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Holly Schofield

Holly Schofield (G19) recently joined Churchill as an MPhil student in Modern British History. She has a particular interest in post-war social and cultural change and her research focuses on the relationship between feminism and the Church of England between 1960 and 2000.

Originally from Peterborough, Holly’s family moved to West Sussex where she attended all girls’ state secondary Millais school before moving to a co-ed state sixth form with 1000 students per year, but it was at the Millais School that her interest in History first came alive.

Holly is the current recipient of a Cambridge UK Masters & Churchill College Studentship, without which she wouldn’t have been able to continue her studies and pursue her love of History:

I am so grateful to have received this Studentship... It covers all of my academic fees and there is a bit spare for research trips, meaning that I can afford to be on this course and can deliver quite an ambitious dissertation project that will involve travelling around the UK. It also means I can enjoy being here without worrying about finances every day. I feel very blessed and humbled by the fact that people have given so generously to enable me (and many others too) to learn and live in such an inspirational place.

Although she is still relatively new to the College, a particular highlight for Holly thus far has been getting to know the fellow postgraduate students on her staircase, who comprise a very international group of two Americans, two Chinese, a Singaporean and two Brits.

[It is] lovely to have such diversity. Every week or so we meet for drinks and more often than not a chat about life, the world and everything! This may seem quite a small and insignificant thing, but it is such a pleasure to spend time with friends engaging in big issues and feeling part of the diverse community here.

In addition, as a self-professed ‘country bumpkin’ Holly particularly enjoys the expansive College grounds available on her door-step.

The fact that there are trees and greenery as an integral part of the space of the college, and that I can step out my door and go for a wander to gain inspiration, fresh air, and perspective when my brain is stuck or tired after wrestling with a big historical question is a real joy.

In her spare time Holly is a drummer and percussionist for her local church, and she has also started learning ballroom and latin with the Cambridge Dancers Club.

Looking ahead to beyond her MPhil, Holly is hoping to go on to study theology and become a priest, potentially working as a university chaplain or theological educator. She loves to learn and to teach and would like to share life, ‘in all its vibrancy and fullness with people no matter their background or belief’. Above all, she is clear about her motivation for her current studies and its connection to her future ambitions and she is hugely grateful for the funding that has made it all possible:

Understanding the beliefs, motivations, morals and convictions of people in a range of secular and faith environments is why I am interested in the history of secularisation, church feminism and the changing Church. I hope that studying people’s opinions on these matters will help me to have empathy, understanding and an open, listening attitude for future life. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to live, learn and love in such a wonderful community.

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