Chaplain and Interfaith Advisor: University College London

Posted 14 days agoExpires in 29 days
University College London
Employee
£27,614

Higher Education Chaplaincy in the Diocese of London, working in partnership with UCL’s Student Support and Well-being Department to appoint a Chaplain and Interfaith Advisor to:

  • Develop the existing chaplaincy provision within Student Services.
  • Minister to students and staff at UCL, from all religious and cultural backgrounds to support learning, teaching and research.
  • Pioneer the development of the Anchorage Student Congregation.

The Diocese of London inspired by the 2030 Vision, seeks to minister to students and staff in the Colleges and Universities in London whose education and research shape our shared national and global life.

The UCL welcomes students and staff from a wide variety of cultural and religious backgrounds. This creates a diverse community, a key factor contributing to it's position as a world-class institution. UCL is committed to providing an inclusive learning and working environment where students and staff of all world views can thrive.

We want to appoint an ordained Anglican priest who can develop the existing chaplaincy provision within the University. The Chaplain and Interfaith Advisor will be someone with a strong Christian background who can nurture community and foster diversity and cohesion amongst students and staff from different philosophical and religious world views.

The Chaplain and Interfaith Advisor, will be able to engage positively in the areas of faith, and meaning for students, and staff across world views in both personal and professional life. We are looking for a Chaplain with aptitude and skills for pioneer ministry to develop the Anchorage Student Congregation begun by the previous UCL Chaplain and her colleague at the LSE.

The main responsibilities will be:

  • Working collaboratively within the Student Support and Well- being department and other key UCL stakeholders to support the faith and well-being needs of students.
  • Offering pastoral care and supporting the faith needs of students and staff, including areas of spirituality and meditation.
  • To have a key role in bereavement support, in particular following a sudden death.
  • Running the UCL Faith Centre and overseeing prayer facilities and Quiet Contemplation Rooms.
  • Working with the Student Union and student faith groups to develop the multi-faith provision, and to meet faith needs.
  • Encouraging good interfaith relations and understanding among students and staff and developing contacts with local faith communities.
  • Working with the team of Chaplains from different world faiths to provide advice and support.
  • Collaborating across UCL on the Faith Strategy Development.
  • Developing the Chaplain’s existing work supporting those affected by prejudice and discrimination (including in areas of faith and belief) and to have an important role in deepening understanding and respect for diversity within the UCL community.
  • Supporting the learning and teaching in areas of the curriculum that relate to faith, religion and spirituality, such as bereavement, ethics, science, art, medicine, including the Global Citizens programme. Chaplain may be invited to be a member of the Ethics Committee.
  • Developing the Anchorage Student Congregation, offering pastoral care for students and deepening participation.
  • Developing links between UCL and St Pancras Church, the local parish.
  • Participation in the life of the Camden Deanery and the Edmonton Area Chaplaincy Sub-Deanery.
  • The UCL chaplain will work collaboratively with the LSE chaplain in joint leadership of the Anchorage under the oversight of the Area Bishop. They are also accountable to the Anchorage Trustee body which is a registered charity (please see Appendix for more information about The Anchorage).
  • The post holder may be required to undertake any other duties that are commensurate with the role.

We are looking for an ordained Anglican priest with the following experience, skills, and abilities.

(This post is subject to an occupational requirement that the holder be an ordained Anglican minister under Part 1 of Schedule 9 to the Equality Act 2010).

Essentials

  • Be able to build good relationships with students, staff, and stakeholders.
  • Ability to support the diverse spiritual and religious needs of students.
  • Expertise in pastoral listening and theological reflection applicable to the
    Higher Education sector.
  • Experience of working collaboratively in pastoral care with other agencies
    especially in areas of mental health and responding to sudden student death.
  • Experience of building good relationships and community in a context with diverse expressions of religious and secular beliefs, worldviews, and culture.
  • Able to develop multi-faith chaplaincy service.
  • Able to work with faith, spirituality, and religion to promote good mental health for students and staff.
  • Have a knowledge and understanding of current issues in Higher Education.
  • Able to work within the policy, procedures, and guidelines of UCL.
  • Able to work in ways that build student participation.
  • Able to lead, develop and nurture the student congregation of The Anchorage.

Desirables

  • Experience of working with international students.
  • Ability to lead and encourage a range of spiritualties and meditation.

The Anchorage

The Anchorage is a new worshipping community for students in the heart of London launched in 2016 by the chaplains to the London School of Economics and University College London. Supported by a Diocese of London grant from the Church of England Strategic Development Fund, it was conceived as an accessible entry point to Christian life and faith for young people of diverse backgrounds, as well as a reflective community in which existing faith can deepen and mature. The Anchorage is built around four core values:

  • Building Community: Students come to London from all around the world and can experience culture shock and isolation. We seek to build community across difference through our common life of worship, hospitality, and service.
  • Faithful Enquiry: We are a learning community that takes faith formation seriously. We explore the richness of the Christian faith through scripture and tradition, and we explore together what this means in today’s world.
  • Signs of Grace: We believe that we encounter Jesus Christ in worship. So, we seek to receive God's grace in music and liturgy that is both contemporary and ancient. We want all our members to grow through prayer.
  • Acts of Service: Faith isn't just ideas in our heads; we encourage all our members to engage in practical expressions of faith, particularly connecting them with volunteering projects run by local parishes.

Our Sunday evening meetings are structured around these values, incorporating hospitality and fellowship, teaching, and discursive exploration of the Bible, and different forms of worship including a fortnightly communion service. In the five years we have been running, many students have come to faith and been baptized and/or confirmed and some have gone on to train for different forms of Christian ministry. For some members it has been their only church community and for others it has been a supplement to their Sunday morning commitments.

As for all churches, the global pandemic forced us to rethink how we operate. During the first lockdown in the spring of 2020, our numbers swelled as we moved online. Alumni were able to re-join our meetings and new students sought out community and meaningful conversation during their isolation. But recruitment at the start of the 2020/21 academic year was very difficult and our numbers have dwindled as the months have gone on. We have seen key people move on, including the co-leader, volunteer helpers, and trustees, and we are looking for new funding sources.

So, as we emerge from the pandemic, we are looking to refresh our vision and widen our reach. We believe we have a successful formula, but we have also learnt lessons from our mistakes and are mindful of the many students with whom we could better engage. So we hope the new chaplain at UCL will see this as an opportunity to work with colleagues to develop a pan-London pioneering ministry to students from all around the world, proclaiming the Gospel afresh in this generation.