The Dean of Churchill College has apologised after a picture of Churchill College was printed on programmes for a freshers’ welcome service.
The photograph of the college, which featured concrete slabs and decaying brickwork, was included on the leaflets because it represented “misery, wickedness and desolation in its purest form”, according to the Dean, Reverend Cameron Bridgeworth.
Rev. Bridgeworth rejected claims that the inclusion of the images was a “sick joke”. “My sermon was about terrible architecture from the 1960s and how new students can take steps to come to terms with the fact that they are going to have to live here for at least three years.”
Marcus Atherton, a second-year maths student at Churchill, who asked not to be identified, was distraught. “When I picked up my programme for the Dean’s chapel service and saw such an appalling image on the cover, I was shocked.
“I cannot imagine any reason why someone would do this. It is already difficult getting up in the morning knowing we live in Churchill, and this is only rubbing salt into the wounds. This service was aimed at first-year students and I know many of them were deeply upset and offended by the picture.”
In an official statement, a Churchill College spokeswoman said: “We understand that, with or without context, images of the college buildings are bound to upset people. We apologise for its use and are offering counselling, as well as blindfolds, for any students in distress.”
Rev. Bridgeworth said he had promised students that next year’s welcome programme would feature far less harrowing images, such as a still from an ISIS beheading video or a picture of a Soviet-era gulag.