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Image of Jesus College Chapel exterior seen from Chapel Court

Memorial planning application

An application has been made to the Diocese of Ely to remove and conserve a memorial dedicated to Tobias Rustat, currently sited on the west wall of our College Chapel, with the intention to relocate it in due course to an educational exhibition space.

The application follows recommendations by our Legacy of Slavery Working Party (LSWP) to make changes wherever Tobias Rustat is explicitly celebrated in College.

Tobias Rustat was one of our College’s largest benefactors before the twentieth century. He had financial and other involvement in the Royal African Company, a slave trading company, over a substantial period including at the time he donated to the College.

Last month, the College Council decided that the memorial represents a celebration of Rustat, which is incompatible with the Chapel as an inclusive community and place of collective wellbeing, and proposed that it be removed.

As a Grade I listed building, this change falls under Faculty Jurisdiction Rules operated by the Church of England. In June, the Archbishop of Canterbury announced that the Church was “very carefully" reviewing statues at major places of worship to see "if they all should be there".

Copies of the relevant plans and documents are available on request as laid out in the Public Notice below. Letters in response to the works or proposals should be sent to The Diocesan Registrar by 23 January 2021 as detailed below.

Public Notice (building included in list under Care of Places of Worship Measure 1999)

In the Consistory Court of the Diocese of Ely

Name or description of building:

Jesus College Chapel

Notice is given that we are applying to the Consistory Court of the diocese for permission to carry out the following:

Removal and inspection of and conservation works to the memorial dedicated to Tobias Rustat currently on the west wall of the College Chapel.  Safe temporary storage or display of the monument on College premises.

Due to COVID-19 safety measures, copies of the relevant plans and documents are available on request:

  • Email: foi@jesus.cam.ac.uk
  • Postal address: Information Compliance Officer, Jesus College, Cambridge CB5 8BL.

Name of petitioner or body on whose behalf the petition is submitted to the Court:

The College of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint John the Evangelist and the Glorious Virgin Saint Radegund, commonly called Jesus College, near Cambridge.

Name and address of person authorised to act on behalf of the body submitting the petition to the Court:

The Reverend James Crockford, Chapel Office, Jesus College, Cambridge CB5 8BL.

If you wish to object to any of the works or proposals you should send a letter stating the grounds of your objection to The Diocesan Registrar at 1 The Sanctuary, Westminster, London, SW1P 3JT so that your letter reaches the registrar not later than 23 January 2021, or via email to ely.registry@1thesanctuary.com by 23 January 2021. A letter or email of objection must include your name and address and state the basis on which you have an interest in the matter.

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