You may not be aware, but here at BU we have a team of chaplains and faith advisers who offer confidential and non-judgemental support, guidance, prayer and a listening ear, regardless of whether you have faith or not.
Spaces for everyone
Our Faith & Reflection Centre is located on the first floor of Talbot House on Talbot Campus. It's open Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm. We also provide a dedicated space in our Bournemouth Gateway Building (room 401) for our community to contemplate and pray.
Depending on what you're looking for, our Faith & Reflection Centre is home to a range of spaces including:
- A communal area (or, as we like to think of it, 'a pocket of peace')
- A quiet room – designed to be used by our community for private meditation, prayer, or simply a quiet space to just be
- A meeting room which can be booked via our chaplaincy team
- An Islamic prayer room, a Kosher kitchen and an open kitchen – both with a good supply of biscuits!
In addition to various events that we hold throughout the year, we also host the following regular activities and all students and staff are invited:
Every Monday, 12 noon – 3pm
Every Wednesday, 5pm – 6:30pm
International Student Global Café
Last Wednesday of the month, 7:30pm – 9pm
Buddhist chant & chat
Every Friday, 12:30 – 1:30pm
Cake & chat with Sister Tama
Meet the team
We have a fantastic Faith & Reflection Team in addition to several local faith advisers and community contacts.
Anglican Chaplain – Ruth Wells
Ruth is the senior chaplain for BU/AUB. She is an ordained priest in the Church of England but is around to support students and staff of all faiths and none.
Ruth is a performance poet and is particularly drawn to using the arts as a way of finding soul nourishment. She is currently exploring beginning a PhD using poetics and theology. Ruth is really interested in how spirituality is worked out and connected to everyday life, and in how faith connects heart and head.
She enjoys hearing people's stories - especially over a cup of coffee! She'd love to chat to you and hear your story too - you can contact her via email at [email protected].
International Chaplain – Sue Burt
Sue is particularly responsible for welcoming and providing support to international students.
She works for the Christian organisation Friends International which seeks to provide hospitality and activities for international students of all faiths and of none.
Islamic Faith Adviser – Sister Tama
Sister Tama is amazingly active in the Bournemouth area, supporting those in need. She helps at our weekly Global Café event and is in our Faith & Reflection centre every Friday. You can contact Tama via email at [email protected].
Catholic Priest – Andrew Wagstaff
Father Andrew Wagstaff is our Catholic Priest. He is on campus usually on a Wednesday afternoon at Talbot and on a Tuesday afternoon in BGB401 (Bournemouth Gateway Building) at Lansdowne Campus. All are welcome to join him in praying the Rosary at 2.30pm on Wednesdays in the Faith & Reflection centre.
When he’s not at BU, Father Andrew can be found at the Oratory Church in Bournemouth. On Sunday evenings he hosts a discussion group for Catholics aged 18 - 35, and on Tuesday evenings he hosts a Bible Study, both in the St John Henry Newman Library.
Before joining the Oratory, Father Andrew practised as a barrister, and he is still interested in legal and bioethical issues and philosophy.
Buddhist Faith Adviser – Gary Davidson
All are welcome to join Gary in discussions on Buddhism, Buddhist philosophy and chanting from 7.30pm to 9pm on the last Wednesday evening of the month in the Faith & Reflection centre - please email for further updates.
Gary has been a member of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI)– UK lay Buddhist organisation and a practising Nichiren Buddhist since 1982. Having met the practise whilst in the Royal Navy, he became the first UK military serving Nichiren Buddhist. Gary is also the SGI-UK LGBTQIA+ UK Buddhist Chairperson supporting all LGBTQIA+ Nichiren Buddhists within the UK and the wider LGBTQIA+ European Buddhist networks.
Humanist Adviser and community contact David Warden (Dorset Humanities)
David is Chairman of Dorset Humanists, an Honorary Member of Humanists UK, and an assistant editor of Humanistically Speaking magazine. Humanism is a non-religious ethical philosophy which provides the space for people without a religious faith, or who may have left their religion, to think through the big questions of life from a non-faith perspective.
Since retirement, he has gained a Level 4 Diploma in humanistic therapeutic counselling and leads the pastoral team at Dorset Humanists. Among his many activities locally he is the LGBT+ representative on the Bournemouth and Poole Holocaust Memorial Committee and he regularly visits schools to talk about Humanism. David can be contacted for information, advice, and a listening ear on [email protected].
Jewish Faith Adviser & Community Contact – Rabbi Bentzion Alperowitz
Rabbi Bentzion was born in Bournemouth and received his Yeshiva Education in Manchester, Israel and at the Rabbinical college of America in Morristown, New Jersey. He was Ordained in 2013 at the Central Chabad Yeshiva in New York. Rabbi Bentzion now serves as assistant Rabbi and lecturer of the adult education programme within the Bournemouth Chabad Community. Rabbi Bentzion also runs events and classes for the Jewish students at the Bournemouth universities.
Rabbi Bentzion helps to support the student led Jewish Society (JSoc) and can be contacted via email or through the Faith & Reflection team.
If you’re looking for a calming place on campus to just sit and have a cup of tea, or you’re looking for a bit of headspace, our Faith & Reflection area is open to all, regardless of whether you have faith or not. And if you happen to see any of the team whilst you’re there, stop and say hello!