Andrew Willson, College Chaplain, Chaplaincy

I am the lead Chaplain at Imperial’s Chaplaincy Multi-Faith Centre. I am a Church of England priest and part of a team of chaplains from different world faiths, including the Baha’i, Buddhist, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu traditions.

Many of the elements of my work as a chaplain began during my own time as a student. I studied Modern History at the University of Oxford in 1982. When I was first ordained priest, many of the older people I met had lived through the events I studied. I was fascinated by how everyday aspects of our lives hold great meaning. At Imperial, this makes me a curious layperson in the world of science, engineering and medicine. I am learning where people find meaning in their work.

In my role, it is a privilege when people share their joys and sorrows. Getting people started with their meditation is rewarding, and I enjoy being involved in teaching medical ethics and humanities. I am also a member of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the Race Equality Charter steering group.The Chaplaincy helps our students and staff practice their faith while at Imperial. We promote a deeper understanding between people from different religious and philosophical world views, and offer one-to-one pastoral care, while supporting learning and teaching.

I am most formally an Anglican priest at the College Carol Service or when conducting funerals for people who donate their bodies for medical education. I am able to express the gratitude of students and staff to the next of kin. Every fortnight, I listen to the wonderful music of Imperial Chamber Choir singing choral evensong in Holy Trinity Church. It gives me a chance to remember the amazing people I have met, ponder the work I have seen and the stories I have heard.

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