Have you ever wondered what it is a chaplain actually does? Well, a chaplain’s job is to look after the holistic wellbeing of both staff and students within the university institution. In short, they are paid to have time to listen and be present to all who require their attention.
They are of course people of faith, and it is that spiritual dimension that sets them apart from other professionals in this area. The chaplain’s own faith guides and supports them in walking alongside others and in dealing with the emotions of others. Their role is not to proselytise, although if you wish to discuss faith they are always willing to do so, but to make time and create a safe space where you can discuss your own needs. This form of support is known as therapeutic listening and it recognises the fact that we are all story tellers and by engaging with and in someone else’s story you can aid change within that person’s life. If you want to get in touch simply go to the contacts page and call us directly, we are always willing to take your call.
The chaplains role is to enable community and within a church foundation institution such as this, to be advocates of that foundation aiming to support the university in living outs its Christian credentials. As part of that the Chaplaincy is responsible for the faith provision of the whole institution, managing the faith spaces across all four campuses and making sure hospitality is offered to all.
As Christian ministers this also means providing and leading the Christian response on campus, this takes the form of daily acts of worship (the academic day is shroud in prayer on a daily basis), coordinating the universities weekly services, Sacred Space (Wednesday 7.00pm), Choral Evensong (Thursday 5:30pm) as well as many clubs, societies and events.
As a University built on the grounds of Saint Augustine’s abbey it is hard not to avoid the historical significance of the place and to allow that to impact upon the life and rhythm of the community. St Augustine’s was an international centre of Excellence for both music and academic endeavours and was built around a Benedictine spirituality. That rhythm of prayer, work and study still carries on today. And as chaplains we seek to make that real in our engagement with the community as a whole, involvement in projects like Beer, Bread and Honey from the sustainability department just solidifies the relationship between the land and the university, celebrating our relationship with the Abbey and recognising that we occupy the land where the monks had the orchards, bakery and brew house.
Confidential listening service
The Chaplaincy offers a safe space where any student can bring and discuss their problems in a non-judgmental environment. You set the agenda, and can talk about everything and anything that might be on your mind; from issues with classmates, tutors or colleagues to relationships, family matters, financial concerns, bullying, essay deadlines or work-related stress.
We are here to listen and bounce ideas around with you, and to help you work things out for yourself.
As Chaplains, we work closely with students and staff across the University, and it is this close working relationship that enables us to offer suggestions and walk alongside people as they deal with their issues. As practising people of faith we strive to always do that which is in your best interest.
Never feel that your problem is too small or too large, or that you are alone in dealing it. The University Chaplaincy is there to support you, so please get in touch if you need us.
The Chaplaincy Centre, Canterbury
The Chaplaincy Centre provides a place for everyone to find sanctuary and peace, and a place to meet and relax. Inside there is a Common Room (including library and tea and coffee making facilities), and the Chaplaincy team’s offices.
Everyone is welcome and we look forward to seeing you!
The Centre is open regularly from about 9.30am to 5.00pm weekdays and people are free to come and go as they wish. Simply look for the banner hanging over the pond, or alternatively you find us behind the chapel, and the centre is easily access via the covered corridor between the Anselm back lawn and the pond area.
Chaplaincy at Medway Campus
Lynne Martin would be delighted to welcome you to the Faith Space in Pilkington.
For Chaplaincy events and activities at Medway contact Lynne for latest updates, or visit us on Facebook (Friends-of-Chaplaincy-at-Medway).