Distinguished OVs, who have excelled in their chosen profession, are invited by the Headmaster to join The Barnabas Group and speak to the school in College Hall about their experiences, lessons learned and the encouragement they feel able to pass on as a result.
Founded in 2008, the group is named after St Barnabas, the ‘son of encouragement’ (Acts of the Apostles Ch.4, v.36). St Barnabas travelled with St Paul on his missionary journey during the early years of establishing the Christian church and is credited with being an inspirational figure. The Barnabas Group was founded to build on this theme for the benefit of future generations of pupils.
In a continually changing world it is important that young people have role models to whom they can look for inspiration and motivation. Such people can come from many walks of life, and the OV community provides a rich variety of such individuals.
Click the images below to find out more about our recent Barnabas speakers.
On 21 March 2022, we were delighted to welcome OV Jabba Riaz (Br 91-96) back to School as our newest Barnabas Speaker.
Inspired by St Barnabas, ‘son of encouragement’, our Barnabas speakers are distinguished, inspirational OVs who are are invited to join our ‘Barnabas Group’ and return to speak in College Hall to share their experiences and life lessons with pupils.
At King’s, Jabba was an active member of the School community. He enjoyed playing for the 1st Cricket and Football teams, took part in Young Enterprise and won a prize for his part in the community service scheme.
Jabba went on to the University of Leicester, where he secured his Bachelor of Business Administration. Since then, he has undertaken a variety of roles in planning and management. At Worcester City Council Jabba was elected Cabinet member for Safer and Stronger Communities. He was appointed Mayor of Worcester in 2018 and is currently Vice-Chair of the Council Income Generation Committee.
Jabba’s professional career sees him in charge of the logistics and distribution for Cyroservice, a national supplier of liquid Argon, Nitrogen, Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide.
The Barnabas Day began with Jabba giving an inspirational and exceptional address to the Sixth Form in College Hall, and to the rest of the School via video link. ‘Love not Hate’ was the guiding principle of Jabba’s message to the pupils. Now a Governor of King’s, Jabba spoke most movingly of the initial difficulties of isolation that he faced at King’s in the early 1990s. He found his success through sport and his co-curricular passions, supported particularly by the School Chaplain at that time, Rev’d Jonathan Charles, and watched the School develop in mutual respect, tolerance and love. He closed his inspiring address by reminding us all that we each have the power to stand up against discrimination and inequality of all kinds and the duty to call such things out, refusing to accept such injustice wherever we find it, to resounding applause from all present.
Having addressed the School, Jabba was thrilled to spend the morning joining Sixth Formers enjoying a range of lessons: Business Studies, Religion and Philosophy, and Politics, all subjects very close to Jabba’s heart. Jabba also enjoyed coffee with Headmaster Gareth Doodes and Heads of School, Josh R and Charlotte M, which was a time to reflect on the day.
Jabba’s visit was rounded off with a wonderful lunch joined by Head of Sixth Form Josh Hand, himself an OV, Head of Key Skills, Catriona Rees, Director of Finance, Georgina Mason, and the Heads of School, as well as some Politics students keen to speak with Jabba.
Talking about his day, Jabba said, “It was an honour to be invited as the Barnabas Day speaker by the School to talk about my experiences with racism whilst growing up; tolerance, respect, and acceptance were a key part of my King’s education and lessons that I have used in my role as Mayor and beyond to bring unity and harmony within the city! I leave the School with my message of love not hate, a message that is universal in condemnation of hate and prejudice and a message especially relevant today.”
Thank you for giving your time so generously, Jabba, and your thoughtful words.
On the 11th October 2021 we enjoyed the first Barnabas Day of the School year with OV Franny Moyle (Co 80-82) as our latest speaker and member of the group. Twice a year we invite OVs who have excelled and made a particular impact in their chosen career path to join the Barnabas Group, to visit School, share experiences and offer motivation and inspiration.
Franny is a British television producer and author. On leaving King’s, she studied Art History at St John’s College, Cambridge. Franny is the former BBC Commissioner for Arts and Culture and is now a freelance executive producer and writer. Her books include Constance: The Tragic and Scandalous Life of Mrs Oscar Wilde, Desperate Romantics: The Private Lives of the Pre-Raphaelites, and The Extraordinary Life and Momentous Times of J. M. W. Turner. Her latest book The King’s Painter: The Life and Times of Hans Holbein was recently serialised on Radio 4, read by Sir Simon Russell Beale.
