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Stuart Blanch
Founding Colleges
Lois Louden

Hope has been fortunate enough to receive materials from the estate of Archbishop Stuart Blanch (1918-1994). These include notes from his student days at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford and notes for sermons, lectures, talks and speeches made while Bishop of Liverpool (1966-1975) and Archbishop of York (1975-1983). There are also hand written works on the Gospels and transcripts of various broadcasts and press articles. Lists of these papers can be found on the Archbishop Stuart Blanch Archive database, available to download. Read more about Archbishop Stuart Blanch and the Annual Memorial Lecture that takes place here at Liverpool Hope University in association with the Diocese of Liverpool.

The Warrington Training College (WTC) and S. Katharine's College (SKC) Archive

S. Katharine’s College began in 1844 with the Anglican foundation of Warrington Training College, established in response to the need to provide suitably trained women teachers for the increasing school provision. The ‘training school’, later called ‘college’, was associated closely with St. Elphin’s School housed in adjoining buildings but by the 1880s an increasing independence had been established as the college expanded. This Warrington existence came to an abrupt end in December 1923 when a serious fire caused sufficient damage for the college buildings to be abandoned. Pictured to the left are the College staff in 1911 with Revd. Morley Stevenson, Principal 1882-1923.

Warrington Training College survived temporary relocation at Battersea, London, before the building and opening of the Liverpool site in 1930. The former name seemed increasingly inappropriate and the Warrington Chapel dedication of S. Katharine was chosen as the new name of the College in 1938. No sooner had the consolidation at Liverpool got underway when pre-war planning and air-raid precautions necessitated the evacuation of the College buildings on the day war was declared in 1939. The David Lewis Northern Hospital requisitioned the buildings in Childwall and the. The College was re-located to Keswick for the duration of the war only returning to Liverpool in 1947. Due to an increase in student numbers premises in Keswick were retained and additional buildings taken at Scarisbrick Hall near to Ormskirk, Lancashire.

The completion of additional new buildings and facilities in 1963 consolidated the College to the one site in Liverpool, and then federation with the Liverpool teacher training colleges of Notre Dame and Christ’s led rapidly to the formation of the Liverpool Institute of Higher Education in 1980.

The S. Katharine's College Archive spreadsheet is now available to download together with a list of S. Katharine's College slides.

Mount Pleasant Training College 

The Mount Pleasant Training College (MPTC) Archive from the Notre Dame British Province Archive was deposited with The Sheppard-Worlock Library in January 2015. The Notre Dame College in Mount Pleasant is one of Liverpool Hope’s Foundation Colleges. In 1980 the college relocated to Childwall to merge with Christ’s College, and federation with S. Katharine's College under the title of Liverpool Institute of Higher Education (LIHE), took place in 1979.

The archive contains material dating from 1856 to 1980 including correspondence relating to the founding history, the Governing Body, and the Board of Education, Catholic Education Council reports, and information relating to Principals and some student records. A list of these items can be found on the Mount Pleasant Training College Archive spreadsheet, available to download. Please note records still to come to Liverpool Hope include the amalgamation and federation papers (as yet unprocessed) and some property and finance records.

Nugent deposited their archive with Liverpool Hope University in October 2013. Nugent is a charitable organisation which offers support to adults and children across Liverpool and throughout the North West of England. The origins of Nugent date back to the 1800’s and the pioneering work of James Nugent (1822-1905) in relation to child welfare, relief from poverty and social reform. Monsignor James Nugent, better known as Father Nugent, was a Roman Catholic Priest of the Archdiocese of Liverpool. He was a passionate social reformer, appalled by the state of the homeless living in the squalor of Victorian England, he dedicated his life to the education and rescue of destitute children. 2016 marks the 135th anniversary of Nugent.

His statue (created in 1906) can be seen today in St John’s Gardens, adjoining St George’s Hall in Liverpool. The plaque on the statue reads “Apostle of Temperance, Protector of the Orphan Child, Consoler of the Prisoner, Reformer of the Criminal, Saviour of Fallen Womanhood, Friend of all in Poverty, a foot to the Lame, the Father of the Poor.” The work of Father Nugent had a dramatic impact on the lives of thousands of vulnerable people and his work continues to this day, through the charity organisation Nugent.

Monsignor John Bennett (1891-1965) was the administrator of The Catholic Reformatory Association, The Catholic Children’s Protection Society and Father Berry’s Homes, for over 40 years. He was able to build upon the pioneer work for child welfare, in Liverpool, by previous administrators - Monsignors Nugent and Pinnington. He was an important character in the developing form of social welfare, where his influence and expertise often extended beyond Liverpool. He was involved at national level serving as part of the Central Advisory and Training Council. At international level, he was directly involved in the development of child welfare in Malta, after an appeal by the Governess of Malta, Lady Laycock. Canon Bennett would become the biographer of Monsignor James Nugent in 1949, when he wrote the book, Father Nugent of Liverpool.

