A former student of Lincoln College entered the college’s chapel,
disrupted the altar dressing and shouted  abuse at the choir who were rehearsing. The incidient
took place at around 4pm last Sunday.Choir member Helena Wilde said that
the woman “suddenly stormed in, looking very angry and purposeful”. She
continued, “She walked straight past us towards the altar, so we all assumed
she was a chapel warden, perhaps coming to set up for evensong.”The woman’s behaviour started to arouse
the suspicion of the choir as she proceeded to noisily rearrange the candles and
the cross which were placed on the altar, before throwing them and the altar
cloth onto the chapel pulpit. She then approached an electric keyboard in the
middle of the chapel which Senior Organ Scholar Paul Wingfield was using for
the rehearsal.Wilde recalled that she “banged
her hands down on the keyboard to make a terrible sound then shouted ‘My parents
got married in this chapel’”. As she left through the antechapel the woman
closed the heavy wooden inner chapel doors, which normally remain open at all
times. She said “Burn in Hell, you Catholic” to the Organ Scholar who was by
the organ in the antechapel at the time. She then slammed the outer chapel
doors.Fourth year Lincoln chorister Johnny Shipley followed the
woman out of the chapel to the front entrance of the college, where she was
attempting to shut the main college doors behind her. Shipley said that he
tried to “reason with her” but she responded with confused comments, including the
remark “Where’s Oliver Cromwell when you need a war?”The conversation continued on Turl Street, where
her comments to Shipley indicated that she was a former Lincoln student. “She said something about
not being allowed to sit Finals, and something about  medication,” Shipley said. The woman, who some
of the members of choir estimated to be in her mid-twenties, also revealed her
identity when asked by Shipley.Lincoln College declined to disclose the
identity of the woman in the interests of her personal welfare. The woman had
tried to gain entrance to Lincoln
at around 9.30pm on Saturday night. She asked at the porter’s lodge if she
could enter the chapel but, as it was after visiting hours, she was denied
entry. When she returned the following afternoon, porter Rohan Ramdeen said he
had no reason to suspect her intentions and allowed her to enter. The
college porters have now been made aware of the woman’s identity and will
refuse her entry if she attempts to make further visits to the college. Lincoln JCR President Ollie Munn said,
“I was obviously concerned for the students involved but it seems that no one was hurt and that
nothing was badly damaged.” Choir members described the incident as  surreal” and Wilde admitted that they “were
all quite scared when it happened”. Chaplain George  Westhaver said that he did not think the
incident had been “a cause of lasting distress” and confirmed that no charges
are being levelled against the woman as she did “no damage at all”. He added “putting
things back in place took two minutes.”ARCHIVE: 3rd week MT 2005