Our history

We were formed in 2012, bringing together two former Trusts, the Culham Educational Foundation and St Gabriel’s Trust. The former Trusts were established in the late 1970s after the closure of two Church of England teacher training colleges, Culham College in Oxfordshire and St Gabriel’s College in Southwark, London.

Culham College

Culham College in Oxfordshire was founded in 1852 by Bishop Samuel Wilberforce, and trained teachers to work mainly in the Oxford diocese. It closed in 1979. The Foundation, and the Culham Institute, were born as a result, and worked closely with St Gabriel’s Trust on a shared programme supporting RE.

St. Gabriel’s College

St. Gabriel’s College was set up in 1899 by Canon Charles Edward Brooke, a pioneer of Church schools south of the Thames. The first Principal was Miss Mathilda E. Bishop. She became the first of the six women Principals of the College. Since the closure of the college in 1978, its work has lived on in the St. Gabriel’s Programme, shared with the Culham Institute.

Both trusts have deep roots in the history of the Church of England’s commitment to supporting education for all, and promoting religious education. Culham St Gabriel’s enshrines those values and builds on them today.

You can find out more about the history of St Gabriel’s College here.
You can find out more about the St Gabriel’s College art collection here

Farewell dinner

In July 2018, the Trust said thank you and farewell to two long-standing Trustees, Barbara Lane and Priscilla Chadwick. Photographs of the dinner can be seen here


Culham and St Gabriel’s has produced a significant number of resources and publications in the years following the closure of the teacher training colleges. Many of these are important historical documents, which will be of use to those interested in the history of religious education. Some are online resources, which, may still have relevance. You can explore them here.


The guide to the Bible for RE

St Gabriel’s Remembered

History and memories of St Gabriel’s College


Church Schools Maps and Stats

A research project undertaken by the Culham Institute investigating the social geography of Church Schools

St Gabriel’s Previous Events

an archive of previous conferences and symposia funded by the St Gabriel’s Programme




  • Louden, L. (2003) The Conscious Clause in Religious Education and Collective Worship, Oxford: The Culham Institute [pdf]
  • Wright, A. (1999) Discerning the Spirit, Oxford: The Culham Institute [pdf]
  • Poole. M. (1998) Teaching about Science and Religion: Opportunities within Science in the National Curriculum Derby: CEM
  • Collective Worship Reviewed Report (1997) Oxford: The Culham Institute [pdf]
  • Wright A. (1998) A Spiritual Pedagogy: A survey, critique and reconstruction of contemporary spiritual education in England and Wales, Oxford: The Culham Institute (out of print)
  • RE Council of England and Wales (1996) Collective Worship in Schools Oxford: The Culham Institute
  • Gay, J. and Williams, V. (1995) Diocesan Boards of Education Oxford: The Culham Institute
  • Kay, B. Gay, J. and Greenough J. (1993) Communion Before Confirmation: A report on the survey conducted by Culham College Institute Oxford: The Culham Institute
  • Louden, L. and Urwin, D. (1992), Mission, Management and Appraisal: A guide for Schools of the Church of England and the Church in Wales, London: The National Society (out of print)
  • Louden, L. and Urwin, D. (1992), Church School Inspection: A guide for Schools of the Church of England and the Church in Wales, London: The National Society (out of print)
  • Louden, L. and Urwin, D. (1992), Church School Staffing: A guide for Schools of the Church of England and the Church in Wales, London: The National Society (out of print)
  • Clergy and RE – a website produced by the Culham Institute 2000-2013


  • BBC Educational Publishing and The Culham Institute (1995) Belief File Series: For Secondary Schools, Key Stage 3 including Teacher’ Pack
  • BBC Educational Developments and The Culham Institute (1993), Eggshells and Thunderbolts: Religious Education in the Primary Classroom. Video pack with Teacher Manual and Audio Cassettes
  • The Culham Institute and CEM (1993) Living Stone CD-Rom
  • Diana Lazenby (Ed) BBC Educational Developments (1993) Eggshells and Thunderbolts Teacher Manual
  • BBC Educational Publishing and the Culham Institute (1992) Christianity in Today’s World Series: For Secondary Schools, Key Stage 4 Video pack, including Teacher Guide and Book
  • Jenkins, S., Smith, L., and BBC Educational Publishing (1992), Christianity in Today’s World: Pupil Book