composed of relatively small groups and we expect our accustomed teaching rooms to accommodate most needs. We do, however have the possibility of creating some larger teaching spaces and can draw upon two refectories as well as the College Chapel if necessary. Having taught in dispersed mode over the spring and summer period, we are able to adopt a blended approach if necessary, supplementing face-to-face teaching with Zoomed, video recorded, or streamed material, as appropriate. In common with all TEIs, Mirfield has been in contact with Ministry Division to ensure compliance with the requirements of Durham University (Common Awards).

The College is seeking how to make best use of the emerging situation to maximise the effectiveness of pastoral placements in parochial and other settings. We are likely to take recent learning about on-line ministry into the pastoral curriculum in any case.

Accommodation & Dining

All study-bedrooms within the College have en-suite facilities, reducing risks of infection through shared use of facilities. To aid staff & students in their responsibility to preserve social distancing, we expect to instigate ‘one-way systems’ where practical and the regulated use of entrances/exits. Plans are in hand to organise socially distanced dining in the College Refectory and, if necessary, in the adjoining “New Refectory.”

Corporate Worship

The College will attend to Social Distancing in Church & stagger the use of Lower Church, if necessary. We shall return to sharing worship with the Community of The Resurrection only when we are confident that it is safe to do so. Once it is possible to return to Eucharistic worship, we shall do so, but taking due care to observe government regulations. So long as it is not possible to gather in Eucharistic worship, we do have the benefit of the Community’s live-streamed Mass.


The College is mindful of Government Regulations, the advice of Ministry Division, the QAA and the Office for Students. We recognise that advice may continue to change and that we need to be willing to respond to an evolving situation.

There are established protocols should any student need to isolate. If face-to-face teaching became unsafe or inadvisable, the College is able to return to remote methods of teaching and to on-line patterns of worship.

+Mark Sowerby


17th June 2020