From our foundation by Henry VI in 1441 until the first change of statutes in 1862, the students and faculty at King’s College – called Scholars and Fellows – were 70 in number. Fellowships were for life, except in certain situations. Each year several young men from Eton were elected as Scholars to fill the places that had been vacated. If they progressed suitably in their studies they were made Fellows, and could remain in College, living off the proceeds of Henry VI’s endowment, until they died, married, or accepted a living as a parish priest elsewhere.
When Simeon came up to King’s from Eton he was an ordinary sort of undergraduate. Like all undergraduates he attended Chapel as required every morning at 8 AM, and twice on Sundays. The eucharist was offered rarely, only a few times a year. When Simeon had to take his first Communion, at Easter, he faced a crisis as he felt profoundly unworthy. Resolution of his conflict came when he realised that the atoning death of Christ gave direct personal access to God, and that Simeon himself had already been forgiven – nothing he did or didn’t do would change that.