Chaplains will walk with students, staff and their families, of any faith, as they confront death and the loss of a love one. We provide a listening service and support to anyone affected by a death.
If you are a staff member who is responsible for communications and the support of others during the very difficult time of a sudden bereavement, Chaplains can work alongside you, providing support and guidance as needed.
Drawing on their experience and training, Chaplains are also able to offer some very practical support.
Whether or not our practical support is needed, Chaplains always hold those who have experienced bereavement in our prayers. We often light a candle in our chapel and spend time in prayer and contemplation for those in the pain of bereavement.
Chaplains can help with any aspect of planning, arranging and designing elements of funeral services. We can support staff members who are supporting others or work directly with bereaved families; we are always guided by the family’s needs.
It may be possible for Chaplains to travel to the place of the funeral and to lead or to share in the leading of the service itself. We have also accompanied staff members and students for support and to help with practicalities if a large group is attending from the University.
Sometimes memorial services are organised in addition to funerals, for example when it has not been possible for friends and colleagues to travel to the funeral of a friend and colleague.
Memorial services can be a lot more creative than funerals and can capture different elements of a life and relationships. The Chaplaincy is used as a venue for memorial services on campus. Chaplains can assist with the preparations and plans for a memorial service and can either provide support alongside or lead the service itself.
Finally, many bereaved people at times of death find a space for other short and simple markers for example prayers in their house or some resources to use in private.
In all these areas the Chaplaincy Team can advise and help if you want us to.
Condolence books for students and staff members who have died are requested through Wellbeing Support Services. They may travel round different buildings in the campus to collect contributions and often finish their journey in the Chaplaincy, where they are put on display near the Chaplaincy entrance for students and staff to stop by, read and contribute.
The Chaplaincy team will ensure that the book gets back to Wellbeing Support Services and onto the family after an appropriate length of time.
Sometimes friends and colleagues of a someone who has died want to have a permanent memorial on campus or elsewhere to help them honour their memory. Chaplains can assist in ideas for permanent memorials and, if felt appropriate, can lead a short service of dedication or a small memorial service once the item has been installed.