We are blessed with owning two buildings within 6 minutes walk of each other;
62 Park Place, which is at the heart of the campus, down the road from the University main building and Centre for Student Life and Newman Hall, which is a Catholic hall of residence for 20 students, with lounge and refectory facilities.
Why we're raising money
Newman Hall provides an excellent residential facility for up to 20 undergraduate and post-graduate students and the income largely keeps up with maintenance costs and ensures that the building is heated and kept up to a modern and comfortable state for the students living there. However, Newman Hall is not in the centre of the campus and offers very little to non-resident students in terms of space and facilities. That is why the decision to move the chaplaincy back to 62 Park Place was made in 2021. Park Place now hosts the library, accessible to everyone, lounge and kitchen facilities, a chapel and a large hall (The Aquinas Hall) which we plan to use for Sunday Mass and large events, talks and charitable activities. There are no plans to use it as a secondary Hall of residence, since if it were, there would be no facilities for non-resident students whatsoever, and it is the pastoral care of our staff & students that is our reason for being here.
62 Park Place, therefore, doesn't have an income; its very existence, its maintenance and heating relies heavily on donations. Setting up largely from scratch from an empty building without even carpets in some rooms, the new Chaplain, Fr Nicholas and a generous but limited team of volunteers have refitted and refurbished the entire house at the minimum cost possible. Instead of getting contractors in as would normally be the case, Fr Nicholas has almost entirely renovated the chaplain's accommodation himself; putting in the kitchens and painting and redecorating to ensure no money is wasted. However, we need to replace significant gaps in the Chaplaincy library (Patristics, Church History, Philosophy are several key areas which have little to no up to date academic content); we need to replace the chairs and tables in the Aquinas Hall; we need to re-equip the chapel with sacristy items and the bare walls of the house in general with artwork. We need to put catechetical material up and provide the students with resources which will help them understand and answer for their faith in the world they are going to inhabit. Every penny that has been donated has been gratefully received and carefully spent. Especially if you have reason to treasure Park Place as a former student, please do consider contributing. Thank you.