The archive contains 26 books and 264 items in total, including: Father Nugent’s letters written during his time as Chaplain of Walton Gaol and as co-founder of the Liverpool Catholic Children’s Protection Society; Monsignor Bennett’s correspondence letters covering subjects such as child welfare, juvenile delinquency, child psychology, and the end of child emigration to Canada; and also Bennett’s correspondence with Lady Laycock and the development of care of deprived children in Malta. A list of these items can be found on the ?Nugent Archive spreadsheet, available to download.

In 2017 Liverpool Hope Archives & Special Collections were fortunate to receive a significant collection of education research material donated by the Culham St. Gabriel's Trust. The collection belonged to Dr. Lois Louden, a prominent figure in Education and Church Schools in the North West. The collection of books and archival papers are now fully catalogued and available to use. The books can be located on our Library Catalogue and the Lois Louden Papers archive is available to download.


Dr Lois Mary Robertson Louden (1938-2015) was an historian of education, education advisor, lecturer, author, guide, and general educationist who specialised in studying the relationship between the Church and Schools, with particular emphasis on the National Society and Methodism. Her academic studies and career spanned from 1956 to 2015. Louden was also an active member of the Lancaster Methodist Church and volunteered for many organisations, including the NHS Ambulance Services Trust. Louden was largely active in the Lancaster and Blackburn area, and took a special interest in the history and development of the schools and education authorities in that area.


Lois Louden was born on the 3rd of January 1938, presumably in Liverpool as she attended Merchants Taylors’ School for Girls’ Great Cosby in Liverpool from 1948 to 1956. From 1956 to 1960 she studied at the University of Nottingham where she obtained a BSc in Mathematics and Statistics. From 1960 to 1964 Lois Louden worked as an Assistant Mathematics Teacher at Bilborough Grammar School, Nottingham before progressing into the role of Head of Mathematics at Westwood High School in Leek, Staffordshire where she would work from 1965 to 1970. That Louden progressed from an Assistant Teacher to the head of a department in only four years (1960-1964) is a fantastic testament to her work ethic and abilities as an educator.

In 1970 Louden embarked upon a PhD in Comparative Education at the University of North Carolina in the United States of America. Louden completed her PhD in 1974 and lectured in the History and Philosophy of Education at Nottingham College of Education. From 1975 to 1990 Louden was the Principal Lecturer in Education at St Martin’s College of Higher Education, Lancaster. In her 15 years of employment with St Martin’s College, Louden also operated as Head of Educational Studies, Faculty of Post Graduate Studies; Tutor in Charge, Courses for School Governors; Director of College Research and Secretary, Church Colleges Joint Research Group. St Martin’s was founded in the early 1960s by the Church of England as a teacher training college. By the 1990s, it had become a wide-ranging and ever-growing College of Higher Education, becoming a University College, and eventually merging with the HE College in Carlisle to form the University of Cumbria. Louden appears to have played a part in the development of the college given the wide variety of roles she undertook and performed to a high standard.

Louden left her role at St Martin’s College in 1990, but remained very active. From 1986 to 1998 Louden was a Tutor, Courses for Governors, Lancashire County Council. Between 1990 and 2000 Louden fulfilled a number of roles for a number of organisations. She was a part-time tutor at St Martin’s College in 1993, OFSTED inspector from 1994 to 1996, and Chair of the Lancashire Ambulance Services NHS Trust from 1997 to 1999. Louden was also an Honorary Advisor for the Blackburn Diocesan Board of Education, and was responsible for everything from School Admissions to Instruments of Government. Rev. John Hall, the current Dean of Westminster and Chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II, notes that Lois Louden was a member of the advisory team when he was the Diocesan Director of Education for Blackburn, between 1992 and 1998.

"Lois was always friendly, brisk and business-like, very practical and sensible, a single woman, academically a Mathematician. She was an enormous encouragement to me in my early times in Blackburn. Her active commitment to other aspects of life embraced the Methodist Church, where she chaired the national Day School committee, I believe for many years, and the Girl Guide movement, where she was also influential at national level." Rev. John Hall, Dean of the Church of England.

The Blackburn Diocesan Board of Education supported the 192 Church of England schools in the diocese, some of which were joint schools with the Methodist Church (North Lancashire District). It is unclear exactly when Louden assumed this role, but she was still active as late as 2006. Louden was also a member of the Governing Body of Emslie Girls’ School, and was the Vice Chair at Ripley St Thomas Church of England High School. Louden worked actively with Youth, and was involved with the Girl Guides movement from 1975 to 2000 as a District Commissioner, Trainer, Trainer of Trainers, Adviser, and Member of Council in addition to several other roles. From studying the dates on her personal papers, it appears that Lois Louden was still actively studying and writing about education near the end of her life, as late as 2014/2015.

"Lois was a pleasure to work with. She was a consummate professional, unflappable and always delivered what she said she would do by when she said she would do it. Her historical knowledge of the Church school sector was second-to-none and her research skills were A1. But most of all she was everything one could expect and hope for from a Girl Guide exemplar. She will be greatly missed." Rev. John Gay.

