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Welcome to your Chaplaincy

Rickerby Park Girl on Bench

If you ever travel through Paddington station on a Friday evening you will hear the sound of the Paddington Brass Band. A group of amateur musicians who give up their Friday evening to help others to dance and sing on their journey home. The band are neither passengers nor crew, they have no agenda. They turn up out of love.

Chaplains, too, are like roving musicians. Embedded in the university, but not really part of it, we exist as ‘ministers without portfolio’; tasked with helping others to dance and sing on their journey. 

We separate ourselves from our religious institutions, to tell our story, and to hear the stories of others. We are ‘outsiders’ with a purpose. So we know how hard it is to leave home, or to be living a life which feels fragile and insecure, we understand the discomfort of change and the longing for new life and growth.

In the Christian tradition Jesus says that stepping out of our comfort zone - ‘losing our life to gain it’- is the only way to achieve ‘Life in all its fullness’, so we have stepped out of our comfort zones, to see if we can share that journey together. We are a bit like a brass band on a railway station. Playing and singing in the hope that others might dance.

What we do

Life in all its fullness

Through a ministry of ‘Presence ‘and ‘Faithfulness’

Present in our values

We have time

  • To be available to talk, pray and listen.
  • To be a ‘non—anxious’ presence around campus, who staff and students can approach  confidently and in confidence.
  • To offer hospitality and space to gather, or be alone.

We talk about what matters

  • By loving all the big questions of life and not ‘sweeping them under the rug’.
  • By offering ‘crisis’ support at times of bereavement or tragedy
  • By remaining ‘outside’ the system for students and staff to speak to us in confidence.

We celebrate good news

  • We celebrate all the good things with you.
  • We practice a lack of cynicism and a generosity of spirit, as a way of encouraging the university in its task.
  • We take an idealistic stance on education as the means by which human beings empower themselves and transform the world.

Faithful in our work

To our Christian inheritance as an Anglican foundation university

  • By offering opportunities to worship and to explore the Christian faith.
  • By offering prayer and spiritual guidance to groups and individuals.
  • By making the Christian faith, and its core values, accessible as a resource to the university community

To the stories of others

  • By supporting those in established faith journeys to grow and develop their spiritual life.
  • By challenging bullying and unkindness in all its many forms.
  • By welcoming and supporting international students.
  • Through engagement with the wider community including churches and faith groups

To ‘life in all its fullness’

  • By supporting the emotional and spiritual wellbeing of students and staff
  • By looking for opportunities to encourage creativity, curiosity and ‘poetic imagination’ as ways to find what’s meaningful and spiritually rewarding in our lives
  • By providing ways for staff and students to feel cared for and safe.
  • By building a strong chaplaincy community as a source of friendship and support.
  • By supporting the university community in its common life and stated values through partnership and mutuality 

A Prayer for the University of Cumbria

Almighty and Everlasting God, who fills all things with your presence, may your blessing rest upon the University of Cumbria, upon the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, staff and students. Prosper their endeavours, promote their studies, and purify their minds unto the perfect knowledge of yourself; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.