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Faith Support

College & University Chaplains

Revd Professor Anthony Bash

T: +44 (0)191 334 2636
Honorary Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University
Chaplain at Hatfield College

Rev Professor Anthony Bash is an Anglican Priest who is Chaplain of Hatfield College. Anthony is also Honorary Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University, and Vice-Master and Senior Tutor at Hatfield College. Hatfield College has a weekly service of Choral Evensong term time at 6.00 pm on Mondays. There are other services from time to time. The College has a large and thriving auditioned Chapel Choir, of whose members, eight are Choral Scholars. The Chapel also has a Senior Organ Scholar, a Junior Organ Scholar and a Director of Music. Anthony co-ordinates the College’s Forum for Religious Understanding and the inter-disciplinary Forum on Forgiveness and Reconciliation. As College Chaplain, Anthony is available for all students in the College, whether from a faith tradition or not.

Father Andrew Downie

T: +44 (0)191 384 3442

University Catholic Chaplain

Catholic Chaplaincy website:

Father Andrew Downie serves as Catholic Chaplain to Durham University. He is a priest of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, a native of the North-East, and a supporter of Sunderland AFC. Fr Andrew is a science graduate, and worked as a solicitor before becoming a priest. He is currently studying part-time for a PhD in the Department of Theology and Religion.

The life of the Catholic Chaplaincy is centred on the Student Mass at St Cuthbert's Church, off Old Elvet, every Sunday at 6:30pm. There is also daily Mass and Prayer of the Church. The Chaplaincy is a lively community, which welcomes students and staff from all over the world. It provides opportunities for prayer, learning and discussion about the Catholic faith, and social action, with other students from across the colleges. As Chaplain, Fr Andrew works closely with the Durham University Catholic Society (CathSoc), which also offers a great social programme for students. He aims to make the Chaplaincy a warm and welcoming environment for all students and staff of the university, whatever their beliefs.

Revd Tim Ferguson

Chaplain at College of St Hild & St Bede


Dr Mathew Guest

T: +44 (0)191 3343944

Dr Mathew Guest is the university's Quaker chaplain. He is a member of Durham Quaker Meeting, which meets at Alington House Community Centre on the Bailey in central Durham. Durham Quaker Meeting is a warm and welcoming community rooted in Quaker values of peace, equality, simplicity and truth. We meet in silent worship each Sunday, followed by fellowship. The Meeting supports various campaigns and causes, and has a lively Book Group and Bible Study group. Mathew is very happy to talk to any students about Quakerism and what this tradition is about, whatever their background, faith or current perspective on religious matters.

Mathew is also a member of the university's academic staff and has worked for the university since 2001. In the department of Theology and Religion he is Reader in the Sociology of Religion and Director of Postgraduate Studies. He is a sociologist of contemporary Christianity and has published books about the evangelical movement, clergy families, university-based Christianity and other aspects of contemporary religion.

Durham Quakers meet every Sunday, 10:30am-12 noon, at Alington House Community Centre, 4 North Bailey, Durham. All students of any faith or none are always most welcome. For further information, please contact Mathew Guest via the phone number or email address above.

Mr Tom Hudson


Friends International Chaplain

Tom works for Friends International, a Christian charity, which aims to welcome international students, help them to understand British language and culture (including, where appropriate, the Christian faith), offer them practical care and hospitality, and help prepare them for their return home. Friends International is represented on a number of university chaplaincies throughout the UK. His work includes coordinating ‘Amigos’, a regular Wednesday night ‘drop-in’ for international students, scholars and friends, which has been running for many years in Durham city. It is based at St Nicholas’ church, providing a holistic and supportive environment to build friendships with internationals. It also runs various social and cultural activities throughout the year which help international students gain knowledge and understanding of different aspects of life in the UK. In addition to this it offers pastoral care to individual students struggling with culture shock, isolation and language barriers in the UK.

Tom is a qualified ESOL teacher and runs a weekly ‘conversational’ English class where international students can improve their English language speaking. He has a wealth of experience with internationals, having worked overseas for a number of years in Albania and also having taught English in both the charity and further education sectors with asylum seekers, economic migrants and international students in Newcastle upon Tyne. He has also previously worked as an interpreter with the North of England Refugee Service. Tom is also part of the Staff team at St Nicholas’ church, with a specific responsibility for international students, contributing to its key aim of welcoming people from all nationalities, cultures and beliefs.

