The Revd Gavin Wort is the Lead Chaplain. Gavin leads the University’s Chaplaincy Network which comprises chaplains/faith advisors from several faith or belief traditions: Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Humanist, Jewish and Muslim. This includes a number of Christian denominations/organisations: Anglican/Church of England, Friends International, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Quaker. Gavin was appointed to this role in September 2018, although he had previously completed post-graduate study at Durham University. Gavin is the usual first contact with the chaplaincy team. As a chaplain, he provides pastoral, spiritual and religious support to students and staff of all faiths, beliefs and worldviews. He is available to individuals from all colleges and departments.
Gavin was born, raised and educated in and around the city of Southampton. He is an Anglican priest who has served in parishes in Southampton and Newcastle. Gavin was also previously Coordinating Chaplain at Northumbria University. He is passionate about interfaith engagement and loves bringing people of different faiths and cultures together to share with and learn from one another for the common good. He is Chair of the County Durham Faiths Network and Vice-Chair of the Newcastle Council of Faiths. Gavin is also an Interfaith Advisor for the Diocese of Durham. He has taught modules on Multi-faith Awareness for Lindisfarne College of Theology and Cranmer Hall, St John’s College. His academic interests include Zen/Chan Buddhism and Multiple Religious Practice.
As the University's Humanist Chaplain, I provide specific support for humanists, atheists and secularists, am a member of the Non-Religious Pastoral Support Network of Humanists UK, have links with local humanist groups, and provide a confidential, listening ear for students and staff who wish to discuss issues with someone in a safe, non-judgmental environment.
I was born and raised in the North East but, after reading English at university in Yorkshire and working in local government IT in Sunderland, I lived away for many years, working in universities in Yorkshire and the East Midlands, managing change programmes related to the information side of IT. On retiring, I chose to return to the North East and take on various people-focussed voluntary activities, including working with the primary school which raised my family's hopes for my future education, with the elderly, and with asylum-seekers and refugees.
Having worked on those change programmes in higher education, I have a good understanding of how universities work and love the community ethos they manage to engender in students and staff. I also have a fairly broad knowledge of religions, despite my atheism, and am keen for the faithful and the faithless to gain a better understanding of what beliefs we share and how we can work together for the common good.
Please contact me if you wish to find out more about humanism, or if you would like to talk to someone who isn't religious about your fears, hopes, anguish, questions of meaning and purpose, or sense of loss and bereavement, or simply if you would like to talk to a friendly face away from home.
Anna is available to all students and staff to offer pastoral support. She holds a weekly drop-in, currently on Wednesday afternoons, and is always available to meet with people by arrangement. As part of the university chaplaincy team, Anna seeks to signpost people to chaplains of other faiths and denominations and to a range of support services. Anna is involved in the Listening Service alongside her fellow chaplains and helps to lead the university Vocations Group for those considering faith and calling.
St John's has a Church of England foundation and includes within it Cranmer Hall, where men and women train for ministry in the Church of England, the Baptist church and a number of free churches. They place a high value on worship in college and the college chapel is the beautiful ancient church of St Mary the Less, on South Bailey.
In term-time the college holds the following regular services, to which all are welcome:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: Morning Prayer, 8.30am in Chapel
Wednesday: Choral Evensong 5.15pm in Chapel with St John's Chapel Choir
Tuesday 7.00pm College Communion with a range of visiting and local preachers, in Leech Hall
At the end of each term St John's hold a college service in Durham Cathedral, and they also have seasonal services in Chapel (e.g. Remembrance, staff carols, Ash Wednesday, Ascension Day, John's Day).
St John's College also has an excellent Chapel Choir which sings at Evensong, has made recordings with the BBC, and goes on tour each year.
Julia Candy is Chaplain to Hatfield College and St Cuthbert's Society. As chaplain Julia's role involves providing pastoral, spiritual and religious support for all Hatfield and Cuth's students and staff, regardless of whether they have a faith commitment or not. She regards her central role as chaplain to be offering a non-judgemental, caring space where difficulties and problems can be heard, and important questions can be asked without necessarily being able to find an answer.
Julia grew up in the North East of England and went to King's College, Cambridge where she studied Psychology. Following this, Julia studied for a PhD in Psychology at Queen's University of Belfast, exploring the impact political conflict and socio-economic status has upon children's development of national identity and sectarian attitudes. After a couple of years teaching and researching at QUB, Durham University and Teesside University, she began training in the Church of England for Ordination to the Priesthood. During her training she studied Theology and Religious Studies at Jesus College, Cambridge. Julia was ordained in Durham Cathedral in 2010 and served her curacy in Durham. Subsequently Julia has worked in London as a parish priest and a hospital chaplain. She is particularly galvanised by issues regarding social justice and inclusion. Julia has many interests including the theatre, reading (particularly Russian and French literature), attending art galleries and stand-up comedy. However, most importantly, Julia regards herself to be one of the Pet Shop Boys' biggest fans.
Lizzie welcomes engagement with all students and staff, of whatever strand of Buddhism, of other faith, or none at all. She practices Zen Buddhist meditation, is a Dharma Master (teacher) in the international Kwan Um School of Zen and Guiding Teacher of Zen groups in York and the Peak District.
