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/ 8 November 2013

University College London welcomes new chaplain and Inter Faith Adviser

The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, has licensed the Revd Charlotte Ballinger as Chaplain and Inter Faith Adviser to UCL and Honorary Associate Priest at nearby St Pancras Church.

Charlotte, who took up her duties at the start of term, is the first UCL chaplain to combine the role with that of interfaith Adviser. She will be working in partnership with the university’s different faith societies to offer students and staff opportunities to engage together on faith and ethical issues. UCL, established in 1826 as the first university in London, was founded to open up education in England to students of any race, class or religion. It was also the first university to welcome female students on equal terms with men.

Charlotte offers pastoral care to all students, regardless of faith background or religious belief and offers support on everything from personal matters and relationships to ethical decision-making and matters of social action and justice. She aims to be as accessible to students and staff as possible, through social media and her regular drop in sessions, including her popular ‘tea times’ with tea and cake provided. She also contributes to the spiritual life of UCL by organising opportunities for groups to visit lectures, debates and exhibits on faith and ethics.

Charlotte was previously Assistant Curate in the Chipping Barnet Team Ministry for three years. Before that, she trained for ordination at Westcott House. During her time there she undertook placements at the Anglican Chaplaincy in Istanbul and St Bart’s Park Avenue in New York, giving her a broad and international range of experience that will serve her well at UCL, which badges itself ‘London’s Global University’, with 40% of its 24,000 staff and students coming from overseas.

Commenting on her licensing, the Revd Charlotte Ballinger, new Chaplain and Inter Faith Adviser to UCL, said:

"It is a real privilege to be serving as Chaplain & Interfaith Adviser in such a diverse and vibrant institution. Although UCL is a secular institution with no religious affiliation, it is also committed to providing an environment where students and staff of all faiths, and none, can thrive – and my role is to help it provide that environment. The Licensing itself was a fantastic occasion attended by staff and students as well as former parishioners, and I’m now really looking forward to all that lies ahead at UCL."

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