Reverend Peter Kashouris

Chaplain at St Mary's


Peter Kashouris is the Parish Priest at St Oswald’s on Church Street and Shincliffe. He is very pleased to be the Chaplain at St Mary’s College.

Rabbi Aaron Lipsey


T: +44 (0)7793 746454

Rabbi Aaron Lipsey is the spiritual leader of the United Hebrew Congregations of Newcastle and Jewish Chaplain to Durham, Newcastle and Northumbria Universities. Last year in a moment of madness he enrolled on a Masters program in Religions and Theology at the University of Manchester and has spent the last twelve months sheepishly explaining to all who will listen how the Universities he is chaplain to are great places to study despite not choosing to do so himself.

Aaron is also the vice-Chair of the Rabbinical Council of the Provinces and is involved in organising conferences and training days for colleagues in the provincial Rabbinate.

He is happy to apply his unique Jewish perspective to any queries you may have about religion, faith and God but be warned that this often means answering a question with yet more questions. Why? “Well”, as a famously wise Rabbi once responded, “why not?”

Aaron’s claim to fame is having a last name that sounds like a designer brand and he is proud to be the only plane-spotting Rabbi in the Northeast. This is really much more cool and exciting than you might otherwise think...

Father Andrew Louth

Orthodox Chaplain to the University


T: +44 (0)1325 481080

M: +44 (0)7896 25 81 27

Father Andrew Louth, Professor Emeritus of the University, serves the Orthodox parish of St Cuthbert and St Bede in Durham, which meets in the church of St Mary-the-Less, South Bailey, thanks to the hospitality of St John’s College. The parish belongs to the jurisdictions of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain, Œcumenical Patriarchate, and of the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Sourozh, Moscow Patriarchate—Father Andrew is an archpriest of the Diocese of Sourozh—and seeks to serve Orthodox Christians of all jurisdictions—Greek, Russian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Serbian, etc. Services are mostly in English, with some Greek, Church Slavonic and Romanian. Owing to his having no permanent physical base in Durham, Father Andrew is most reliably contacted by email or phone. The parish website, with details of services, etc., is

Charles Pemberton


Chaplain at St Cuthbert's Society

Dr Charles Pemberton is St Cuthbert’s Society’s new Lay Chaplain and the William Leech research fellow at the department of Religions and Theology. As ‘Lay Chaplain’ (pastoral and religious support from the common people for the common people) Charles will be responsible for Cuth’s Difficult Dialogues series of academic-social-religious discussion groups and available for all members of the college (whether secular, religious, or a bit of both) to talk about any personal and professional concerns.

Charles was an undergraduate at Durham University in the early 2000s, and a part of him still misses Studio. He worships at St Margaret’s Church, Durham City, is a tutor at St Chad’s College with his partner Irene, plays for St Chad’s college football team at centre back, and is writing a book on the North-East of England’s food bank network.

Revd David Rushton

T: +44(0)191 334 3352

Chaplain at St Chad's College

St Chad’s is a recognised College of Durham University but it is also an independent Church of England foundation; so chaplaincy is an important part of our ethos. As a Priest in the Church of England I have responsibility for the worship that takes place within the college chapel alongside my role as college outreach officer.

Day to day I am available to all students and staff as part of the college welfare support. I hope you feel able to approach me to discuss issues of religion or belief and indeed any other matter which is important for you. I am aware that I may not be the right person for every need, but please do approach me if you would like advise on accessing the appropriate support for your needs.

There are regular services in the college chapel and everyone is welcome to join us for any of our services. You can access the college events diary on the college website.

In term-time we hold the following regular services:

  • Sunday Eucharist (usually choral) 11.00am
  • Choral Evensong or Sung Eucharist – most Thursdays 6.15pm
  • Said Eucharist – Tuesday 1.00pm
  • Lunchtime Prayers – Mon; Wed – Fri 1.00pm

We also have services for Festivals and special occasions (e.g. All Souls, Advent Procession, Chad’s Day, Ash Wednesday, Ascension Day).

We also have an excellent College choir which sings at services and usually undertakes a foreign tour each year.

Deacon Annette Sharp

Durham University Assistant Methodist Chaplain


T: +44 (0)191 373 7446

Before being ordained as a Methodist Minister 2 years ago, Annette lived in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire and worked in the NHS as an Occupational Therapist. She trained for Ministry in Cambridge before coming to Durham in 2013. She has two married daughters and two grandchildren who still live in Huddersfield. Annette enjoys working with people of all ages and finds her time with students fun, challenging and rewarding.

