People

Hale graduate set for the priesthood after winning prestigious Cambridge award

By David Prior at

A Hale graduate is to begun studying to become a priest after winning a major academic award from Cambridge University.

Theo Sharrock has been officially recognised as an “exceptional student” by Cambridge University’s St John’s College, which has honoured him with the Larmor Award.

At the same time, Salford’s Bishop John Arnold has accepted Theo’s application to begin studies towards the Catholic Priesthood in the Diocese of Salford and has asked him to study at the Venerable English College in Rome.

“It’s been quite a week,” said the 22-year-old, who graduated with a first-class BA Hons and MSci in Natural Sciences.

“It is a massive honour to receive this award from St John’s alongside such talented students, and it is a wonderful way to finish my time here in Cambridge and to begin my new life training to serve the people of God in Salford.”

Hale student Theo Sharrock is presented with the Larmor Award by Cambridge University’s St John’s College

A parishioner of St Vincent’s Church in Altrincham, Theo added: “I’m truly thankful to both St Bede’s College, Manchester and St John’s College, Cambridge for my education for the past 11 years: it’s helped shape me to this point and has brought me closer to God and to the knowledge of how He wants me to spend my life.”

The Larmor prize, named after the 20th century physicist and mathematician Sir Joseph Larmor who was a student and Fellow of St John’s College, recognises “intellectual qualifications, moral conduct or practical activities” and is awarded for “all round excellence”.

Theo also played cricket for his college, viola for the Cambridge University Musical Society Concert Orchestra, represented Cambridge at trampolining, and was treasurer of the Fisher Society (the University’s Catholic Chaplaincy).

From school pilgrimages to Lourdes with St Bede’s College, Manchester, Theo has continued to support disabled and disadvantaged people visiting Lourdes for the past six years with the Diocese of Salford and regularly acts as mentor to St Bede’s College pupils on their first pilgrimage.