Sunday 2 December saw the Master, Professor Sir Christopher Dobson, and his wife, Dr Mary Dobson, kick off the yuletide season by opening their doors to local donors from the East of England to thank them for their support over the last year with a festive afternoon tea.
The Master’s Lodge was a home with the scent of mulled wine and spiced apples in the air, accompanied by a swirl of chocolat chaud for some of our younger guests to dip their freshly baked gingerbread.
After taking a warming draught in the lobby, guests were greeted by tables festooned with fir, flickering candles and sparkling glassware to enchant the senses before celebrating the season of indulgence. Making a beeline for the banquet table, attendees enjoyed digging into some mountainous mince pies, sausage rolls and other festive treats.
Donors chatted with our gifted students as to the impact the support of benefactors had brought to their year so far, exchanging memories of their own adventures during their spell at St John’s.
As the woody aroma of the log fire drifted through the drawing room, the Master gave a few words celebrating the highlights the College had rejoiced in through 2018, before advising guests to sink into one of the sofas and lend their ear to some winter classics.
The College’s first mixed choir, the St John’s Voices, serenaded guests with a miscellany of seasonal delights. From words of good cheer filling the air with ‘Carol of the Bells’ to dreaming of a ‘White Christmas’, it was the perfect way to round off the afternoon and return home for a peaceful evening and no doubt a smooth slumber after such a hearty holiday gathering.
Words by Jess Mackenzie, Stewardship Officer.