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Christ Church Donor Circles

Recognising exceptional generosity

Christ Church is extremely fortunate in the loyalty that its alumni show to the Foundation and its current and future activities. We wish to recognise the extraordinary generosity shown by alumni and friends of the House throughout their lifetimes. Our donor circles enable us to show our gratitude to our benefactors by giving members of the circles opportunities to engage more directly with aspects of Christ Church today.


"How warmly he shared the interests of those over whom he was set, how keenly he rejoiced in their successes, and how eagerly he desired to encourage their efforts" - Henry Thompson’s memoir, Henry George Liddell (1899)

By giving over £10,000 you become Liddell Patron, named after Henry George Liddell (1811-1898) who was Dean of Christ Church from 1856 to 1891 and Vice Chancellor of the University between 1870 to 1874. Dean Liddell oversaw the creation of Christ Church’s unique constitution, Meadow Buildings, the restoration of the cloister arches and the addition of both Wolsey Tower and Fell Tower. He commissioned George Gilbert Scott to re-order the Cathedral and worked hard to improve the quality of services and music, and to make the people of the diocese more welcome. Liddell Patrons will be invited back to an annual Patrons Day.

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“He would solace himself by taking out his gold pen, and after wiping it carefully on the sleeve of his gown (his invariable practice) would draw landscapes on the pink blotting paper which lay before him, while the stream of talk flowed on. Churches, castles, bridges, ruined keeps and ivy-clad walls, woodland and river scenes, in endless variety, were the outcome of dreary sessions of the innumerable committees which Oxford crowds into the afternoons of its all too brief Terms. Many hundred sketches from his pen are still treasured up by his friends; he would leave them on the table at the end of a meeting, and some admirer would carry them off, and well worth preservation they were.”

- Henry Thompson, Henry George Liddell (1899)


The Board of Benefactors was established in 2008 to recognise the generosity of alumni and friends. The membership threshold has been increased from £25,000 to £50,000 in life-time giving. Existing members of the Board whose lifetime giving is below the new threshold will continue to hold membership. 

Members of the Board are invited to two special events in alternate years: a London reception and a Board of Benefactors Gaudy at Christ Church, as well as the Patrons Day. Further details:


Those who have given over £100,000 are invited to become Fell Patrons, named after Dean John Fell (1625–1686), Dean of Christ Church between 1660 and 1686, as well as Chancellor of the University from 1666 to 1669. Dean Fell set about restoring Christ Church, physically and academically, after the difficulties of the Commonwealth period. It was he who organised the building of the north side of Tom Quad to match the style of Wolsey’s plans. He also built Kilcannon as a canonry after a fire in the Cloisters, and constructed Fell’s Buildings – a pre-cursor to Meadow Buildings. Lastly, he commissioned Christopher Wren to design Tom Tower. 

Fell Patrons will be invited to join a biennial weekend visit, usually outside Oxford, led by a Christ Church academic, as well as the Patrons Day and Board of Benefactors events. The first Fell Patron visit will be introduced in 2025.

“A man of large views and imperious will; a divine, a scholar, and a wise patron of learning”
Henry Thompson (1899)

All of us at the House are keenly aware of how much of the fabric and the activities of the House, now and over previous generations, have been made possible by the generosity of individuals like you. In the last year alone, donations have supported bursaries, scholarships, buildings and grounds, the Boat Club, music and more. 


Members who have donated between £500,000 - £1,499m are welcomed into the Dean’s Circle. In addition to the benefits of Fell Patronage, members of the Circle are invited to an annual briefing and dinner with the Dean.


Our most generous donors, who have given over £1.5m, are invited to become Foundation Fellows. 

Foundation Fellows will be listed (unless otherwise requested) in the Christ Church Annual Report, and will be invited to the 101 Gaudy in April, Christ Church’s annual Feast. In addition, Foundation Fellows will receive the benefits offered to all the other tiers including the Benefactors’ Gaudy and Reception, the Fell weekend, a private dinner with the Dean, and an invitation to the Patron’s Day.  


TOM recognises those who make a minimum commitment of £10 per month to the designation of your choice. Membership includes access to an exclusive event and regular updates on the impact you’re having on the Christ Church students of today and tomorrow. You'll also receive one of our TOM pin badges of Mercury in the post.


All members who leave a legacy to the House become members of the 1546 Society. The Society is our way of thanking you, for the significant and lasting impact of gift will have on the future of the House. Members are invited to an annual 1546 Society lunch in September and will also be invited to the Patrons Day.

Find out more about remembering Christ Church in your will.

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