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Anglican chaplaincy

Further information

Contacts

Anglican community

Funding

The Anglican chaplain is funded by the Anglican Church of Australia and by St George’s Anglican Residential College. The chaplain is an honorary employee of UWA, which provides office, administrative, and professional collegial support.

Code of Ethics

The chaplain is bound by the policies and procedures of UWA and the Code of Professional Conduct of the Anglican Church of Australia.

Related page

The Anglican Chaplaincy at UWA provides pastoral support to all staff and students of UWA regardless of religious or non-religious affiliation.

Pastoral support means that we’re here to listen to you and help you with the whole of your life journey at University and beyond.

Because we, as chaplains, come from an Anglican Christian background we also offer the unique contribution of supporting you to work through specific spiritual, religious, or theological questions which may arise in the course of your life here at UWA.

  1. Chaplains
  2. Our work
  3. Worship

Chaplains

While chaplains in the past were always Christians, this is now changing in light of Australia’s multicultural society. There are now chaplains with various faith backgrounds in different Australian universities. Having said that, most chaplains are Christian, perhaps reflecting the demographics of Australian society (64% of the Australian population reported themselves as Christian in the 2006 census).

An Anglican chaplain is a general pastoral care practitioner with a transparently stated Christian worldview. As generalist pastoral carers we aim to work with the whole person rather than artificially dividing a person into body, mind, spirit. While the latter distinctions can sometimes be helpful for functional purposes (for example a doctor fixing a broken bone), pastoral care seeks to support integration, or reconciliation, within each person, within community, within God.

The primary Christian understanding that “God is love”, whom we understand to be inherently compassionate and non-coercive, means that we focus on the “client’s agenda” and avoid pressing our own beliefs on people. We are also able to engage in religious/spiritual conversation with people in appropriate circumstances when requested.

Anglican Chaplain Rev Michael Wood

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Our work

As `general care practitioners’ we offer time and availability to support people with what ever issues and challenges of life which people are facing. Just as, for “Martin of Tours”, giving a person a part of his coat was an act of compassion to meet a real human need, so chaplains try to attend to the presenting needs of people and respond accordingly. This could include:

  • responding to immediate short term needs
  • providing ongoing enabling/capacity building support to individuals
  • recognising that individuals are situated within a social/community context
  • recognising that human beings come with a wide range of philosophical and theological perspectives and that sometimes people want to address these in the specific language and frameworks of faith, religion or spirituality
  • asking broad questions and contributing to conversations about the heath and well being of whole societal systems

Responding to the whole person in a whole of life context constitutes the generalist core of pastoral care in which chaplains are trained.

As Anglican chaplains we support people by:

  • providing pastoral care/counselling to students and staff regardless of religious affiliation
  • supporting staff and students in making life direction/vocational decisions
  • contributing to and supporting the work of any UWA department, the goal of which is the enhancement of the pastoral care of students or staff
  • supporting, in time and skills, UWA initiatives in diversity/equity/justice
  • support staff and students who wish to have conversations in the specific language and vocabulary of faith, spirituality, religion
  • providing support to students and staff on issues to do with the interpretation of sacred texts (for example, the Bible).
In the UWA community, we:
  • contribute to community building on the UWA campuses and colleges
  • as neutral person(s), offer services in reconciliation of conflict
  • contribute specific skills and interests to the common life of the university (for example, Michael’s interest in the Spirituality of Leadership)
  • encourage interfaith dialogue and relationships as a way of supporting the holistic development of leadership in UWA students; and as a contribution to combating ignorance, building shared understanding and building peace
  • provision of retreat style activities for staff and students.
In the Anglican Christian community, we
  • lead worship and other religious rituals and practices within our own faith tradition (for example, at St. George’s College chapel)
  • provoke and contribute to conversations related to the UWA motto, 'Seek Wisdom' including offering a specifically Christian theological perspective in conversation with other academic disciplines
  • represent a faith position(s) to the university on matters of social and academic policy
  • build and enhance relationships between the university and faith communities.

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Worship

Sung Evensong

During semester Evensong is held every Thursday evening at 6 pm, at St George's College Chapel. This is an ancient and beautiful form of prayer which is sung largely by a choir - in this case, the Winthrop Singers of UWA.

You are welcome to join the chapel community if you don't currently have a parish community.

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