The Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, visited Ōtautahi Christchurch this month to meet with city leaders from the city’s civic, iwi and educational institutions, to strengthen historic ties between Christ Church and Ōtautahi Christchurch.
During several days in Ōtautahi Christchurch, the Very Reverend Professor Martyn Percy, accompanied by his wife, the Revd. Dr Emma Percy, Chaplain and Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford met with Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel and Anglican Bishop Victoria Matthews as well as senior representatives from Ngai Tahu, UC and Christ’s College.
At the civic reception he was presented with a certificate recognising him as an Honorary Citizen of Christchurch, the first to be awarded following a CCC policy resolution earlier in the week.
UC hosted a visit from Professor Percy that included a series of events and seminars with UC students and staff. On 11 August, Professor Percy met with UC staff, students and members of the community to discuss Christianity and contemporary culture.
UC is keen to strengthen the relationship between Christ Church, Oxford, and Ōtautahi Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand, according to UC Chancellor | Tumu Kaunihera Dr John Wood, himself an Oxford graduate.
“There are important on-going connections between Christ Church, Oxford, and Christchurch, New Zealand, especially at the University of Canterbury. These ties date back to the earliest origins of the university and continue to this day in the UC mace and the Wakefield Scholarship,” Dr Wood says.
“The history of both the University and our city, and the ties that underpin that history, are crucial to our sense of identity. Both the mace, made from ancient oak from the Big Tom Tower, and the Wakefield Scholarship are wonderful symbols of our very significant relationship with Christ Church, Oxford.”
Established after the Canterbury earthquakes in 2011, the Edward Gibbon Wakefield Doctoral Scholarship supports a PhD candidate studying humanities or creative arts at UC to undertake funded research at Christ Church, Oxford, for a year.
Immediately after the quakes, Oxford University generously offered places for dozens of UC senior scholars from the humanities and law to spend a term studying at Oxford. Thirty-six students travelled to the United Kingdom, with travel funded by UC, were admitted to a college at Oxford and provided with free accommodation and tuition for the Trinity term (April-June).
UC will return the hospitality, when a group of Oxford studetns arrives at UC next month.