Shaun Swithenbank

Durham University Methodist Chaplain

T: +44 (0)191 340 9701
Based in Durham City centre and currently having pastoral care of Methodist Churches in Elvet, North Road and Framwellgate Moor, Shaun was a lecturer and teacher trainer in Computer Science before becoming a Methodist Minister. The Methodist Churches in and around Durham offer a welcome to all students: Elvet and North Road Methodist churches in particular have members from many of the Durham colleges.
MethSoc is a Christian-centred group which welcomes students of all Christian denominations and none. Meeting at Elvet on Sunday evenings at 7.30pm and during the week at other venues, MethSoc offers the chance to learn and explore the Christian faith. Through sharing food, working in community, listening and discussion with invited speakers, social events etc. MethSoc offers encouragement and support in our spiritual journeys. Deacon Annette Sharp, also based at North Road and Elvet, is available to help and support students as they explore faith and life in Durham.
Together we offer a friendly face and a listening ear to all students and staff of the university and by offering support for the welfare of the students and staff in Durham we hope to show, alongside our partner churches and chaplains, something of the love of God for all people.


Susannah Thorp

T: +44 (0)191 334 4436

Chaplain at St John's College

Susie is the Chaplain at St John’s College, her role is be available to both staff and students as a friendly face, to offer a listening ear and give genuine support. Her role is to support everyone in college, those with a faith, those without and those wishing to explore a spiritual dimension to their lives. 

She is assisted in her role by Millie, who loves to be taken for walks, snuggle up to students, has a secret ambition to join the Chapel choir and generally keeps a beady eye on the comings and goings of college!

Mrs Mahshid Turner

T: +44(0)191 334 5780

Muslim Chaplain

Mahshid Turner is the Muslim chaplain for Durham University covering all colleges, including the Stockton campus. She is based at St. Aidan's college where she can offer confidential support regarding faith, pastoral care and welfare issues.
Some of the activities Mahshid has been involved in include:
  • Promoting understanding among different faiths: Organising interfaith events such as Muslim Jewish Forum and online forums.
  • Promoting social activites such as 'ladies social events'.
  • Individual and group welfare and faith support: confidential space to discuss any problems.
  • Group activites such as Quran circles.
  • Support to Islamic Society on faith issues and social and educational activities.
  • Islamic education training in various institutions, including schools and universities.
  • Trustee for County Durham Faiths Network.
  • Scriptural Reasoning
  • Interfaith Steering group comprising students and staff of all faiths and none who discuss and decide on events

If you would like more information about any of the above activities please contact Mahshid Turner at above email address.

Mahshid's door is open for non-judgmental support and pastoral care to to all Durham University students and staff.

Revd R. P. (Ric) Whaite

T: +44 (0)191 334 4116

Chaplain at University College

The Revd R. P. (Ric) Whaite is Chaplain and Solway Fellow in History at University College. Together with the Senior Tutors I am part of the welfare team in Castle, providing pastoral support, providing a listening ear if talking is needed. I am an Anglican priest and I am available to discuss issues of faith, beliefs and other life matters, at other times I may be called on to talk about day to day challenges, work or anything really. There are a range of other denominational and faith chaplaincies and societies at the University and I would be happy to help you access their services if needed. Castle has two chapels, the eleventh-century Norman Chapel and the sixteenth-century Tunstall Chapel, a rich choral tradition, and encourages thoughtful preaching and engagement. Our regular services during term time are as follows:

· Sunday 11am Sung Eucharist

· Tuesday 9pm Compline

· Thursday 6pm Choral Evensong

Everyone is very welcome to join us for any of our services or events, details of which can be found on the chapel website

Revd Ronnie Wynd

T: +44 (0)191 3750649
M: +44 (0)7765 433 367

Baptist Chaplain
Revd Ronnie Wynd is the minister of Durham City Baptist church. He has served the church since 2003 during which time he has also served as the Baptist chaplain to the University. Ronnie started his working life in heavy engineering on the banks of the Tyne, he then went on and studied theology and trained for the Baptist ministry.
Ronnie is willing to talk to any student whether they are Baptists or not. The church seeks to be a supportive and spiritual home to students who come to Durham to study.
  • Sunday worship at Durham City Baptist Church starts at 10:30am.
For further information go to