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Chaplaincy and faith advice

At Northumbria, we see wellbeing as something that is influenced by all aspects of a person’s being, including cultural, social and spiritual experiences. Our chaplains are on hand to help you by providing a listening ear and encouragement, prayer and occasional advice. Whether you are a student or staff member, we're happy to talk with you whatever your state of belief or otherwise. Our work includes:

  • Carrying out work that might be considered “spiritual life-coaching” or “spiritual accompaniment”, helping you to explore existential questions of meaning and direction in life
  • Facilitating and/or arranging for groups to meet in the Chaplaincy rooms or other parts of the University
  • Organising events and activities, such as lunches, trips and discussion groups
  • Sponsoring and arranging opportunities for prayer, worship and spiritual exploration
  • Finding and disseminating information on local places of worship, such as churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and gurdwaras
  • Advising on the quiet spaces and prayer places that are available on campus, including the Peace Room, the Quiet Room and the Muslim Prayer Facility

    >Click here to register online to gain access to the Muslim Prayer Rooms

  • Acting as a link between the University and the student faith societies 
  • Promoting understanding between people of different life-stances and encouraging dialogue, debate and respectful and frank exchanges of views.

Ssw _accredContact Us

Email: sv.chaplaincy@northumbria.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 191 227 3284
www.facebook.com/groups/faithinNumbi

 

Meet the Team

Andii _bowsherRev Andii Bowsher (Church of England) 
Co-ordinating Chaplain

The Chaplaincy
Room 407
Wynne Jones Building
Tel: 0191 227 3284 (office)
Email: andii.bowsher@northumbria.ac.uk
Twitter: @NbriaChafa 

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.


Dominic _whiteFr Dominic White OP (Roman Catholic)

Catholic Chaplaincy
14 Windsor Terrace
Jesmond
Tel: 07527 030399 or 0191 239 9527
Email: dominic.white@newcastle.ac.uk

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 _foxMia Fox (Roman Catholic)

Catholic Chaplaincy
14 Windsor Terrace
Jesmond
Tel: 0191 281 1053 or 07713 259173
Email: mia.fox@newcastle.ac.uk
Twitter: @SmileyChaplain

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!

 


Aaron _lipseyRabbi Aaron Libsey (Jewish)

Graham Park Road
Gosforth
Tel:  07793 74 64 54
E-mail: amlipsey@gmail.com

I am the Jewish Chaplain here at Northumbria University as well as the other universities in the North East. In my spare time I lead a community of real people based in Gosforth. Last year in a moment of madness I enrolled on a Masters program in Religions and Theology at the University of Manchester and I have spent the last twelve months sheepishly explaining to all who will listen how Northumbria is a great place to study despite not choosing to do so myself.

Just for kicks I sit on the executive of the Rabbinical Council of the Provinces, organising conferences and training days for colleagues in the provincial Rabbinate. If you need to know about conference facilities anywhere in the UK from Aberdeen to erm.. somewhere that begins with a Z, I'm your man.

If you have deep and meaningful questions about religion, faith and God I will offer you my unique Jewish perspective (assuming I can’t run away from you quickly enough) but be warned that this often means answering a question with yet more questions. Why? “Well”, as a famously wise Rabbi once responded, “why not?”

My claim to fame is having a last name that sounds like a designer brand and I am proud to be the only plane-spotting Rabbi in the North East. This is really much more cool and exciting than you might otherwise think...


 

Chris _millionChris Million
Associate Chaplain for Coach Lane

Before coming to Northumbria to work as a Senior Lecturer in Education, I was a Primary and Special School Head Teacher for many years.  The student experience of higher education is my main driver and I feel that I have a privileged position to work with the students as an Associate Lecturer here at the Coach Lane Campus.

I became a Christian many years ago and this has been the driving force of my life ever since.  I belong to a free church in Northumberland and my life has been adventurous to say the least;  I feel that this greatly benefits my role as an Associate Chaplain. I find that students are more than willing to talk with me about what concerns them most, whether it is a matter of faith, pastoral care or indeed an issue of the moment that concerns them.

