Quaker Faith Advisor Report

A Report from the Quaker Faith Advisor about work at Sheffield Hallam University

Once again Sheffield Hallam is undergoing various restructuring processes so unsurprisingly a steady stream of staff members have taken advantage of the pastoral support available through the chaplaincy.Change is seldom an easy thing to go through but sometimes being able to talk with someone in confidence is important. A listening ear, tea and coffee are always available for staff and students alike and since last September the Chaplaincy has dealt with around 500 requests for help, advice and support.

As Quaker Faith Advisor on the MFC team I have attended the two MFC meetings which take place each semester and have continued to take part in the Meditation rota. This half hour space for quiet reflection every Wednesday at 1pm is facilitated by a different faith advisor each week ­ John, a Zen Buddhist, Helen a Bahai, Ian, an Anglican and myself, a Quaker offering a MfW. Staff and students appreciate this space as an oasis of calm in a busy day. It has been good to see more students coming and there is time to stay and talk for a while at the end if people so wish. A reminder that this space is open to anyone so Friends can come too. It would be good to see you! Owen Building Level 2 Room 2.

Earlier this year the Chaplaincy took part in a Death Cafe run by the Health and Wellbeing palliative interest group and St Lukes hospice.Various activities including drama, board games, thought provoking question cards and lots of tea and cake were used to enable people explore thoughts and feelings around loss, death and dying in a more relaxed and informal way and to see that

talking about death is not as scary as we might think!

The MFC has also helped strengthen networks between the University and wider faith communities in various ways. It has links with South Yorkshire Muslim Forum,Sheffield Interfaith and has contributed to the work of Sheffield City Council Equality Hub Network, namely the Religion and Belief hub, which put on an event recently to raise awareness about hate crime. On July7th, members of the Chaplaincy, as well as other groups were invited to a breaking of the Ramadan fast at the Medina Mosque in commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the London bombings. A vegetarian meal was shared and people were invited to stay during Muslim prayers.

The MFC continues to be used by a wide range of religious groups for meetings and other events and has hosted a range of activities including regular mindfulness,pilates, and yoga. Holocaust Memorial Day, collaboration with Cafod during Fairtrade fortnight and a Christmas Carol service have all taken place during the year and I have taken part when and where I’ve been able to.

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