The University of Roehampton is a diverse community of students and staff. Within that diversity are people of different faith backgrounds and those with no faith, including agnostics, atheists and humanists. The University acknowledges the contribution that all of them make to the enrichment of its community. The University works through its Colleges and with a number of faith groups to provide pastoral support for all who seek it through Chaplaincy. This Statement provides the framework within which Chaplaincy at Roehampton operates.
2. University values The University’s values, which are set out below, are central to the life of the University community and should find expression in the activities and approach of chaplaincy at Roehampton.
- We challenge, inspire and support our students as individuals, to grow intellectually, personally and spiritually
- We prepare our students to be responsible citizens and leaders in a fastchanging, complex world
- We are committed to serving the needs of local communities and to contributing to the economic, social and cultural success of South and West London
- We work to promote social justice through our outreach and teaching programmes, and through research, consultancy and engagement with communities
- We encourage learning, creativity and the arts as ways of nurturing the human spirit and improving the quality of life
- We are engaged in the pursuit of truth through reason, research and debate basedon freedom of thought and expression
- We promote equality, diversity, mutual respect and understanding
3. Legislative environment In all areas of its life, the University must comply with relevant legislation. In Chaplaincy this includes, but is not limited to, legislation on equality in areas including disability, gender, race equality and sexual orientation, and the provisions in the Equality Act 2006 related to discrimination on grounds of religion or belief. The University’s own policies on diversity and equal opportunity, harassment and complaints are also applicable.
4. A Vision for the University Chaplaincy The purpose of Chaplaincy at the University of Roehampton is to contribute to the mission of the university, and that of the four providing bodies, by providing opportunities for all staff and students, whatever their faith background, to:
- engage in worship, reflection and prayer;
- explore the tenets of particular faiths and the relationships between faith groups with and in the contemporary world; 7
- develop a wider understanding of social issues of critical importance to faith groups, such as justice, human rights, power and authority;
- develop and experience mutual respect, awareness andunderstanding;
- develop as unique individuals, receiving the pastoral and spiritual support necessary for this;
- become a valued, valuable and supportive part of the university and reflect and provide for the needs of the wider community
- receive and provide pastoral support as part of the University’s overall welfare provision Chaplaincy at Roehampton should:
- be open and accessible to all members of the University and its Colleges, staff as well as students, and in places where students and staff spend time as well as in dedicated space
- give clear expression to the faith traditions represented in theUniversity
- encourage a questioning / critical approach to received wisdom and assumptions
- help people to feel valued as individuals However, Chaplaincy must not be used:
- to encourage division or discord, disunity or lack of respect
- for the purposes of proselytization - the deliberate attempt by one faith group to convert others to their own beliefs. The University recognises, however, that people of faith will want to share their faith with others and that the processes of engagement and dialogue might lead some people to faith and others from one faith to another
- to promote agenda contrary to the University’s values, policies or regulations
5. The Chaplaincy Team The University provides a Chaplaincy Team to ensure that Chaplaincy provision is accessible to all members of the University.
Within this team the following roles are currently recognised:
- University Chaplain – an individual, appointed and funded by the University and the relevant faith group, who works on a full or part time basis in the name of a particular faith or denomination of that faith but as part of the Chaplaincy Team. An alternative title, appropriate to a particular faith community, may be agreed by the University if requested.
- Assistant Chaplain – an individual, usually with recent experience as a student, who is appointed to support Chaplaincy at the University
- Faith Adviser – an individual, appointed by the University through the Chaplaincy Panel on an honorary basis, to advise the University on matters related to a particular faith group and who undertake whatever role(s) the University might request or agree, with respect to that group, in order to provide the advice.
- Chaplaincy Coordinator – an individual normally part of the Chaplaincy Team who is appointed by the Vice-Chancellor on the advice of the Chaplaincy Panel with an supplementary contract for three years whose role will be to coordinate the activities of the Chaplaincy Team.
Appointments to these positions will be confirmed by Senate, thereby giving the individuals concerned the right to exercise their role(s) within the University.
6. Checks and procedures The selection and appointment of Chaplains, Assistant Chaplains and Faith Advisers must involve checks and procedures to ensure that those appointed have appropriate backgrounds, qualifications and experience and are recognised by, or acceptable to, the relevant faith group. All appointees must agree to operate within the guidelines set out in paragraph 4 of this Statement.
7. Status and responsibilities If any members of the Chaplaincy team are not formally employed by the University, confirmation of their appointments by Senate will confer on them the status of honorary members of staff. They will have the protection and privileges enjoyed by other members of staff, will be subject to all applicable regulations and procedures, and have an annual appraisal. Where appropriate, some procedures will be undertaken in cooperation with the relevant faith group – for example if a disciplinary issue arises.
The reporting lines for Chaplains will be:
- University Chaplains report to the Head of their College or if this is not possible to the Director of Student Affairs
- Assistant Chaplains report to their respective Chaplains
- Faith Advisers report to the Director of StudentServices
- The Chaplaincy Coordinator reports to the Director of Student Affairs on all University wide matters
- The Second tier sign off of annual appraisals of all posts will be the Director of Student Affairs 8.
Promoting awareness of Chaplaincy The University provides space on its website for a Chaplaincy section, for which the Chaplaincy Coordinator is responsible. This gives information about the activities and contact details of the Chaplaincy, the faith groups that it represents and members of the Chaplaincy Team. Chaplaincy facilities, including Chapels and Prayer Rooms, will be well signposted and will have clear information about when the facilities are available, times of prayer/worship, and any appropriate codes of behaviour.
9. Resources The University provides working space and a modest budget for the Chaplaincy and appropriate worship/prayer space for all faiths