I have many interests, not least playing the piano and the arts in general, and feel that I enjoy life to the full. Please never hesitate to get in contact with me, as I am very happy to support you and talk things through in any way.


Pauline _pearsonPauline Pearson
Associate Chaplain for Coach Lane

My first link with what is now Northumbria University was in 1973, when I came to Newcastle Polytechnic to study on a preregistration nursing degree programme (the third or fourth such in the UK).  After working in A&E for a year, I trained as a health visitor (also here) and worked in Newcastle for 16 years before becoming an academic. I came back to this University in 2010.

Most of my ‘day job’ is about doing and co-ordinating research about health and social care. I am Research and Innovation Lead for the Department of Healthcare, in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, based at Coach Lane Campus. My research looks at new ways of doing things in practice, and the experiences of staff and service users. Much of the research I do involves work with older people, with families and communities and in mental health. I also teach on some of our Masters programmes and help in selecting students for the adult nursing degree.

I have always been actively involved with church and in trying to apply my faith in my work. Back in the 1980’s I was involved in working as part of a community health development project – the Riverside Project - and was asked to give evidence to the ‘Faith in the City’ Report.  In 2005 I was ordained as a Church of England minister, and in my spare time have served in Denton (in the west end of Newcastle) and now in Jesmond – where I am Associate Priest at St George’s and St Hilda’s. I think that it is important for people of faith to look at how that faith makes a difference in their day to day life.

Whoever you are, staff or student, person of faith or not, I look forward to meeting you.


Kate Laws
Methodist Chaplin

E-mail: methodistchaplaincy@gmail.com

Born and bred in Newcastle, I’m proud to be a Geordie.  Growing up, church and God have always been a part of my life, but it was at University when I started asking questions about whether I really believed all this stuff and if I did, what it meant for how I lived my life.  This took me on a journey which has included completing a Certificate in Theology and Ministry and serving as a lay preacher in the Methodist Church.  I started my current role as lay Methodist Chaplain in June 2016.  For the 12 years prior to this, I was a Speech and Language Therapist, working primarily with children with disabilities.

I’m a big fan of our local sports teams and have a season ticket for the fantastic Newcastle Falcons rugby team (don’t let their usual league position fool you, they ARE fantastic!).  I love meeting with people to talk about life, especially when this involves tea and cake.  I really enjoy travelling and discovering new places. 

I believe that God’s love is for every person and that we’re called to show His love in the way that we relate to each other.  You are welcome to contact me: I’m happy to provide a listening ear, support, discuss questions of life / faith or just to chat over tea and cake! 



A _merritt _smithAlison Merritt Smith
Associate Chaplain for Arts

I was brought up in Glasgow and spent five years in Edinburgh studying Theology and Philosophy where I was involved in various music and art projects around the city. It was there that I gained a love for independent coffee shops and tea houses - I always need an excuse to chat over a cuppa.

I moved to Newcastle in 2010 to be part of starting art and community space, The Holy Biscuit which is right on the edge of campus, in Ouseburn. I live in Heaton and am most happy when walking through Heaton Park on a sunny day.

I love watching good films, making comfort food and cycling my bike. I have a lovely daughter called Sophia and am proud to be married to Tom who is a Maths teacher, musician and computer programmer.

I love living in Newcastle – it is such a vibrant city and being here has given me so many new perspectives on how we might live in the world and make it a better place. I try to be an activist and I’m interested in contemporary art, theology, feminism, social change and spirituality. I grew up in an evangelical Christian missionary family but I have diverse experiences of Christian faith and have lived in several Muslim countries.

I feel privileged to be part of the chaplaincy team and hope I can contribute to university life in creative and exciting ways. I work part time but please do not hesitate to get in touch whether you are interested in a project or you just need a chat.



