Archbishop blesses £9m teaching block at 'beloved' university

Archbishop blesses £9m teaching block at 'beloved' university

The challenge of an ‘increasingly volatile and uncertain world’ and the need to develop students through ‘nurturing to engage wisely, not just knowledgeably’ were among observations made by the Archbishop of York during a visit to the Lancaster campus of the University of Cumbria.

Dr John Sentamu spoke of his pride at serving as Chancellor throughout the university’s ten year history and the special ‘DNA’ within an organisation he described as ‘beloved.’

One hundred guests attended the blessing of the university’s £9m Sentamu Building (Wed 24 Jan). The development features state of the art teaching rooms and the university's biggest lecture theatre which have been in regular use since the official opening in September 2017 by Edwin Booth, the chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

“Our students live in an increasingly volatile and uncertain world,” Dr Sentamu said. “They need to engage with complex and challenging issues, in a way that prepares them for what it means to live and work and think and lead in that world – personally, professionally and as members of society.”

The university recently launched a three-year plan which aims to develop the organisation in the coming years, something Dr Sentamu highlighted as an exciting opportunity to enable more students to develop and help boost the area’s economy.

“We have seen our university grow, so that we have around 10,000 students, a real commitment to partnership that involves a huge range of other organizations, a renewed ambition for transforming people’s lives,” Dr Sentamu said. “The old barracks site of the King's Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster) could not be more different than, say, the Energus Building but both are part of who we are and who and what we shall be.”

Responding, Vice Chancellor Prof Julie Mennell spoke of her aim that the university would be a catalyst for individual and regional prosperity and pride with national and international reach and impact to help 'change lives and communities.’

The Chancellor's full speech can be read here.