Like everywhere else in the University, the Chaplaincy is now very much online! Encouragingly, people seem to have been ‘with us’.

Good Friday was the peak for our Livestreamed Masses/Services with well over a thousand ‘attending’. Since then our Sunday Mass numbers have settled to something around 450.

College Masses are being celebrated at the Chaplaincy and attended by College Members via Zoom.  Chats afterwards have been great fun and we are always pleased when college Chaplains make an appearance.

On Tuesday and Thursday mornings 8am Mass and Breakfast regulars have been joining us and it has been lovely to get a sense of people’s lives in this time, as we munch through our cereals and toast!

Numbers attending our other prayer events are modest but those who join us, say, for Tuesday (Adoration and Compline) and Friday (Rosary in May), are greatly appreciative.

The other major offering of the week is our Tuesday Evenings at the Chaplaincy when residents and a few others via Zoom gather to discuss the upcoming Sunday scriptures. The photo below, as you will have guessed, is not the ‘real thing’ but, I can assure you, James Bergida is equally animated when it is!

With the experience that we now have (and so much is thanks to the endeavours of Alvea) we have reason to be particularly appreciative of what the Newman Society is doing in organising their Thursday evening series and we are very much enjoying following the talks, some of us in the Blue Room and others elsewhere in the building where, I understand, animated discussion takes place even before the speaker has had his or her say! It is special for us, at the end of evening, to lead Compline from the Blue Room, with the familiar bust of St John Henry Newman to our side.

Upcoming events: well, we would love to hold again the Chaplaincy ‘Variety’ Show which was, I think, a bit of a hit last year. Some of the performances, including the Chaplains’ rendition of ‘Favourite Things’, still live in the memories (ours at least!). So, get prepared!

Finally, thank you for messages of appreciation for what’s been happening. I hope the following sentiments are generally shared!

Thank you for continuing to support us throughout these challenging times, and for so quickly transitioning the Chaplaincy activities online. It is wonderful to be able to ‘see’ you and celebrate mass with you somehow and know that you are all well.