Who are the Chaplains?
Andii Bowsher (Church of England)
Co-ordinating chaplain and Anglican chaplain (CofE).
The Chaplaincy, Room 407, Wynne Jones Building,
Tel: 0191 227 3284 (office) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As the first member of my family to go to university, I’m keen on the widening participation agenda that Northumbria University is justly proud of. It’s part of what makes me concerned to help people grow into their potential and put aside the barriers that can get in the way. So perhaps there’s little surprise also that part of what I offer is to meet regularly with individuals for personal and spiritual growth coaching, drawing on my experience as a spiritual director and a life coach (my MA dissertation combined these subjects).
I was not brought up going to church. I began to take spiritual things seriously in my mid-teens and in reading the Gospels (the parts of the Bible which most directly relate the stories and teachings of Jesus) heard for myself inwardly the call to become a follower of Jesus Christ. And it was going to university that gave me the chance to really explore faith, and where I discovered that having a faith perspective could really be a help in developing a helpfully critical approach to learning (perhaps contrary to the view of many).
I have a long-standing interest in linguistics, science and faith, cultural studies and spirituality in general as well as involvement in the arts (visual, music and drama). I’ve been in leadership of several churches many in inner urban areas and have been involved in chaplaincy at two colleges and one other university as well as a theatre.
Whether it’s to ask about growth coaching or for some other matter, I look forward to meeting you.
Fr Dominic White OP (Roman Catholic)
Catholic Chaplaincy, 14 Windsor Terrace, Jesmond
Tel: 07 932 409 777
I was born in Guildford, and have a background in music and research, bridging arts and sciences. As organist of St. Dominic's Priory in London, I felt God calling to me the Dominican order (Friars Preachers), and have been in Newcastle since 2011. I live in St. Dominics Priory in New Bridge Street, near Quaypoint and the Ouseburn arts quarter.
For me, being a chaplain is being someone 'outside the system' who can help people reconnect - with themselves, with each other, and with the university and this great city. My passion is teaching God's transforming love through creating spiritual art and social projects: I founded and direct the Cosmos dance project, and am in collaboration with the North-East based Eliot Smith Dance Company. I also have a research project on spiritualities, cosmology and the arts, and am keen to promote learning and teaching as seeking after truth.
Remember that as a university chaplain I'm there for all students and staff at Newcastle and Northumbria universities, not just Catholics. So whoever you are, drop me an email or text, or catch me on my way around the campuses. I look forward to meeting you.
Mia Fox (Roman Catholic)
Catholic Chaplaincy, 14 Windsor Terrace, Jesmond
Tel: 0191 281 1053
On meeting me you will realise I am not originally from these lovely parts - I come from Gants Hill in north Ilford on the London/Essex border. I am the youngest of four from Jewish/Italian parents and was brought up a Catholic with a rich heritage behind me.
I worked for 14 years as a Civil Servant (Inland Revenue!) after which I was a member of a Religious Congregation of Sisters for 7 years with ministries in Zambia, El Salvador and different parts of England, then became the Lay Chaplain at Bede House Catholic Chaplaincy.
I have a BSc in Social Science, and an MA in Theology and Ministry from Durham University. I hold the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies and am a trained Spiritual Director.
I enjoy a variety of social activities, particularly theatre trips, reading and films. For my sins I follow the highs (and mainly lows!) of West Ham United Football Club and enjoy singing and playing the guitar.
I hope you will find me friendly and approachable and able to talk to me in confidence about anything that's on your mind whether personal, emotional or spiritual...
I am here for you!
The Revd Rob Hawkins (Methodist)
Tel: 0191 281 2309
I currently find Newcastle the best of the many places I have lived in. I hope you will too!
My family is now international; my two sons marrying Polish and Hungarian girls. In addition we have made friends here with a wide group of people. My wife and I live in Jesmond and have created a number of exciting activities drawing students and a wider vibrant community together. Before becoming a Methodist Minister some time ago, I was an H.R. manager for many years. I hope my faith, skills and experience might help you in your time here and as you prepare for your future. You are welcome to get in touch.
Sue Lawson (Quaker)
I taught German at Northumbria University / Newcastle Polytechnic for 33 years. I was a member of several Faculty Boards, Academic Board and the Board of Governors. I was also Departmental Natfhe representative and on the Branch Committee. I came to Quakerism via humanism, agnosticism and the Anglican Church, (specifically St Thomas’ in the Haymarket, because it had an excellent choir.) I am a member of Meeting for Sufferings, the representative council of the Society of Friends (Quakers) and of Newcastle City Centre Churches together. I sing with the Newcastle Bach Choir, and walk with the Tyneside Ramblers. Now that I am retired, I also travel with my husband on business trips, mainly to India and the Far East.
Rabbi Aaron Lipsey (Jewish)
Tel: 07793 74 64 54
Graham Park Road
Rabbi Aaron Lipsey is the Jewish Chaplain for Northumbria and Newcastle Universities and the Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregation. He is married to Miriam and they have 5 children.
His claim to fame is having a name that sounds like a designer brand and for being the only plane-spotting Rabbi in the North East. (That really is much more cool and exciting than you might otherwise think...)
Akuppa John Wigham (Buddhist)
The name 'Akuppa' was given to me when I was ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order in 2000. It means something like 'unshakeable', but that's not an invitation to try me out!
Born and bred in the North East, I now live in Heaton. Most of my time nowadays is spent in the city centre, between two Newcastle institutions - Newcastle Buddhist Centre and (being a lover of tea) Tea Sutra Teahouse. I'm involved in running both, and also serve as Buddhist Chaplain to a local prison.
I became a Buddhist some twenty years ago. It offered a path towards inner peace but one that also empowers us to bring about change in the world. Those two things are still what makes me tick. I love introducing people to the inner journey and adventure that is meditation. But that journey also leads us outwards, to help others. I've tried to trace some of the connections between those in a book setting out a Buddhist approach to environmentalism.
I'm very happy to be involved in the university's chaplaincy team. I hope to help it continue to offer a space for peace, reflection and finding our own path.