St John's Common Room External Trustee

Job Title: St John's Common Room External Trustee
Location: Unknown
Job Published: May 18, 2018 15:14

Job Description

The St John’s Common Room (SJCR) is an independent student union within St John’s College. The College itself was founded in 1909 as a theological college for the training of Anglican ordinands. Since its conception the College has expanded and now represents not only ordinands-in-training but also both undergraduates and postgraduates studying a range of disciplines.

The SJCR represents all students within St John’s College, while we are a secular charity we ensure that we follow the Christian ethos that College promotes. We therefore would require any candidate to also be sympathetic to this ethos and the sense of community in College which it creates.

Hopefully it is clear that the SJCR embodies a very diverse range of students; from undergraduate students who have just left home for the first time to ordinands who have travelled to Durham with their families to study at St John’s. It is this diversity that makes the SJCR the vibrant and wonderful community that it is, and requires that we aim to support every student, to the best of our ability.

We seek to do so through fulfilling our charitable objectives, namely the advancement of education of students whilst also ensuring the general wellbeing of students. It is important to the SJCR that students are aware that John’s is not only a place of learning but also a place of wider development. Our charitable objectives are as follows: 

·         promoting the interests and welfare of students at St John's College during their course of study and representing, supporting and advising students;

·         being the recognised representative channel between students and St John's College and any other external bodies (i.e. the Durham Students' Union, Durham University, etc.); and

·         providing social, cultural, sporting and recreational activities and forums for discussions and debate for the personal development of its students.

Run by the students of St John’s, for the students of St John’s, our principal activities are representation, provision of services (laundry, vending machines, photographs, academic gowns, etc.), welfare support, sports and societies and social events.

As an external trustee you would offer your skills and experience in overseeing the finances, strategy, direction and governance of the SJCR in pursuance of its objectives. The Board of Trustees of the SJCR is looking for an external trustee who would be committed to the wellbeing of the students, with an interest in higher education and overall student experience. And again, someone who is sympathetic to the Christian ethos that is present throughout life in St John’s, and the values associated with this.

The Board of Trustees of the SJCR would benefit greatly from a trustee with experience and skills in at least of the following areas:

·         Higher education

·         Charity Law and Governance

·         Theological education

The approximate time commitment required from an external trustee each year would be a minimum of three trustee meetings (normally afternoons), the Annual General Meeting (which usually coincides with the day of a trustee meeting), a strategy day and availability for remote consultation. A trustee may remain in office for a period of up to four years before requiring re-appointment (they may not serve an aggregate term longer than eight years).

A successful candidate not only would be able to demonstrate that they had the time and commitment required to be effective in the role and fulfil their duties, but able to support officers and internal trustees in this exciting and ultimately student-led charity.

It must be noted that the St John’s Common Room as a registered charity and therefore is legally accountable to the Charity Commission.

A prior knowledge of Durham University or St John’s College is not requirement, however an understanding of the diverse and complex nature of the SJCR would be preferable. For more detailed information about the role or structure of the St John’s Common Room, please contact the SJCR President, Jess Rackham, at or call on 07817726730.

To apply please send a CV and covering letter telling us why you are interested in working on the Board of Trustees of St John’s Common Room, and what skills you believe you could bring to our organisation to Selected applicants will then be contacted regarding further interviews.