Lizzie grew up mostly in the UK but then lived in the United States for 35 years. There she received a degree in art history, then trained and worked as a conservator of art on paper in museums and in private practice, mostly on the East Coast. She discovered Zen meditation in 1989 and has been a practitioner ever since. At the end of 2010, Lizzie retired and moved with her husband from the US to York.
Father Andrew Downie serves as Catholic Chaplain to Durham University. He is a priest of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, a native of the North East, and a supporter of Sunderland AFC. Fr Andrew is a science graduate and worked as a solicitor before becoming a priest. He is currently studying part-time for a PhD in the Department of Theology and Religion.
The life of the Catholic Chaplaincy is centred on the Student Mass at St Cuthbert's Church, off Old Elvet, every Sunday at 6:30pm. There is also daily Mass and Prayer of the Church. The Chaplaincy is a lively community, which welcomes students and staff from all over the world. It provides opportunities for prayer, learning and discussion about the Catholic faith, and social action, with other students from across the colleges. As Chaplain, Fr Andrew works closely with the Durham University Catholic Society (CathSoc), which also offers a great social programme for students. He aims to make the Chaplaincy a warm and welcoming environment for all students and staff of the university, whatever their beliefs.
Tim has been the chaplain at Hild Bede since 2015 and works as chaplain half-time. Hild Bede chapel has a lovely and skilled choir, who assist in leading the worship; there is traditional choral evensong on Wednesdays and a Sung Eucharist on Sunday mornings in term time. The chapel has occasional Taize and Compline services during term time which make the most of the chapel at its most beautiful in candlelight. Apart from regular services, Tim runs regular mindfulness sessions both in college and as part of the university's provision in the Bill Bryson Library. Tim is interested in the contemplative traditions and riches that Christianity has to offer and how they can be in dialogue with other traditions and beliefs and how they connect us with others, especially the oppressed, those who are different and all on the margins of society.
Tom works for Friends International, a Christian charity, which aims to welcome international students, help them to understand British language and culture (including, where appropriate, the Christian faith), offer them practical care and hospitality, and help prepare them for their return home. Friends International is represented on a number of university chaplaincies throughout the UK. His work includes coordinating 'Amigos', a regular Wednesday night drop-in for international students, scholars and friends, which has been running for many years in Durham city. It is based at St Nicholas' Church, providing a holistic and supportive environment to build friendships with internationals. It also runs various social and cultural activities throughout the year, which help international students gain knowledge and understanding of different aspects of life in the UK. In addition to this, it offers pastoral care to individual students struggling with culture shock, isolation and language barriers in the UK.
Tom is a qualified ESOL teacher and runs a weekly 'conversational' English class where international students can improve their English language speaking. He has a wealth of experience with internationals, having worked overseas for a number of years in Albania and also having taught English in both the charity and further education sectors with asylum seekers, economic migrants and international students in Newcastle upon Tyne. He has also previously worked as an interpreter with the North of England Refugee Service. Tom is also part of the Staff team at St Nicholas' Church, with specific responsibility for international students, contributing to its key aim of welcoming people from all nationalities, cultures and beliefs.
Rabbi Aaron Lipsey is the spiritual leader of the United Hebrew Congregations of Newcastle and Jewish Chaplain to Durham, Newcastle and Northumbria Universities. Last year in a moment of madness he enrolled on a Masters program in Religions and Theology at the University of Manchester and has spent the last twelve months sheepishly explaining to all who will listen, how the Universities he is chaplain to are great places to study despite not choosing to do so himself.
Aaron is also the Vice-Chair of the Rabbinical Council of the Provinces and is involved in organising conferences and training days for colleagues in the provincial Rabbinate.
He is happy to apply his unique Jewish perspective to any queries you may have about religion, faith and God but be warned that this often means answering a question with yet more questions, such as "why?", "well?", and as a famously wise Rabbi once responded, "why not?".
Aaron's claim to fame is having a last name that sounds like a designer brand and he is 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...
St Chad's is a recognised College of Durham University but it is also an independent Church of England foundation; so chaplaincy is an important part of our ethos. As a Priest in the Church of England, I have responsibility for the worship that takes place within the college chapel alongside my role as a college outreach officer.
Day-to-day, I am available to all students and staff as part of the college welfare support. I hope you feel able to approach me to discuss issues of religion or belief and indeed any other matter which is important for you. I am aware that I may not be the right person for every need, but please do approach me if you would like advice on accessing the appropriate support for your needs.
There are regular services in the college chapel and everyone is welcome to join us for any of our services. You can access the college events diary on the college website.
In term-time we hold the following regular services:
Sunday Eucharist (usually choral) 11.00am
Choral Evensong or Sung Eucharist - most Thursdays 6.15pm
Said Eucharist - Tuesday 1.00pm
Lunchtime Prayers - Mon; Wed - Fri 1.00pm
We also have services for Festivals and special occasions (e.g. All Souls, Advent Procession, Chad's Day, Ash Wednesday, Ascension Day).
We also have an excellent College choir that sings at services and usually undertakes a foreign tour each year.
