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Thank you and farewell to The Reverend David Cherry

29 August 2010

The Reverend David Cherry leaves the University of Westminster at the end of this month after seven years as the University’s Lead Chaplain.

David is going to become Vicar of two churches: St Mary’s Bourne Street (one of the most famous Anglican churches in the Anglo-Catholic tradition) and St Barnabas Pimlico near Sloane Square.

He continues as a tutor on the Staff of ‘The Art of Spiritual Direction and the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola Course at the London Centre for Spirituality, Lombard St, a three-year course which trains Spiritual Directors.

During his seven years here David has worked closely with Fehmeeda Riaz initiating the development of the University’s Religion, Belief and Diversity Policy. David has expanded the team of University Chaplains from different faiths and introduced the role of a Muslim Interfaith Advisor (Yusuf Kaplan) at the University. The University’s Interfaith provision leads the way in HE and is commended as best practice by the Equality Challenge Unit.

David ‘s own reflections on leaving are that “after seven years as Lead Chaplain and ten years in HE Chaplaincy in all, I have a lot for which to be grateful and truly am. The experience has been enriching in so many ways, working alongside colleagues in Counselling and Advice and getting to know students and staff alike and many departments. It has been stretching and rewarding. The Interfaith Agenda, so crucial to a cohesive and harmonious society, is really important in the formative University environment; and I salute all who have taken and will take it forward. For me, the time has come to return to parish life and full-time priestly ministry in a parochial context enhanced by the experience of others in the chaplaincy team and beyond in so many ways for which again, I can only say: thanks.”

David has made a real impact at the University and will be remembered by students and colleagues for his kindness and approachability. His ability to facilitate dialogue in the most sensitive and complex circumstances is a particular characteristic. A deep-founded commitment to the promotion of dialogue across faith boundaries for the benefit of our diverse student community has been evident through many of David’s initiatives, not least the Multi-Faith Advisory Group. As in previous years he is working to set up the University Carol Choir in conjunction with the new UWSU Choral Society before he leaves.

Please join me in wishing David well in his two new roles in Pimlico.

Evelyne Rugg

Director of Academic Services

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