Life at Westcott
Westcott House is a diverse and inclusive community of staff, people training for ordained and lay ministries, independent students, and our students’ partners and families spanning a wide range of ages and backgrounds. At our heart is setting all of God’s people free in our common calling to Christian community in and around Christ. In our Christian community, we prepare people for ministry, cultivate a passion for mission, and deepen discipleship.
Our community is formed through four spaces: the Chapel, classroom and contextual learning, the Common Room, and community meals in Hall. Through these spaces worship, study, the reflective practice of ministry and mission, and social time together integrate to form members of the community into the likeness of Christ. It is an intense, intentional, and inspirational experience. It deepens discipleship, forms friendships, instils passion, and develops capacities that prepare students for ministries that are relational, collaborative, missional, and adaptive to an unknown future and the varied contexts in which they serve.
Accommodation is available onsite for single, unaccompanied, and partnered students, including those with children. Situated in the heart of the city of Cambridge, you will find all the facilities and opportunities Cambridge has to offer on your doorstep.
Accommodation for Single and Unaccompanied Students
Single or unaccompanied students who live at Westcott House are offered either a single room or a set (study and bedroom) in Old Court. Built around a beautiful garden, Old Court is an attractive example of a late Victorian Arts and Crafts style. Each staircase in Old Court has shared bathroom and kitchen facilities. All rooms have unlimited broadband access.
While some single or unaccompanied students are resident only during term-time, other students may be resident all year round or from September through June each academic year. Candidates sponsored by the Church of England will need to agree additional costs associated with permanent or semi-permanent residency with their Diocese.
Accommodation for Partnered Students and Families
Partnered students and dependents are offered residency in New Court, which contains a number of unfurnished one, two and three bedroom flats built in the late twentieth century. New Court also has a garden suitable for children. All flats have unlimited broadband access, and private bathrooms and kitchen facilities.
Students may alternatively choose to rent accommodation privately in the city. In these instances, a shared study space, with unlimited broadband access, is ordinarily provided onsite. While we are unable to find, rent, or view properties on behalf of students, we are happy to link you to appropriate resources as you look for alternative accommodation.
Facilities and Social Life
Westcott House has a number of facilities onsite and a thriving social life welcoming of staff, students, partners, and children. The Common Room Committee, individual students and partners lead a varied and lively set of social events, from talks through to walks, and there is something for everyone. The Partners’ Representatives ensure that partners and families feel a full part of community life. Every member of the community is valued and able to be as involved as they wish in social activities.
Meals are provided in Hall Monday – Friday during term-time. Students with partners and/or children resident in Cambridge are entitled to a meal allowance of 12 meals per week to use between you as you decide. We want to encourage your family to feel part of our community.
The Chapel is the heart of Westcott House and is a space where staff, students, partners and families can enjoy worship together or quiet reflection.
Common Room and Bar
The Common Room is open every day for general student social use. It hosts a licensed bar open every evening and managed by the members of the Common Room. It is available for private events.
There are communal gardens in both Old and New Courts. The Old Court garden is a beautiful, large space suitable for social events and for quiet contemplation. The New Court garden is particularly suitable as a safe space for children to play.
There is a laundry room containing washing machines and tumble dryers for general use.
The Cunningham Room is a large and accessible modern lecture space which is additionally available for other events and community uses. The Knight and Lambert Rooms are smaller meeting rooms used for teaching and also available for other bookings.
Westcott House has a beautiful library in Old Court with an impressive collection of theological books and study desks for general use. Students have access to other libraries in Cambridge, making study and research easy.
Parking and Bike Storage
Students can apply for a car park facility onsite or within walking distance of Westcott House. Cambridge is a bike friendly city. There is a large bike shed onsite and students are encouraged to bring a bicycle as an environmentally friendly way of getting around the city.
Pets are not permitted in student accommodation at Westcott. Consideration may be given to housing pets in the flats in New Court only but permission must be sought from the Principal first. If agreed, the student will be subject to an upfront non-refundable charge to cover any cleaning and damages. Any excess to this would be the student’s liability
Students may need support for various reasons while at Westcott House, including educational, spiritual, health, and personal reasons. We see student support as intrinsic to well-being and offer appropriate support to cultivate healthy, productive, and resilient patterns of discipleship and ministry.
Each student is assigned to a member of staff who acts as a tutor responsible for the overall formation and pastoral care of that student. Students join weekly with other tutees supported by that tutor for prayer, fellowship, and a space to reflect upon formation. Each tutee meets twice termly for one-on-one supervision with their tutor, who helps discern what is happening in formation for that individual and who can give appropriate advice about any difficulties that a student faces.
Our Chaplain provides general pastoral support to all students, ensuring they can get connected with a spiritual director and that they have someone to talk through faith-related matters. Where appropriate, the Chaplain works with other circles of care and support in Westcott House to ensure that students get all the support they need.
Everyone needs support with their learning at least some of the time. Coming to theological college will expose you to new things to learn and new ways to learn, and most people will appreciate help and encouragement as they undertake their new studies. Our Tutor for Learning Support works with colleagues across the Cambridge Theological Federation to provide on-line resources and in-person sessions to support everyone in reading and writing for academic purposes, so that every student can make the most of the learning opportunities presented to them.
Some students may feel they need extra support. Whether you are worried because it’s a long time since you last studied, or because your experience of education was disappointing, or because you have, or think you have, a Specific Learning Disability, support is available. Our Tutor for Learning Support is able to offer general guidance for effective learning, and may also advise students to seek specialist support through undergoing formal assessment for Specific Learning Difficulties and taking advantage of the Disabled Student Allowance to seek in-person and technological support.
Students who have been diagnosed with a Specific Learning Difficulty will be encouraged to apply for DSA before they arrive at college. Students who suspect that they may have an undiagnosed Specific Learning Difficulty can be supported through the diagnostic process which may provide access to specialist support.
Prospective students who are worried about how they will be able to engage with academic study are encouraged to talk to the Tutor for Learning Support at Open Days or interviews.
We are committed to building a safer church and community. We have a dedicated safeguarding team to ensure that Westcott House is a safe place to live and work. Find out more about Safeguarding at Westcott House.
We are committed to making what reasonable adjustments we can to our site to help students with mobility difficulties or other impairments to engage as fully as possible with life and learning at Westcott House. View our Access page for further information.