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What is the role of a University Chaplain during Lockdown?

by Michael Ford last modified 24 Apr, 2020 05:05 PM

With students sent home to carry on their studies online, being a chaplain in a university during this unprecedented time can feel very strange.

The Revd Ruth Wells, who is working in the Chaplaincy at Bournemouth University (BU) and The Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) has been reflecting on how she can continue in her role, renewing hope and praying and serving during Lockdown:

“How can I bring a pop of positivity in the midst of what is, for many, a time of anxiety and confusion? It’s been great to see clergy colleagues filming and streaming live services, but that’s not necessarily what fits a university chaplaincy context.

"University chaplaincy is rich and diverse and whilst this period of social distancing and isolation is difficult, it also gives space to consider and listen in to what God might be doing in reimagining how we offer support and accompaniment for staff and students.”

And reimagining what Ruth can offer has led her to join in with '#mindfulmonday' on social media, and film weekly thoughts which might be useful for those in the BU/AUB communities.

"This week I took inspiration from poet Emily Dickinson who wrote ‘The soul should always stand ajar...’ and recorded a short clip reflecting on how we can leave our souls open to absorb thankfulness and also choose to hold less tightly those things which are not life-giving.

"As a team we are wanting to add our voices to all those positive voices across BU and AUB. We are also highlighting #tastytuesday where we make-up for missing the well loved chaplaincy biscuits by asking key BU/AUB people for their favourite biscuit choices and posting links for recipes, so people can make their own versions.

"Alongside that we are featuring #faithfriday where we showcase thoughts from staff and students of differing faith traditions, drawing people’s attention to what it might be like to be a person of faith studying or working within a university."

How has coronavirus changed how you work for the Church? We would love to know. Do pop us an .

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