School Chaplains

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else, but that's still CH related.

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School Chaplains

Post by Mid A 15 »

When I was at CH Revs Robson and Hall-Matthews were at the helm and Rev Atkinson arrived midway through my time there.

Did Hertford have a chaplain(s) ?

Apart from the obvious role of conducting Chapel they also had a pastoral role within the School.

Is that still the case?

At the risk of being branded sexist and stereotypical I would suggest that in general girls discuss their feelings and problems amongst themselves far more than boys ever do.

Would that have made the pastoral role of a chaplain redundant at Hertford?

I know from my own experiences, both at CH and after, that I frequently tried and try to disprove John Donne's assertion that "no man is an island." However I did eventually get to a point at CH whereby I spoke to a chaplain and found it cathartic and helpful even if only in a "trouble shared is a trouble halved" kind of way.

What memories (if any) do others have of the chaplains of their time?

Thought we needed a new CH thread :wink:
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Post by Katharine »

When I was at the school we had two clerics who took the services. They were a father and son team. The younger Mr Walker was Vicar of Great Amwell, some five miles away. I presume the elder was retired and lived with his son.

The younger took some of my confirmation classes, along with the redoubtable DR. I do not recall any pastoral care from a chaplain. I do remember him talling us to be very wary of joining a Christian Union when we went to University, I can't for the life of me remember quite when he said this, but it was just before we left rather than Confirmation.

As far as I recall, no MEN lived on the site while I was there. The Steward retired just before I started and he was the last male in that all female bastion. His house was transformed to become a staff flat and also a flat for 6 senior girls, I lived there after A levels.
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Post by J.R. »

58-66 at Horsham we had the Rev. Pullen who took Religious Education classes as well as the normal Chaplains duties in Chapel. I took instruction from him pre-Confirmation, which I thought was very good. I don't remember him being available for one-to-one discussion on personal problems, though I'm sure he was.

Needless to say, he was known as Pullen the Chain !

On leaving CH, he took over the Parish of Itchingfield, and I'm sure is buried in that very church-yard.

I well remember having a heated argument/discussion with him in class over the subject of Imaculate Conception and Virgin birth.
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Post by midget »

Before the father and son combo at Hertford we had Canon Cockbill (pronounced COBL) He was OK but pretty remote as far as I was aware. He took the confirmation classes, as well as DR. She did the catechism bit, which we had to learn and repeat ad nauseam.
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Post by englishangel »

I concur with Katharine, but I only remember Rev.Walker JR. who also told us to beware of the CU at University.

However I have to correct her, I believe he was Rector at Gt Amwell, not Vicar (what's the difference?) as 2's were the 'chapel' house and I had to phone him once and his wife answered with 'Great Amwell Rectory'

To explain, each house had a responsibility around the school, 2's 'did' the chapel, changed the altar cloth, put bookmarks in the Bible, put up the hymn numbers, polished the brasses etc. That was my job at some point. (LVI?)

I think Jude mentioned that she was a Pavilion girl so I presume 5's did that, what did 6's do?

I remember very little pastoral care, I don't know about girls talking about their feelings! I did remember one girl being sent to DR after lunch because her father had died and we were told while she was out of the way, I hope we were supportive, but later on when my Grandmother died during the holidays I made my Mum promise not to tell the school because I wouldn't be able to stand the sympathy.
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Post by DavebytheSea »

Further references to Pullen the Chain by JR and DBTS on

viewtopic.php?p=25166&highlight=pullen+chain#25166
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Post by Katharine »

englishangel wrote:I concur with Katharine, but I only remember Rev.Walker JR. who also told us to beware of the CU at University.

However I have to correct her, I believe he was Rector at Gt Amwell, not Vicar (what's the difference?) as 2's were the 'chapel' house and I had to phone him once and his wife answered with 'Great Amwell Rectory'

To explain, each house had a responsibility around the school, 2's 'did' the chapel, changed the altar cloth, put bookmarks in the Bible, put up the hymn numbers, polished the brasses etc. That was my job at some point. (LVI?)

I think Jude mentioned that she was a Pavilion girl so I presume 5's did that, what did 6's do?
I think the elder Mr Walker died while I was there. It could well be Rector rather than Vicar, I should have put 'held the benefice of' or something like that to cover my ignorance!

House duties changed when 1s & 5s became all through houses. I was 6s Chapel Girl for two years in the VI form, Senior one for school when I was UVI. Chapel Dusting went round the houses (we had to wear our caps to do it!) I suppose it came about every 6 weeks and about half a dozen did it.
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Post by eloisec »

When I was at CH we had Rev Gary Dobbie (he appears to be at Shrewsbury School now). All I remember is his mad dog (Hugo?), and him once saying that he always took his glasses off when speaking in Chapel so as to not see us all looking bored! He used to take cross country running if I remember correctly.
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Post by Vonny »

eloisec wrote:When I was at CH we had Rev Gary Dobbie
That's who I remember too. I think he had various other roles within the school :?
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Post by Vonny »

At Hertford we had Rev Birtwistle (sp :? ). He did not live at the school and I only remember seeing him on Sundays. I really can't remember whether he took the weekday morning services or not.
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Post by DavebytheSea »

Vonny wrote:
eloisec wrote:When I was at CH we had Rev Gary Dobbie
That's who I remember too. I think he had various other roles within the school :?
He was housemaster in Mid A
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Post by sejintenej »

DavebytheSea wrote:I remember the Chain - taught me Divinity as well as telling the class to keep themselves pure for the girl we would meet one day.

Read several books of the OT with him. There was another assistant chaplain I think ... the trio of the cloth was completed by the magnificent Corks - totally extrovert and eclipsing the official chaplains by sheer force of personality.
Whom the second chaplain was I don't know - he must have been very self-effacing.

I had a run-in with the Rev Pullen (the Chain) when my second mother died; he decided I needed counselling. Unfortunately I didn't trust him not to report to Kit (whom I am sure put him up to it) - hopefuly I was wrong

OTOH my junior housemaster was the Rav Cochrane - Corks whom DBTS describes well.

A big man, he gave the immediate impression of trustworthiness. He did like the [more than] occasional pint though I suspect he never drank with Kit Aitken. After CH Corks was appointed to a post at St Paul's Cathedral - a post which suited him down to the ground. He could drink in the market from 4 am, across in Borough when the markets closed, in clubs until the evening opening hours and then in clubs until 4am. I went out with him one day but I simply couldn't keep up!.
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Post by J.R. »

Vonny wrote:
eloisec wrote:When I was at CH we had Rev Gary Dobbie
That's who I remember too. I think he had various other roles within the school :?
Didn't he end up working as a house elf for the Malfoy's ??

Best check with J.K. Rowling. :oops:
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Post by jhopgood »

I will be including a few lines about Ron Pullin in the next Old Blue.

Does anyone have some printable anecdotes about him?
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Post by blondie95 »

whilst i was there it was Rev Mitra (and still is) Mr Howard and Mrs Mitra oh and Dobbie was still there then in MidA
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