Wesley House in the 1970s
A personal reminiscence
I was a student at Wesley House from 1977-79. That fact reveals already the huge changes that were taking place in the 1970s. I was a woman with a husband and three children. I had no first degree and was not to be admitted to the university, though I had the enormous privilege of being allowed to attend lectures of my choice. We lived in a flat above the bursar’s office on Jesus Lane, my husband going to work in Hertfordshire and the children in school...
The first change was the general refurbishment of the 1920s building which had not seen redecoration since the War (and probably not since the 1920s), with fresh paint and improved central heating.
Then there was the removal of the chapel murals. They had been controversial from the beginning, depicting a rather effeminate figure of Jesus in the apse, with light radiating from him and with Adam and Eve bowed down (with guilt?) at his feet...
The first significant change in College life was the acceptance of married students. In earlier years it was the Church’s policy to accept only single men for the presbyteral ministry and permission to get married was granted only at the end of training and the subsequent probation, a period in total of five years or more. There were rare exceptions, and one such had been allocated to the College but had been obliged to live in College separated from his wife and visiting her only during the day...