Chaplaincy for city students
13 November 2017 IN: Parish News
The chaplaincy that serves 80,000 students and staff at the Manchester Universities and the RNCM had a bit of a relaunch in October under warden Revd Ben Edson.
In response to student feedback about the chaplaincy and their experience of student life in the city, St Peter’s has taken a long, hard look at itself and asked some tough questions.
What is chaplaincy? Who is it for? What are we all about?
Ben says, “We started to reimagine what this place and the chaplaincy can be for the students and staff of the Manchester Universities and the RNCM. And now we’re re-building the house, and we’re exploring questions and connections with an open mind and a wondering spirit.
“We’ve developed a simple but challenging vision: ‘Everything is Connected’, believing that God is at work before us all in all things and that our task is to journey with people as they explore what this may mean. We recognise that people, place, spirituality, well-being and the search for understanding interweave, and that everything flourishes when one thing leads to another and back again! Three key words give shape to the way we do this: curiosity, encounter and gift.
There’s a new programme, a new team, and exciting new spaces opening up where we will seek to build our community. Key within all of this is the forming of partnerships. We’ve partnered with the University of Manchester Volunteering Programme and now have five ‘Incredible Edibles’ raised beds, we’ve managed to borrow three bee hives from Manchester Art Gallery and the first batch of SPH honey will be harvested soon. We’ve launched a Wellbeing Programme at Manchester Metropolitan and engaged with the social responsibility agenda of the University of Manchester. Lots is happening and we’re building confidence and the perception of St Peter’s House is changing.
In the New Year we’ll be launching Milk & Honey Café - a social enterprise, not-for- profit café that will provide volunteer opportunities for students and local churches to engage with the University community.