Franny began the day making an address in College Hall, heard live by the current sixth form and watched in houses on-line by the rest of the School body. Franny talked passionately and eloquently about how her time at King’s shaped her future life and especially stressed to the pupil body the importance of self-belief and ‘finding your star’. She also spoke about equality and the massive steps forward in female education and opportunities, speaking to the young men and women in College Hall, asking them to strive constantly to level up the playing field and expect equal rights in all they do. You can watch and listen to Franny’s address in College Hall: .
During the day, Franny met with our U6 King’s Art students. She thoroughly enjoyed being shown the Art School by Head of Art Chris Haywood (Hon OV), watching the pupils work, offering feedback and hearing all about the aims for their final pieces. She also enjoyed meeting a Lower Remove English class, where the group had many questions to ask Franny including many about her time at the BBC and what her role as a Producer entailed. A trip to meet GCSE Art pupils opened up a really interesting conversation about how to critique art objectively and what Franny labelled the ‘Curator’s Checklist’. Franny was also able to talk about some of her favourite artists and the history behind certain movements and moments in time.
A visit to the library provided the icing on the cake for us all as Franny kindly signed some of her books for us.
The day also included a opportunity to meet briefly with OV historian Andrew Reekes (Ch 64-69) who was in on the same day, speaking to some of sixth form history pupils. Andrew is a big fan of Franny’s books and the two had a huge amount to discuss. The day also included lunch with Headmaster Gareth Doodes, Heads of School, Josh and Charlotte, Head of Art Chris Haywood, Lucy a current U6 artist, and Sophie and Liz from the Development and Alumni Office. Lunch provided opportunity to find out even more about Franny’s fascinating career and for her to find out even more about King’s today.
On her visit to King’s, Franny says, “Returning to King’s I discovered a mix of the familiar and unfamiliar. The same exquisite setting in the grounds of the Cathedral and next to the river; the same feeling of tradition mixed with camaraderie, and that dedication to learning as well as to sport. But to see a fully mixed school was a wonderful change, as were the astonishing new facilities that the school benefits from. Climbing walls! Amazing performance spaces! A great library and art department. What a wonderful start this school offers to young people.”
A huge thank you to Franny for giving her day so generously to us.
On Thursday 22nd October 2020 we welcomed OV Edward Cumming QC (Br 90-01) back to School as Barnabas Speaker. St Barnabas was a fellow traveller with St Paul on his missionary journeys & is described in the Acts of the Apostles as “son of encouragement”. Distinguished OVs are invited to join our ‘Barnabas Group’ & return to speak in College Hall to share their experiences & life lessons with pupils.
Edward gave an inspiring address in College Hall talking about the Law which governs our society and to which we are all subject no matter what our position. He talked about his own career beginning with his studies at Dowling College Cambridge and then a scholarship to study at the Wharton Business School which is part of the University of Pennsylvania, and finally his training to become a barrister. Edward talked with enthusiasm about the breadth of cases that he has been involved in and the types of people he has argued cases for. He spoke of his love for his profession and the aspects of the role which particularly appealed to him.
Edward continued by telling the pupils that each of them has something inside them which excites them and ignites their energies and that they should use the opportunities they have at King’s to discover what it is, to find their passion whatever it is and then when they know what it is to fight for it.
Please click here to listen to Edward’s address in full.
Following this Edward met Year 6 children at King’s St Alban’s (where he had also been a pupil) for a Q&A session in the Chapel followed by a tour.
He met with Headmaster Gareth Doodes and Head of School, Olivia to sign the Barnabas Book and be presented with his Barnabas Shield.
Edward then met some of this year’s Oxbridge candidates over coffee to advise them on the application and interview process and then visited a Sixth Form Maths lesson.
