Updates from the Chaplain

Linda Bongiorno
Thursday 20 June 2024

There is news to share with you regarding the Chaplaincy team.  As I am going part-time for two years from September, we have recruited a new Assistant Chaplain to join the team, supporting our worship, pastoral care and discussion groups in particular.  He is Revd Giles Dove, who is no stranger to the University.  Giles completed undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at St Andrews.  His professional career has included senior management positions in External Relations and Development in the Education sector.  He has served as Chaplain and Head of Divinity & Religious Studies at Glenalmond College, and as a Research Assistant in St Mary’s College.  An Anglican priest, ordained in the Scottish Episcopal Church, Giles is active in ministry, including serving as Chaplain of Glamis Castle, Assistant Priest at All Saints’ Church in St Andrews and Duty Chaplain at Westminster Abbey. 

I have known Giles since I came to St Andrews, and am delighted that he will be beginning as a part-time Assistant Chaplain from mid-August for two years. 

Meanwhile, it was announced over the weekend that Revd Michael John Galbraith will be leaving St Andrews as Parish Priest at St James’ Church and his University role as honorary Roman Catholic Chaplain on 6 September.  He is moving within the Archdiocese to Bathgate, where he will become Parish Priest at St Mary’s Church.  We will miss Michael John hugely in the Chaplaincy team – from his support of graduations to freshers’ fayres, his commitment to students and to ecumenical engagement. 

Replacing Fr Michael John will be Right Revd Mgr Patrick Canon Burke. He is a graduate of St Andrews, previous President of the Catholic Society and, presently, Vicar General of the Archdiocese. He will take over as parish priest of St James’ and Chaplain of Canmore as of 7 September.  Patrick preached in St Salvator’s Chapel as recently as September last year, and I am looking forward to working closely with him. 

This week has seen final meetings of the academic year of some staff discussion groups, and a sense that the summer is upon us.  This is a time in the Chaplaincy for conducting weddings, preparing for the new academic year, and finalising our publicity for new and returning students.  We are also available for students and staff to meet to discuss any issue, regardless of faith or philosophy of life – we try to dovetail holidays so that at least one of the team is working throughout the summer. 

In fact I will be conducting worship on the Isle of Harris over the next two Sundays – in the parish of Manish-Scarista on 23 and 30 June.  If you are nearby, you’d be welcome!  11 am at Leverburgh, and 6 pm at Scarista (on 23rd) or Manish (on 30th). 

And of course, this time last week graduations were in full swing.  Here’s a special image for me from Friday: the graduate is Katie Ritchie, MA with hons in Management and Psychology, daughter of my cousin Brian and his wife Louise, and accompanied by her brother Cameron (also a St Andrews graduate, BSc with hons in Medicine 2019) and sister Lucy.  Congratulations Katie, and all 2518 students who graduated last week!

Have a great summer!



Revd Dr Donald MacEwan


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