St Benet's Hall, Oxford

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St Benet's Hall

St Benet's Hall is a Permanent Private Hall (PPH) of the University of Oxford. It is located at the northern end of St Giles' on its western side, close to the junction with Woodstock Road.


Composition and status

St Benet's Hall, founded in 1897, is a Benedictine foundation, whose principal historic function was to allow Catholic monks (primarily Benedictines from Ampleforth Abbey, and members of related orders) to study for secular degrees as undergraduates within the University. The Hall continues to have a monastic Master, currently The Revd Dom Felix Stephens, OSB, MA (and the Chaplain and the Theology Tutor are both also Benedictine monks), but it now principally admits laymen both as undergraduates and post-graduates. There is no requirement that lay members of the Hall should be Catholics, but all are asked to be supportive of the monks' life and values.

St Benet's became a Permanent Private Hall of the University in 1918 when new University legislation created the status of PPH. Unlike some of the other PPHs, the Hall has never been a theological college, although this is a frequently stated misunderstanding. The Governing Body of the Hall are the Trustees of the St Lawrence Education Trust, and a number of functions are also performed by the St Benet's Hall Sub-Committee of the Governing Body.[1] Its chief buildings consist of adjacent houses in St Giles.

As St Benet's is a PPH of the University, its Fellows do not constitute its Governing Body; but they share with the Master the day-to-day running of the Hall, and elect one of their number to the St Benet's Hall Sub-Committee. The Hall matriculates students to be members of the University, and those of its members who have matriculated are full members of the University, and able to supplicate for degrees on the successful completion of their studies. For most of its members the only noticeable difference made by the Hall's legal status is that it is very much smaller than any of the Colleges.

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