A tour of the School followed including a visit to the Boathouse, Keyes building and Library which were all built after Edward had left the school. He was impressed with the sporting facilities on offer and the bright and friendly atmosphere in the library. Some of the school rooms were very little changed since his time at King’s and he enjoyed visiting familiar haunts which evoked such strong memories. Edward particularly enjoyed a visit to the Archives in Edgar Tower where school archivist Harriet Patrick showed him old school photos and past copies of The Vigornian where he featured. Edward was delighted to pick out the faces of his old school friends and teachers on this trip down Memory Lane. Edward was also impressed with the facilities in the new art block and the talent on display.
After the tour Edward joined the Headmaster Gareth Doodes, Head of Sixth Form and old school friend OV Josh Hand (Cl 91-01) , Head of Alumni Relations, Caroline Mitchell-Wise, Head of School, Olivia and Deputies Tom and Will for a delicious lunch in the Vigornian Room. Edward was very keen to hear about the Sixth Formers’ study plans and to offer advice and encouragement.
After lunch Edward gave a careers session on Law in the Bolland Room to a group of Lower Sixth students with Fifth Form and Upper Sixth participating via Teams. If you would like to find out more about Edward’s advice for law students then please click here for our full careers report.
He ended his day with a visit to King’s Hawford where a group of excited Year 6 pupils grilled him on his career and experiences.
A full and rewarding day and a much deserved recognition for this OV.
It was a pleasure to welcome OV Kathryn Pugh (W 93-95) back to King’s on Thursday 23rd January 2020 to join the Barnabas Group. Kathryn began the day by giving a wonderfully inspiring and rousing address in the Cathedral, speaking to the School body about her time here at King’s which she described as ‘transformative’. Kathryn spoke of how being here at King’s allowed her to truly be herself and to harness a variety of different experiences. She spoke of her love of languages and English Literature, and the path from King’s to Cambridge University where she studied English and completed a PGCE. Kathryn spoke to the pupils about her varied career and her eventual finding of teaching as a career, a profession she described as an absolute ‘privilege’. You can listen to Kathryn’s address here.
Kathryn is Headteacher at St Marylebone School in London, an outstanding non-selective State School in central London where they place particular value on the positive role the arts play in all young people’s education. In the Sixth Form, boys can also attend. When given this role, Kathryn was noted as one of the youngest appointed female Headteachers.
Following her address, Kathryn enjoyed a tour of School with Head of Alumni Relations, Sophie, where she explored familiar locations as well as the newer sites and facilities built since she was at King’s. It was lovely for Kathryn to pop in to some Drama lessons, a DT class and the Art department.
Kathryn and Sophie then joined Acting Headmaster, Jon Ricketts (Hon OV) and Head of School, Hamish, for coffee where Kathryn was presented with her Barnabas shield. Kathryn then joined two English classes, a Lower Sixth and then an Upper Sixth. Having been taught by Richard Davis (Hon OV) herself, who she mentioned in her morning address as having hugely inspired her here at School, Kathryn was thrilled to join his Lower Sixth class and then afterwards to sit down with Andrew Maund (Hon OV) for his Upper Sixth lesson. With both groups currently studying the text A Streetcar Named Desire, there was plenty of opportunity to get into some in depth discussions and to hear the students talk about their feelings on the text and characters and for Kathryn to join in the discussions.
We enjoyed a visit from OV British sports car driving legend Derek Bell MBE (S 56-58) on Thursday 26th September as the newest member of our Barnabas Group. OVs who have excelled in their chosen careers are invited back to join the Barnabas Group, named after St Barnabas, son of encouragement, to share their life experiences and to offer advice and inspiration to the school body.
In 1956 Derek joined The King’s School Worcester where he enjoyed Maths, Physics and playing for the 1st XV rugby team. After leaving school Derek was encouraged to enter racing and he won his first race at Goodwood in 1964 in a Lotus Seven.
Derek’s record on the track is astoundingly impressive. He won Le Mans 24 hours five times, in 1975, 1981, 1982, 1986 and 1987. He also won the Daytona 24 three times, and the World Sportscar Championship twice. Derek has raced for the Ferrari, Wheatcroft, McLaren, Surtees and Tecno teams in the Formula 1.
