Faith and religion at the university

Candles - EDI Blog

At this time of year, with members of our university community having just celebrated Diwali and others looking ahead to Hanukkah and Christmas, many of us explore the important role of faith and religion in our lives. In this blog members of the university’s multi-faith chaplaincy and faith support team share their thoughts and highlight some of the services they offer all year round to every member of our community. 

For many university students and staff, faith can play an important and integral role in how a person sees their identity and experiences every aspect of daily life. It has become clear that provision for faith and belief support is an important element of the university experience, whether as a staff member or student, and this is where services such as the Multi-faith Chaplaincy and Faith Support come into their own.  

At Nottingham we have more than 20 chaplains volunteering their time to serve the university community.  It would be a mistake to assume that they only respond to matters of faith, because chaplains will happily afford time to those of any faith, or none, in a non-judgemental, no-strings attached manner. Of course, chaplains also delight in engaging with issues of faith and belief, but their primary role is to support students and staff wherever they happen to find themselves on the journey of life. 

We are very proud to be advocates of multi-faith and interfaith principles. Recently we celebrated Interfaith Week which was a fantastic opportunity for people of all faiths and beliefs to come together and foster good relations. Our panel discussion ‘Creating Connections - building interfaith community on campus’ is a good example of the constructive conversations which took place. Whilst some may question the relevance of interfaith work within secular institutions such as universities, it is important to celebrate the diversity of students, staff and faith groups in our community, and the many ways in which they support and contribute to the university as well as the wider community.  

We have almost 30 different faith societies and groups actively meeting. Read through our Faith and Chaplaincy newsletter to see what they have been involved in this term. Many take part in social justice and charity work and all of this has a positive impact on where we work and study. This is something to celebrate. One way to do that, is to reach out beyond our own communities and build understanding so that we might all come together for the common good.

There is plenty going on – from the Oasis breakfast club (who are looking for staff volunteers) providing free meals every weekday to conferences and concerts. Over the next few weeks we’ll be helping our Jewish community celebrate Hanukkah with food and merriment, and we’ll be sharing a celebration of Christmas with the return of our Festival of Lessons and Carols.  

We also have a staff Faith and Religion group which focuses on issues such as faith and mindfulness spaces; freedom of religious expression; and anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. It is vital that we protect all members of our community from any form of hatred and discrimination, a message that is clearly asserted in the hate crime micro-course we are asking all new undergraduate students to complete this term.   

The University of Nottingham is committed to ensuring we do everything we can to provide a safe and supportive environment for everyone. Our campuses are inclusive places but, as with any community, issues can arise. If you or someone you know has experienced or witnessed an incident of any kind, you can tell us anonymously or ask to speak to an advisor using our Report and Support tool. This is open to students and staff. Speaking to an advisor does not mean that you are making a formal report to the university, it is to enable you to access the support you need to make an informed decision. 

However you choose to spend this month we hope you enjoy a meaningful break from your studies or work and can enjoy spending time with friends and loved-ones.  


The Chaplaincy and Faith Support Team
Monday 5 December 2022


Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Trent Building
University Park Campus