Writtle University

Rev'd Andrew Merchant  Writtle University 

I attend the College one day a week, although I am on call outside these hours. My remit is to be available to all those associated with the College; students, staff and governors. I am a member of the Equality and Diversity Committee, this is a significant committee dealing with lots of  complex and diverse issues for example in recent months providing the response to the Prevent Agenda. I am a member of the Safeguarding and Well-being Department, the Head of this department being my Line Manager.                                                                                                                                    One of the biggest steps forward has been the production and approval of a document that  explains the role of the Chaplain, the College's expectations of me and me of them. It also covers the use of the Multi-faith Room. I am now in the process of putting the document into practise. This includes the upgrading of the Multi-faith Room. I am now working on a system that will  allowing me to visit each area of the College site regularly.

I was ordained in June 2016. I have found it much easier to engage with people wearing a clerical collar. I think that because the College has an underlying ethos of looking after the planet the conversations on sustainability and faith are very real. My role is not as quantifiable as that of a Parish Priest but I believe is just as important.                           Individual areas of work have included collected and sending unwanted college staff uniforms to a homeless charity in Southend, escorting 400 students to 11 bars on a cold February evening to raise money for charity, and being the chef at the Freshers barbecue. I have been involved in student support.

As in previous years it has been a privilege to walk alongside those associated with the College, although at times people have been in difficult situations. Chaplaincy is about being as well as doing, having time to listen in a world that is too busy.

 

Rev’d Andrew Merchant

Associate Writtle University

01245 441 767  07957417442

andrew.merchant@btinternet.com