Jonty Driver at St Peter’s


The Friends of St Peter’s, Newenden, is one of approximately 136,000 small or micro registered charities in the UK. Indeed, it is typical of most small charities, having a rural base and income of less than £10,000 per year. Many of these charities do excellent work and the Friends of St Peter’s raise vital funds for the maintenance and enhancement of Newenden’s lovely ancient church.

The committee is always trying to introduce new and different fund raising events. They have invited CJ (Jonty) Driver to read extracts from his poetry and tell of his life at An Evening with Jonty Driver in St Peter’s on Friday March 27 at 7:30 pm.

Jonty has had quite a life! Born in Cape Town in 1939, he was educated at St Andrew’s College, Grahamstown, where his father was chaplain. He did undergraduate study at the University of Cape Town where he was elected president of the National Union of South African Students. In August and September 1964 he was detained without trial by the police and held in solitary confinement, possibly because of his suspected involvement in the African Resistance Movement. On his release he immediately left for England and studied for his M. Phil at Trinity College, Oxford.

Jonty’s first teaching job was at Sevenoaks School, where he eventually became housemaster of the International Centre. After posts at a comprehensive school in Lincolnshire and as a research fellow at York University he held the post of headmaster of the Island School, Hong Kong, for 23 years. In 1983-9 he was headmaster of Berkhamstead School and in 1989-2000 he was master of Wellington School.

In addition to his career in education, Jonty has been a senior lecturer in literature and creative writing at the University of East Anglia since 2007. He has had numerous novels and volumes of poetry published including A Messiah of the Last Days (Faber) and Before (a collection of 22 poems, published by Crane River).

Tickets are £15 (£12 to Friends) and are available from or by telephone on 01797 253632. There will be a welcome drink on arrival.

Image Credits: Anthony Dawson .

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