Faith and chaplaincy

Our Chaplaincy Team welcomes everyone. Faith or no faith, they're here to support you, providing a friendly and confidential listening ear to anyone who needs it.

The team plays a crucial role in the student journey and runs some exciting events throughout the year that you can get involved in.

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Meet our University Chaplain

Chris Howson is the Coordinating Chaplain and is at the heart of our community. He's known for going above and beyond for our students and is one of the many Chaplains we have here at the University as well as Muslim, Catholic, Sikh, Buddhist, and more.

Hear from Chris himself about the exciting events, fantastic facilities, and dedicated support you can receive at Sunderland.

The entrance to the Interfaith Chaplaincy Centre

Our facilities

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's is home to our Interfaith Chaplaincy Centre (ICC). This is a quiet space to study and reflect, whether you follow a faith or not. You can also find prayer rooms, the Faith Library, and LGBTQI+ resource room.

Our City Campus has excellent facilities for our Muslim students, located on the ground floor of Helen McArdle House.

We also have access to Sunderland Minster for events and activities. 

three students in a church sitting down reading

Our faith and religion societies

We have a brilliantly diverse community of students among us at Sunderland. Join one of our many societies bringing people together in harmony.

  • Catholic Society 
  • Christian Orthodox Youth
  • Christian Union
  • Islamic Society
  • PENSA Sunderland
  • Sunderland Chinese Christian Fellowship Society
Four people walking through rocks and water in front of a sunset

Our events

The chaplaincy organises a range of different events and activities, where everyone is welcome. These can be a great way to meet people from different backgrounds and faiths and make connections.

Activities and events can include: 

  • Wellbeing walks
  • Friendship evenings
  • Positive pebble painting 
  • Films for change 
  • Thursday night prayer
  • Zen practice
  • Mindfulness on Mondays 
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Get in touch

If you'd like to find out more, get in touch with Chris via email: or give our Student Support Services a call: 0191 515 2933.

Or, see the contact details for our other chaplains.

You can also find the University of Sunderland Chaplaincy and University of Sunderland Friendship groups on Facebook.