Derek is now a speaker and sports commentator and he remains much in demand at racing events around the world. In 1986 Derek was awarded an MBE for services to motorsport, in 2012 he was inducted into the Motor Sport Hall of Fame of America and in 2014 he was presented with Honorary Life Membership of the AA in recognition of his 50 years in Motorsports.
Derek experienced a packed day back at King’s, where he had enjoyed his schooldays. At 8.30am the school playground vibrated as Derek entered through the school gates in his 911 ‘Racing Legends’ Derek Bell Porsche (one of just 15). The car continued to garner admiration and attention throughout the day. Derek gave an inspiring address to the School in Worcester Cathedral, speaking of his time at King’s, as well as his professional career highlights and times of challenge, as well as words of advice and encouragement. You can listen to the audio of his address here.
Derek enjoyed visiting King’s pupils in many lessons throughout the day including Maths, Drama, and Design Technology. It was a particular pleasure for him to meet sixth formers Toby Weymouth and Ed Cosson. Toby and Ed were part of King’s 4×4 Challenge team ‘Edge’ who won 1st Place at the National Finals for the JLR 4×4 in Schools Competition in 2018. Ed and Toby were able to showcase their prize-winning vehicle to Derek and to speak about the process of designing, building and testing the car, as well as discussing how they secured sponsorship and marketing support.
Derek enjoyed lunch with Acting Headmaster, Jon Ricketts (Hon OV), Head of School and Captain of the 1st XV Hamish Stigant, current pupil and budding racing star Theo Edgerton who is looking forward to his racing season ahead and Head of Sixth Form, Josh Hand, as well as Development Director Liz Elliott and Head of Alumni Relations, Sophie Borrillo-McLellan.
A special day indeed for Derek and for everyone at King’s.
8th March 2019 saw us welcome Keith Carnegie (H 86-88) back to King’s as the newest member of our Barnabas Group. Keith is CEO of the Partnerships Divisions at Bovis Homes, and he had a huge amount of personal and professional experience to share with us.
Keith began the day with a really inspiring address in College Hall where he spoke about his life growing up in Rhodesia, now Zimbawbe, before moving to King’s. He spoke incredibly eloquently of his early experiences there, and the prevalence of politics and racism in the culture. He touched upon the importance of acceptance, self-awareness and humility, and used his own experiences, both personal and in his career to highlight these. He talked especially about his experience of coming out as homosexual and the irony of having been brought up in an essentially homophobic culture. You can listen to Keith’s address here.
Keith visited both King’s Hawford and King’s St Alban’s where he talked about the housebuilding industry and took a host of questions. During morning coffee, Keith met with the Headmaster and the Head of School, Sam Martyn-Smith, where he was presented with his Barnabas shield and signed the Barnabas book.
Keith also visited an U6 Business Studies lesson where he talked in great detail about his role and the various wonderful opportunities that exist within the housebuilding profession. He answered lots of questions from the group, particularly talking about the challenges of economic climate, the importance of partnerships and the role of affordable housing, sustainability, Brexit, and also the need to understand and meet customer expectations. Keith was also able to offer some very sound advice, including his own approach to stress, managing teams and the importance of enjoying your work. We are tremendously grateful to Keith for being so generous with his time, and for the wealth of inspiration, experience and advice he was able to pass on.
Tuesday 25th September, saw an incredibly special Barnabas Day here at King’s. Inspired by St Barnabas, ‘son of encouragement’, our Barnabas speakers are distinguished, inspirational OVs who have excelled in their chosen profession and come into school to share their experiences and to motivate and inspire current pupils.
The newest member of the Barnabas Group, Allan Clayton (H 91-99) is established as one of the most exciting and sought after singers of his generation. Allan garnered huge praise as the lead role in Brett Dean’s Hamlet, which had its world premiere at Glyndebourne in June 2017. This performance gained rave reviews and saw Allan win several prizes and accolades including the 2018 Whatsonstage Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera. Allan also sang the role of David in Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Summer 2018 saw Allan return to Glyndebourne to perform Handel’s Saul, yet again receiving huge praise and commendation.
Allan’s awards are many and recently they include 2018 Royal Philharmonic Society Singer Award and Best Male Performer in Australia’s prestigious Helpmann Awards.
