04 November 2020

A journey to being a university chaplain

It is a real joy to be able to introduce myself to you as the new Methodist Chaplain at Oxford Brookes University. My name is Miriam Moul and I am a Methodist Minister, appointed to serve half-time as Methodist Chaplain at OBU and half-time with Cowley Road Methodist Church within the Oxford Circuit.

I am originally from the Isle of Wight and grew up attending my local Methodist Church. My church instilled in me the importance of a caring community, a strong sense of social justice and community engagement.

After school, I studied for a BA in History, with a particular interest in the early modern period. Immediately after graduating, I joined a Primary PGCE course. I thoroughly enjoyed my teaching placements, but after much reflection, I decided that teaching was not for me at that time. I began working for English Heritage at Osborne House, often having responsibility for school tours. As a part of those tours, I could be found in a basement making children clean shoes and polish brass!

In my early twenties, I first felt that God might be calling me into some form of ministry. After much prayerful discernment I began training as a Local Preacher and exploring a call to ordained ministry. I also worked for my local Circuit as a Pastoral worker. During my exploration, I shared a placement with a Hospital and Hospice Chaplain. This had a profound impact and inspired my interest in all forms of chaplaincy including university work.

I trained for ministry at The Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham. During my time at Queen’s, my love of study was cemented, completing a BA in Theology and a Masters during my first appointment. I have academic interests in Methodist history, the hymnody of Charles Wesley, the Anglican-Methodist Covenant, dementia and mental health and much more!

In 2015, I was sent to the Canterbury and East Kent Circuit, where I served three church communities in Dover. Dover is a diverse and interesting town, a place and people that I quickly grew to love. The church communities I served alongside worked with people from all backgrounds and sought to share God’s love in all our life together. One highlight was leading many school assemblies and serving as a Governor at Kent College, Canterbury, a member of the Methodist Independent Schools Trust. I also spent time on a placement with the full-time School Chaplain.

Feeling called to move on in 2020, I was matched with this appointment. I feel especially blessed to be working primarily at the Harcourt Hill campus, with its rich Methodist heritage and culture.

One of my priorities in ministry has always been pastoral care. I look forward to offering an open door, a friendly welcome and a caring and supportive presence to students and staff. John Wesley called on the Methodist people to ‘watch over one another in love’ and as Chaplain I hope to continue the good work that has gone before me within this community.

In my spare time, I am an avid reader and a keen amateur baker: baking cakes which I love to share (in non-pandemic times)! I also enjoy writing liturgy, choral singing and playing the piano.

The Revd Miriam Moul

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