K College

College Chaplain - The Rev Sue Brooks

The Rev Sue Brooks is passionate about her ministry at K College in Tonbridge. After being a teacher for 40 years Sue was ordained in 2003 and knew college chaplaincy is where she wanted to be.

Sue said, “There is a huge need for chaplains amongst youngsters at college level. Some have come from split families and in the last two years we have had an increase in the number of youngsters thrown out of their homes.  They need someone to listen to them.”

K College includes campuses at Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Folkestone, Ashford and Dover. Sue is currently organising a number of chaplains from other faiths including Sikh, Buddist, Hindu and Muslim to support each campus.

She said, “There is a chaplaincy section on the website (www.kcollege.ac.uk/) and also a confidential prayer line on the email. If students or staff have a prayer request, they can email me and I send the request out to my volunteer prayers. My role involves being there for both students and staff. Sometimes they just come and find me and occasionally people make appointments. One of the conditions of me being the Chaplain was that I had to wear a clerical collar, so I am always visible.“

Sue’s chaplaincy has a pastoral emphasis and students come to her with all sorts of questions. She said, “I am asked strange questions like are you a nun or does that (clerical collar) come off? Otherwise they talk to me about sexual or relationship problems, grandparents dying or parents splitting up. Sometimes they really just want somebody to listen who will say it's okay and tell them they are important.”

At the Tonbridge campus there is a quiet space available to all where they can read copies of religious texts like the Bible and the Koran. The college is undergoing building work and Sue said that it is very important to her that the new worship room is central on campus.

Sue said, “I think it is a huge privilege to be at the college, I learn so much from the youngsters about the difficulty of life, it has changed enormously since I was a teenager.” She adds, “Sometimes I get to the end of a week and wonder if I have done anything worthwhile. Other times I  know my being there has made a difference because I have been able to show God’s love and His care. People need to know that they are valued and respected.”

Sue works as an Area Development Officer to encourage colleges in the Dioceses of Canterbury and Rochester to introduce chaplaincy. If you are interested in working as a college chaplain please contact Sue on suebrooks@kcollege.ac.uk

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