So I have officially survived a month in Cambridge. There were a few moments that I wasn’t sure I was going to make it (in fact, the colder it gets, the less sure I am) but I have lived to see at least another day. There’s been much excitement afoot (including a trip to London and a black tie party!) but the most exciting news is that I have an official church attachment. Actually, it’s more like a chaplaincy placement. I’ll be a chapel assistant at Trinity Hall, one of the Cambridge colleges! So. Very. Exciting. !!
Not my photo, but a lovely shot. I'll take some pictures soon.
Trinity Hall (not to be confused with Trinity College, which is larger and more well-endowed) was founded in 1350 and is one of the oldest colleges at Cambridge (I think it might be third oldest, actually). It’s a small-ish college, with about 350 undergraduates and about 100(ish) graduates of different fields. It’s affiliated with the Church of England (I know, but everything is CoE around here). It’s sometimes called the “hidden hall” because it’s tucked away between two larger colleges (Trinity College and King’s college – which is ultra famous), and yet for all its obscurity it has a rather impressive history. Robert Runcie, a former Dean of the college, went on to become the Archbishop of Canterbury in the 1980s. Consequently, there are two stained glass windows dedicated to him. It’s a neat little college, with medieval buildings and lots of personality.
Isn't the chapel gorgeous?! It's the smallest college chapel in Cambridge
At this point I am helping the two traditional Sunday services – which are Anglican, so I’m hoplessly lost – run smoothly. But, I hope to start a Bible study. I am going to work with the already active Christian Union to get to know the student body – undergrads and grad students. I’m being given a fair amount of freedom, which is exciting, but also nerve-wracking. I am really doing ministry. I am really going to be in situations where I’ll be asked theological questions I can’t answer. I will hear difficult stories. I will be a minister.
I am so excited! Being a university chaplain is my dream job, and this is an excellent opportunity to feel out the waters before being thrown in without a life jacket. I have a superb supervisor – his name is Rev. Dr. Stephen Plant and he’s the new Dean of the Chapel – who has every confidence in me (which is astounding as we’ve only met a few times). I am really excited to be working here, to be learning and growing in such a supportive and beautiful environment. Cambridge is lovely - it’s hard not to fall in love with the place. The loveliness of the location reminds me that, even when I’m terribly homesick, God moves in mysterious ways to brighten my soul and remind me of my purpose.
Check out the Trinity Hall website! (http://www.trinhall.cam.ac.uk/)