Jed Stevenson and Felicity Breet serve jointly as Quaker Chaplain to Durham University. They are members of Durham Friends Meeting (as Quakers refer to their gatherings). Quakers are distinctive in their custom of silent worship, and in their commitments to peace, equality and justice, truth and integrity, simplicity, and sustainability.
In addition to their role as chaplain, Jed teaches in the Anthropology Department, and Felicity is a Ustinov College Mentor.
Andrew worked as a secondary school R.E. Teacher for four years spending time in Sunderland and Norwich. Following this, he moved into the charitable sector where he developed a range of social action projects, which were seeking to make positive changes in the local community. This included work to challenge racism and work with young people from different faiths and nationalities. Andrew has also been involved in a community development project, which seeks to work with local people to address social and economic deprivation in the neighbourhoods in which they live. Andrew is passionate about social justice and keen to develop work that can help others. Andrew is involved as a trustee with several charities aiming to develop work of this type across the North East.
As pastimes, Andrew enjoys reading, films, good TV dramas, sport (in particular cycling and football) and loves music and performing. He plays the bass guitar and has also sung in a few bands too. Andrew is a Christian who draws a lot of peace out of attending church and working to put his faith into practice in ordinary life. Andrew describes himself as easy-going and a good listener and enjoys meeting people from all walks of life. He spends his free time with friends and family, has a teenage daughter, and enjoys walking around the North East coast and the countryside.
I came to Durham from Bucharest 12 years ago for my studies and fell in love with the place and its people. After completing my doctorate, I have been teaching theology (at Durham and Mirfield) and celebrate as a priest in the small Orthodox Church of St Cuthbert and St Bede in Durham. I am available for anyone who is interested in Orthodoxy or is part of the Orthodox Church (of all jurisdictions), and warmly welcome all who want to attend any of the weekly services (mostly in English, with some Greek, Romanian, and Slavonic).
Mahshid Turner is the Muslim chaplain for Durham University covering all colleges, including the Stockton campus. She is based at St. Aidan's College where she can offer confidential support regarding faith, pastoral care and welfare issues.
Some of the activities Mahshid has been involved in include:
Promoting understanding among different faiths: organising interfaith events such as the Muslim Jewish Forum and online forums
Promoting social activities such as 'ladies social events'
Individual and group welfare and faith support: confidential space to discuss any problems
Group activities such as Quran circles
Support to Islamic Society on faith issues and social and educational activities
Islamic education training in various institutions, including schools and universities
Trustee for County Durham Faiths Network
Interfaith Steering group comprising students and staff of all faiths and none who discuss and decide on events.
If you would like more information about any of the above activities, please contact Mahshid Turner at the above email address.
Mahshid's door is open for non-judgmental support and pastoral care to all Durham University students and staff.
I am serving the community at University College both as an Anglican priest and a scholar. I was converted (from atheism) in a University context: the academic life and faith have been intertwined for me ever since. I am delighted to be part of the University Chaplaincy Network and I am always eager to meet new people and engage in conversation! Prior to serving here, I served in Florence, Italy, and in Jerusalem, where I particularly enjoyed engaging with people from all over the world and of different beliefs and religions, in a spirit of love, genuine curiosity, humility, and gratitude.
I was trained for ordination both in the USA and in the UK and hold a PhD (in French Literature, with a strong emphasis on Art History) from Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris. My interests are mainly in literature and the arts, especially paintings, and I have most recently been working on Christian artistic inculturation.
The Chapel offers various ways of exploring spirituality: contemplation or meditation with arts, centring prayer, activities in nature, inter-religious dialogue, conversations and reflections on specific topics. Along with occasional special services (Advent Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, Epiphany Carol Service, etc.), we hold weekly services in Term-time:
Tuesday and Thursday (said Evening Prayer or Choral Evensong) at 5:45pm
Sunday (Eucharist) at 5:00pm
University College has two chapels: its spectacular 11thc. Norman Chapel and the 16thc. Tunstall Chapel, which offers a place of solace and renewal, of quietness and exploration, of delight and beauty, through its fabulous artwork and the excellent music provided by the renowned Chapel Choir. We hope that everybody, regardless of their faith, cultural, economic, or ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc. feels welcome and can be equally respected and loved for who they are.
Pandit Bal Krishan Gautam serves as Hindu Chaplain to Durham University.
Bal is originally from India. He was born, raised and educated in Vrindaban, Mathura. He moved to the UK in 2006, since then he has worked as a Hindu Priest (Minister of religion) at the Hindu Temple in Newcastle upon Tyne. As a Hindu Minister, he has sole responsibility for the religious observance in the temple; the formal service twice daily and the pastoral work for the congregation of Hindu people in Tyne and Wear, Durham and the surrounding areas in the north-east. Bal's duties also include presiding over weddings, funerals and other events which take place outside the temple. He also provides specific support for the Hindu Community as per their rituals and tradition as each country has its own religious forms and rituals. He is also a member of 'The National Council of Hindu Priests UK'.
It is a great pleasure for him to be a part of the Chaplaincy Team at Durham University. Bal is available to all students and staff.