Dr Anastasia Somerville-Wong
Anastasia feels privileged to be the very first Humanist Chaplain to join the Multifaith Chaplaincy Team at the University of Exeter, with the support of her sponsoring bodies:
- the Non-Religious Pastoral Support Network (NRPSN)
- Humanists UK (formerly the British Humanist Association (BHA))
- Exeter Humanists (Currently dormant due to relocation of their leadership)
- Exeter Humanist Students (Currently dormant due to relocation of their leadership)
She undertook assessment and training in pastoral care with Humanists UK (a member organisation of the Network for Pastoral, Spiritual and Religious Care in Health) and is an accredited member of the Non-Religious Pastoral Support Network whose code of practice she is bound to follow.
Anastasia has considerable experience as a pastoral carer and mentor in higher education, child protection social work, youth and community work, hospitals, care homes and schools.
In addition to pastoral care, which is primarily about listending and using 'counselling-type' conversation skills, her role as Humanist Chaplain includes:
- community building and the organisation of educational and social events
- the creation/leadership of appropriate rituals and celebrations
- supporting the student society Exeter Humanist Students which promotes and supports atheist, humanist and secular world-views
While her own world-view is progressive and Humanist, Anastasia takes inspiration from the insights and practices of many of the world's faiths and philosophical traditions. She has worked for many years with people of more orthodox persuasions from a variety of faith backgrounds, and is therefore able to provide pastoral and spritiual care for all persons with the utmost confidentiality and respect for people's individual beliefs and values.
For more information about Anastasia and her work as a Humanist Chaplain, and for wide-ranging articles and interviews on humanistic and progressive thought and practice, please see her blog, Secular Liturgies.
Anastasia looks forward to meeting you!