Allan began his Barnabas Day by giving an inspirational address in College Hall, remembering his time at King’s. He talked of how lucky he felt to try a variety of activities at school and whilst he spent a large amount of time as a chorister, he also enjoyed rugby, football and many other hobbies. He encouraged all the pupils to enjoy their time at school and explained that he wasn’t sure until later on in his University studies of the career path he wanted to pursue. You can listen to his talk in full here.
Throughout the day, Allan gave a fantastic masterclass to three King’s singers where he workshopped a chosen piece with each of them, offering technical and performance advice.
Both St Alban’s and King’s Hawford schools enjoyed a visit from Allan who was delighted to meet some younger members of the school, including current choristers. Allan was most jealous that the boys now get Tuesdays and Saturdays off from choir practice as he used to attend daily! The pupils were able to ask many questions from ‘What is your favourite opera’ and ‘What countries have your performed in’, all the way through to ‘Do you own a comb?’.
Allan met Headmaster, Matthew Armstrong, and Head of School, Sam Martyn-Smith to sign the prestigious Barnabas book where he was presented with his Barnabas shield. Lunch at the Headmaster’s House was followed with a truly superb recital where Allan delighted an audience of music students, scholars and members of staff with a resounding repertoire in College Hall, the perfect finish to a magnificent day. Our sincerest thanks go to Allan for making space in a full schedule to come and share his experiences and incredible talent with us all.
While at The King’s School, Ranga Chand (S 58-64) was an active member of school life. He was a House Monitor, CCF cadet, and played Hockey, Basketball and Badminton.
After King’s, Ranga went to the University of Toronto where he studied Economics. He has held senior positions with Canada’s Department of Finance and served as a director of the Conference Board of Canada before joining a major stock brokerage firm. He has also taught economics at the University of Waterloo and has represented Canada at numerous economic forums, including the OECD in Paris and the United Nations.
Between 2000 and 2003 he hosted popular television show “Talking Mutual Funds with Ranga Chand” which aired weekly on Canada’s Report on Business Television (ROBTV) for three years and reached over 4.3 million viewers nationwide. Ranga has also published a number of books, including ‘Best of the Best Mutual Funds’ and ‘Getting Started With Mutual Funds’.
Ranga began the day by giving an Address in College Hall about his time at King’s, how it has shaped his life, and how he was encouraged to “just apply yourself more diligently and press on”- a lesson which has stayed with him and helped him through his career. To listen to Ranga’s inspiring address in full please click here.
Following this Ranga spoke to pupils at King’s St Alban’s about ‘What is Economics?’ where they had a session learning about supply and demand. He was then awarded his Baranbas sheild and signed the prestigious Barnabas book along with Headmaster, Matthew Armstrong and Head of School, Alice Evans. Throughout the day, Ranga gave talks to sixth form Economics and Business students linking in with topics in their curriculum including the perceived move from Globalisation to Nationalistion, the potential reappearance of an asset market bubble, and the prospects for the UK economy. Ranga also gave a Careers Talk in the Bolland Room with a Q & A afterwards.
Luke Narraway joined The King’s School Worcester in 1997, and during his time at school excelled in sports, most notably playing for the 1st XV Rugby team.
Upon leaving The King’s School, Luke was signed by Gloucester Rugby, where he made his debut for the team playing in the 2003 Zurich Premiership.
Luke has an established and successful International Rugby Union career having been selected to represent England on many occasions. In 2006 Luke played for the England Saxons in the Churchill Cup. In 2008 he was chosen to play for England in the prestigious Six Nations Championship, and also in England’s tour of New Zealand including matches against the All Blacks.
2009 saw Luke represent England in the Six Nations Championship against Wales and Ireland, and also in 2009 Churchill Cup.
In 2012 Luke joined the French team Perpignan where he played until 2014 when he was signed by London Irish.
On 12th April 2017 Luke signed a two year contract to become a player- coach at Coventry Rugby.
On Thursday 13th October, Nigel Bax (S 56-66) returned to King’s as the latest member of the Barnabas group. He started the day by delivering a rousing address in College Hall, before leading a workshop with pupils who are hoping to go on and study Medicine.
