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University's Senior Chaplain is installed as Honorary Canon

University of Gloucestershire’s Senior Chaplain, Reverend Simon Witcombe, has been appointed to the College of Cathedral Canons by the Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, in recognition of his ‘inspiring ministry at the University’.

Reverend Witcombe was installed as an Honorary Canon – an appointment that recognises the role played by a person in the wider life of the Church in the area – during a service at Gloucester Cathedral.

As an Honorary Canon, Reverend Witcombe will work to strengthen the links between the Bishop, the Cathedral, the Diocese of Gloucester, and the University.

Reverend Witcombe said: “It is wonderful that the importance of university chaplaincy is being recognised in this way.

“I am very fortunate to be part of a tremendous team, and we are very thankful that our role is so well supported by the University.

“I hope that this will strengthen further the relationship between the University, the Diocese, and the Cathedral.”

The University’s Chaplaincy team offers help, support and a wide range of activities, ranging from discussion groups and mindfulness sessions to dog walking, gardening, singing and times of prayer and reflection.

Each of the University’s campuses includes a Sanctuary Space where its students and staff are welcome to relax, play games or instruments, and meet others.

Dr Matthew Andrews, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Governance and Student Affairs) at the University, said: ‘Our Chaplaincy is an incredibly valuable element of life at the University for both students and staff.

“Led by Simon, the team of chaplains offers support to students of all faith backgrounds and worldviews, and was recently recognised in the International Student Barometer student survey as being the most highly regarded chaplaincy of all participating institutions globally.

“The Bishop’s invitation to Simon is further recognition of his leadership and the excellent work of the chaplaincy team.”

The Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, said: “I am delighted that Simon Witcombe has accepted my invitation to become a member of the College of Canons of the Cathedral.  

“This is an important recognition of the significance of his ministry in the University and of the importance of our partnership.”

The Bishop of Tewkesbury and Vice-Chair of Council, the Rt Revd Robert Springett, added: “I am delighted for Simon and for the chaplaincy team he leads at this recognition of his, and their contribution to the life of the University, its students and staff. This is so well deserved.”

Picture: left to right, Canon Andrew Braddock (Interim Dean), Rev Simon Witcombe, Rt Revd Robert Springett (Bishop of Tewkesbury) and Ven Phil Andrews (Archdeacon of Cheltenham)