Reverend Jane Howitt takes up post as Heriot-Watt University's new Chaplain today (Aug 25).
Originally from Glasgow, Reverend Howitt previously served as a Church of Scotland minister at St. Rollox in the city's Sighthill area.
St Rollox is the most culturally diverse congregation within the Church of Scotland. Whilst in this role, she oversaw the move into a new purpose-built Church building and was also involved in a Church-led project to support refugees, asylum seekers and others in north Glasgow.
After spending six years at St. Rollox, Reverend Howitt accepted the position of Chaplain to Heriot-Watt University and will be based at the Chaplaincy Centre on the Edinburgh campus.
Commenting on her appointment, Reverend Howitt, says: “I am very much looking forward to joining the team at Heriot Watt, to supporting the spiritual life of the University and to being available to support staff and students as needs arise.
“The Chaplaincy centre is a place of welcome for people of all faiths and none, and I hope it will feel like a home from home for those studying and working in the Edinburgh Campus.
“As I come into the post, part of my role will be to see how we can develop chaplaincy provision across all our campuses and continue to make sure that the spiritual life of those at the University flourishes alongside the academic and other aspects of life on offer at Heriot Watt. In fact, it was the emphasis that Heriot Watt places on a wholistic approach to student life that really attracted me to the post."
Reverend Howitt will work alongside Reverend Alistair Donald during an initial handover period until his retiral on 16 September, having served the Heriot-Watt community since 2009.
Welcoming Reverend Howitt to Heriot-Watt University is Carol Murray, Head of Student Wellbeing Services, who said: “I am delighted that Reverend Howitt has now joined us and am looking forward to working with her.
“Our Chaplaincy Centre has always been a place where people at this University can gather together, irrespective of backgrounds, cultures or beliefs.”
Professor Mark Biggs, Heriot-Watt University's vice-Principal and Provost, spoke of his appreciation for Reverend Donald and his contribution over the last 13 years, adding: “Reverend Donald has been a much loved figure around the University and he leaves us with our warmest thanks and best wishes.
“It is a great pleasure to now welcome Reverend Howitt as our new Chaplain who will continue with the important work of serving our Heriot-Watt community.”
To find out more about the services available at the Heriot-Watt's Chaplaincy visit its website.