Nigel joined King’s St Alban’s in 1956 and progressed through the Senior School, fully participating in life at King’s. Alongside sporting commitments with rowing and 1st XV rugby, he was head of School House and a Monitor. In his own words, Nigel’s time in School House was ‘a period of huge fun interrupted on occasions by study.’ He left King’s in 1966 and went on to read Pharmacology and Medicine at Guys Hospital Medical School. Medical training in London and Sheffield lead to him becoming a member of the Royal College of Physicians after which he became a Medical Research Council Training Fellow in Clinical Pharmacology. This resulted in a PhD with a focus on hepatic drug metabolism. In 2003, Nigel was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in the UK and, in the same year, was appointed as Professor of Medical Education at the University of Sheffield. He has been an examiner for the Royal College of Physicians for many years and has published over 80 scientific papers on carcinoid disease, pharmacokinetics, the estimation of hepatic blood flow and medical education.
In addition, Nigel has contributed to the creation of medical schools in Australia, Malaysia and Pakistan and worked with others to support their development in Egypt, Yemen, Oman, Libya, Iraq, Portugal, the West Indies, Sweden and in the United Kingdom. He and his wife Deb (who is Honorary Emeritus Professor of Rheumatology, University of Sheffield and Consultant Physician Emeritus, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) now regularly travel to Iraq, where they work with the University of Baghdad College of Medicine and with many other Iraqi medical schools, and together with the British Council they are helping to re-build the country’s medical education and training.
It was wonderful to welcome Nigel back to school and we are hugely grateful for the time he took out of his busy schedule to share his expertise with King’s pupils.
Mara Goldstein became the 26th member of the Barnabas Group when she visited King’s on Thursday 4th May, 2017. After addressing an assembly in College Hall, in which she enthused about the Civil Service and encouraged pupils to persevere even if your career plans change, Mara spent time with modern languages students throughout the day, sharing her knowledge and experience of the Civil Service and working with European Union partners, particularly in Germany. Mara offered advice (‘life hacks’) to our Sixth Form, including being flexible, spotting opportunities and looking for friends who bring out the best in you – the full list, with links to the Civil Service, can be found here. Mara is happy to advise any current or former King’s pupils about careers in the Civil Service: please contact her via the Foundation Development Office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mara joined King’s in 1981 for the Sixth Form, in the early days of co-educational boarding. Andrew Milne, Headmaster at the time, said of Mara that she is ‘a most striking personality. It is rare for people encountering her for the first time to go away without a vivid impression of someone with an unusual and interesting perspective of both herself in particular and life in general.’
Mara chose to attend King’s for its music and spent her two years making the most of school and Cathedral music, seizing every opportunity. She took part in school music and drama productions; she organised Keys Concerts and House Music competitions, and she toured abroad with the Cathedral Choir’s Chamber Orchestra. Being at King’s gave her the chance to play in the Midland Youth Orchestra in Birmingham, together with the Worcestershire Symphony Orchestra, and she joined the National Youth Choir in her Upper Sixth Year.
After leaving school, Mara had to decide whether to stay with music and ended up taking a degree in Law with German Law at King’s College, London. She spun out her time as a student by returning to the German partner university, Passau, as a lecturer, and justified four happy years thereby producing a German doctorate on European Law. After nine years at university she thought it was time to get a proper job, and joined the UK civil service as a Fast Streamer, specialising in the European Union.
Mara has worked in several Government Departments and says she has been fortunate to do many exciting jobs. During her time in the European Commission she helped to establish European Police Cooperation, including negotiating the convention which set up Europol. She organised a UK Presidency of the EU for the Home Office, and after three thrilling years as Private Secretary to the Home Secretary, where she witnessed the inner workings of Government, transferred to the Foreign Office and became a slightly reluctant diplomat. Since having children, she has mixed career with family, spending time in the Foreign Office in London, where, she says, much of the really interesting work is done. Her postings abroad include being Deputy High Commissioner to Canada, and she’d like to be an Ambassador once her children have left school. Mara says she made the right decision to keep music as a hobby, because she combines a stimulating career with singing in some of the country’s best choirs. When she’s not working or being a mum, she sings as much as she can, and her octet can sometimes be heard locally in Gloucester Cathedral or Tewkesbury Abbey.