School of Divinity

Menu

Re-opening of the Rainy Hall

The first lecture of the School’s academic year will be followed by a reception to mark the re-opening of the Rainy Hall following eight months of restoration.

The first lecture of the School’s academic year will be followed by a reception to mark the re-opening of the Rainy Hall following eight months of restoration.

Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Stewart J Brown’s topic will be ‘Why Are We Here at New College? Some Reflections on John Henry Newman’s The Idea of a University’. This public lecture will take place during Welcome Week, 2pm Thursday 12 September 2019, in the Elizabeth Templeton Lecture Room.

The reception afterwards in our refurbished Rainy Hall will be the first formal, whole-School event catered by our new café supplier, Social Bite.

Rainy Hall restoration

The University’s Estates Department has described the restoration work on its website, saying:

“Over the years the well-used Rainy Hall had suffered from wear and tear and required an upgrade.

“The project included:

  • Replacing the old wooden pews with new oak tables and upholstered oak chairs
  • Restoration of the original timber panelling to the walls and ceiling
  • Installing new internal lighting. The new system has six settings for different occasions including the option to spotlight on the podium or the portraits
  • Installing a commercial kitchen by removing some archive space, this will allow for more flexibility with events moving forward
  • Increasing the accessibility, we have upgraded the chairlift up to Rainy Hall. The original timber doors have been refurbished and electronic push pad controls have been added to ease access to the hall
  • Upgrading the audio visual system including speakers around the room
  • Upgrading the Postgrad rooms
  • Modernised the fire alarm system including smoke detection system in the attic directly above the hall.

“The project also involved carrying out intricate French polish paint work with the ceiling and crests being painted by hand.

“This labour intensive work is now an unusual process within the University however it was important to in order to preserve the Grade A listed building.”

Social heart

Head of School, Professor Helen Bond, says: 

“Rainy Hall is not just an impressive, historic, gothic-style dining room, it is the social heart of our community. It’s great to have it back, looking at its very best, for students and staff to enjoy again. Launching our new café here with Social Bite is the icing on the cake.”  

Links

School Welcome Week programme 2019

Rainy Hall restoration article by Estates Department

Professor Brown’s profile page

Events at the School of Divinity

Social Bite