Phillip _ballardPhillip Ballard
Associate Chaplain for International Students


Tel: 0191 212 5121
Email: philip@the-globe.org


Although born in London I have lived in Newcastle for most of my life. It is a wonderful place to live and work.

I worked as a solicitor in Newcastle for 30 years before retiring in 2010. I now run cafes for international students in Newcastle. The Globe cafes, which have been running for over 16 years, intend to offer a welcoming and safe meeting place for international students studying in Newcastle.

The cafe meets every Monday night from 7.30 to 10.00pm. We provide a meal for those who want to eat and a variety of activities from 'desserts from around the world' to 'line dancing'. We offer students an opportunity to meet British people, learn about our culture and practice their English.

I look forward to meeting you in Newcastle.


 

A _ogradyAnthony O'Grady

Becoming an Assistant Anglican Chaplain here at Northumbria is like a homecoming for me. I completed my Nursing Studies at Coach Lane Campus and graduated in 2011!

After a few years of nursing in drug and alcohol services, I then went on to the College of the Resurrection in Mirfield to study theology. Needless to say having completed my BA in Theology in 2015, I fully understand the joys and the pressures of study.

I currently serve as a priest in the United Benefice of Christ Church with Saint Ann, Newcastle and am proud to live in a parish in which a large number of Northumbria University now live.  One of the basic principles of my own faith is in the belief that God is present for all people, in every place, and at all times. Jesus Christ welcomes each of us into a relationship with God in all of our human diversity! I also delight in sharing conversations with people of different denominations and faiths, so I am lucky to belong to an interfaith chaplaincy.

I like history, film, and real ale - though I won’t claim to be an authority on any of these things.

Do come and say hi if you see me around - I love meeting new people.

It really is a privilege to be part of the chaplaincy team in this vibrant university!

 


 

J-singhJaswinder Singh

Sat Nam! My journey began on the most amazing month of the year (July!!) in Slough. Then at the age of 6 I moved to Geordie land, I absolutely love the North East - it’s aptly named God’s country.

I was born into a Punjabi-cultured family who got the chance to experience the best of both worlds (East and West). I grew up working in the family business of real estate, alongside managing retail stores across the Tyne and Wear region.  I gained many skills such as managing and organising, but for me, the most important skill I learnt was connecting with the human race. As I would meet customers and people first hand I realised I could connect with people through listening and understanding.  There was a sudden realisation that there is a longing from so many people to be loved and treated with compassion and respect.

Today I am fortunate to be able to serve many people and organisations that are brought my way in the UK and abroad. I have been lucky to have the resources and means to help set up projects to educate and create awareness about the Sikh way of life. 

If there is any way I can be of service to you whether it be just to have someone to talk to then please get in touch. 

It really is a privilege to be part of the chaplaincy team in this vibrant university!

 


 

Grant _wilsonGrant Wilson
URC Chaplain

I am a minister of two churches in the East of Newcastle – St George's URC on Newton Road in High Heaton, and St Cuthbert's on Heaton Road. I came into ministry late in life – my past experience includes a degree in physiotherapy from Northumbria University. I was surprised to find myself back in this part of Newcastle so soon, but I enjoy living and serving God here, and getting alongside people who love doing likewise. I love engaging with our local community through work with organisations like Junction42, MakeLunch, ChangingLives, and Daft As A Brush. You will also find me out in Newcastle city centre with Street Pastors, making contact with rough sleepers and helping clubbers get home safely.

 


Duncan Moore
Baptist Chaplain

I studied Engineering and Management and I’ve been around Northumbria University forever! I’m also the Team leader of Durham Road Baptist Church in Gateshead. I’m married to Ruth and have a young son, Aidan. In my spare time I love people, photography, I swim, play guitar, read and write.

The chaplains are here for everyone whatever they believe. If you’re working through stuff I can listen confidentially. If you’re thinking about meaning, purpose, direction, spirituality or God I can help you reflect on that. If you have a faith that you want to develop I can help you connect with others to do that. If you’d like to meet up I’d love to meet you.

 

 

 

 

 

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