Personally, Lois Louden enjoyed walking holidays and travelling with friends. Louden rode a motorbike in her earlier days and was a very talented cricket bowler. Lois Loudon’s interest and passion for education was as much personal as it was professional and the collection of monographs and materials she has left behind will be an invaluable resource for the contribution to future research in the history of education, specifically (but not limited to) Church Schools in the Lancaster and Blackburn areas, and the Methodist Church.

Main achievements

In addition to teaching, educating, and researching, Lois Louden also wrote regularly on issues pertaining to Church Schools and Education. In 1992, Lois Louden and David Urwin wrote the loose-leaf pamphlet Mission Management Appraisal: A Guide for Schools of the Church of England and the Church in Wales, published by the National Society (Church of England) and was often described as a ‘package’. The package was written for Governors and Teachers of Church of England and Church in Wales Schools. The resource was published at a time when the reforms occurring within Church Schools had created uncertainty and concern regarding schools being able to maintain their Christian vision and identity. The package was split into three parts; (1) Mission Statements, (2) Priorities and Quality, (3) Appraisal. Mission Management Appraisal was considered to have been very influential.?

Louden and Urwin would go on to work together again, publishing Church School Inspection: A Guide for Schools of the Church of England and the Church in Wales, in 1993, and Church School Staffing: A Guide to Recruitment, Selection and Induction of Staff in Schools of the Church of England and the Church in Wales, in 1995. In 2003 Louden wrote an article titled, The Conscious Clause in Religious Education and Collective Worship: Conscious Objection or Curriculum Choice (copies of this article can be found in LLP/1/8 of the Lois Louden Archive). The article considered the grounds on which parents were able to withdraw children from religious education or collective worship. In 2011, Lois Louden wrote a book titled Distinctive and Inclusive: The National Society and Church of England Schools 1811-2011, to mark the 200th anniversary of the National Society. Louden’s book provided an account of some of the major changes that took place in education and Church administration which affected schools. Louden wrote the book hoping it would inspire people, especially children, to find out more about their own school’s history.

The Collection

The Lois Louden Collection consists of two halves, books and archival papers. There are over 800 monographs belonging to Lois Louden, now generously donated to Liverpool Hope University by the Culham Gabriel Trust. These monographs include a variety of books, pamphlets, and reports, some dating back to the 19th century. The collection also covers a wide variety of topics including the general history of education, schools, and the Methodist Church. There are specific texts concerning Church Schools, public education, missionary movements, education as a value to society, education and law, women in education, and biographies and autobiographies of individual educators. Among the most rare and possibly most valuable materials in the collection are the six School Government Chronicles, which date from as early as 1885 and were an index or ‘gazette’ of issues in education at the time of their publication. They contain announcements and short articles regarding changes to school programs and structures. Louden also owned a series of Wesley Historical Society North Lancashire Branch Bulletins containing a selection of prayers and society notes.

Another valuable set of materials are Louden’s collection of The National Society Annual Reports. The National Society was established in 1811 to provide Education and Church Schools in every Parish, especially for poor children. The National Society is closely aligned with the Church of England. The reports Louden collected run almost consistently, except for a few years, from 1920 to 1989 and contain a plethora of interesting and useful content regarding the National Society. For example, the 1969 report noted below contains information about Church Schools in 1969 in relation to issues they faced, new courses offered at that time, changes in their structure, and yearly accounts.

The second half of the collection contains over eight linear metres of archival material, catalogued as the Lois Louden Papers, ‘LLP’ in the accession code. Identifying a natural order to the collection, in addition to identifying what many of the papers were about, was not easy. Sadly, since her death, many of Lois Louden’s papers had become much disorganised and some were lost during a house move in 2015. Moreover, Louden was a good advocate for recycling in that she often printed new content on the other side of already used paper, which meant that some items were particularly difficult to identify. Nevertheless, the archive includes some fascinating and highly informative material. Three rough sub-categories can be identified; research, work-related materials, and personal materials. A significant aspect of Lois Louden’s personal papers is her research of education and church schools. his includes research organised by location and school, such as materials she collected relating to St Martin’s College, research organised by event, such as the 1902 Education Acts, and research organised by topic and type of school. Additionally, there are materials relating specifically to the Church of England and the National Society. There are also papers yet to be fully identified that could be of further interest to researchers.

In addition to Louden’s research, the collection also contains materials which largely relate to Louden’s working and professional interests. This part of the collection includes materials such as Louden’s C.V., and miscellaneous documents pertaining to her work with Methodist Schools and Lancaster City Council. There are also a few documents relating to her time in the USA where she completed her PhD, together with documents she kept regarding local schools in Blackburn. The final part of the collection contains more personal items, such as membership paraphernalia and old receipts for book purchases. The sheer number of books she actively bought personally is indicative of her devotion and love for school education.

Useful information

The archives are reference only and must be consulted in the Reading Room. To make an appointment please email Special Collections or visit About us for more information.