Diocesan News

Fr David Palmer is appointed chaplain of Nottingham University

Following discussions with the university it has been decided that Fr Palmer will participate fully as the university's chaplain.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

The following statement was released by the University of Nottingham on Saturday 25th September, 2021:

'The University of Nottingham has confirmed that it has introduced a revised procedure for the recognition of chaplains of all faiths who are nominated to work in the university Chaplaincy.

The procedure allows for a preparatory year to enable the nominated chaplain, the sponsoring faith body and the university to explore together if the role is right both for the individual and the multi-faith environment at Nottingham.

Following constructive and helpful dialogue with the Diocese of Nottingham over recent weeks, it has been agreed that Father David Palmer will be recognised under this procedure as university chaplain for the Catholic faith. He will commence his work on campus as part of our multi-faith chaplaincy team with immediate effect.

Future nominations for chaplaincy of all faiths will be considered under the revised procedure. The university currently has 11 chaplains and many assistant and lay chaplains representing the full range of Christian, Jewish and Islamic belief.

University Registrar, Dr Paul Greatrix, said: “Chaplains of the university are highly valued members of our community, providing faith, pastoral, and wellbeing support to our students and staff throughout the year.

“In a community of more than 35,000 people, drawn from more than 200 nationalities, we pride ourselves on a multi-faith approach so that the university is able to support and celebrate students and staff of all faiths and none.

“Our new recognition procedure will ensure that, in a spirit of support and collaboration, the university and faith leaders can welcome chaplains who will, absolutely, hold their faith primary whilst fully engaging with a multi-faith environment.

“As a university we fully respect and safeguard our community’s freedom of speech and our chaplains’ expression of the tenets of their faith. The new procedure will ensure that our team of chaplains feel comfortable and supported in their work with students in what is a diverse and multi-faith community which has the full range of views on religious expression.

“I look forward to Father Palmer joining our chaplaincy team, and to him working on campus to provide the full ministry and pastoral support which is so valued in particular by our Catholic staff and students.”

The Bishop of Nottingham, the Right Reverend Patrick McKinney, said: “The University of Nottingham and the Catholic Diocese of Nottingham have a long history of good working relationships, with Mass, other liturgies and a rich variety of pastoral activity taking place on Campus for over 90 years. This ministry has been led by a succession of Catholic priests serving in the diocese, and so I am very pleased that the university has now recognised my appointment of Father David Palmer as Catholic Chaplain, to work alongside the other university chaplains who give such great support to students and staff alike.

“In developing a new approach to recognition and support for chaplains, I acknowledge that the university is striving to demonstrate its commitment to the importance of this role within the wider university experience. I appreciate the period of constructive dialogue which has led to this development, and I look forward to seeing the university’s chaplaincy continue to flourish. It is my hope that the chaplaincy will always be a safe space for people of all faiths and none to be helped to discuss difficult issues. It is important that the Catholic Church can be a part of these conversations and contribute to individuals’ search for truth and meaning in their lives.

“Each one of us, in whatever walk of life we follow, has times when we need support, and the multi-faith chaplaincy of the University of Nottingham has always provided such support. For Catholic students, perhaps away from home for the first time, and for staff too, the presence of a Catholic priest within the University is an opportunity for them to be strengthened in their faith. Having seen the pastoral work Father David has undertaken from his parish in Lenton, I have every confidence that his presence on campus will be a blessing both for those of the Catholic community, and others in the wider university family who engage with the multi-faith environment.”

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