Chaplaincy: Interview with Mrs Julia Hyde, Assistant Chaplain
In January 2018 we welcomed Mrs Julia Hyde as our first Assistant Chaplain. Here is an interview between Julia and Rev Tim Buckler, our Whole School Chaplain.
TB: Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
JH: I have been a primary school teacher for many years, some of which I spent working at Park Mead, across the road from Bede’s Senior School. I have been involved in church leadership in a variety of ways, as a deacon in a local Baptist church, as a worship leader, in helping to run Messy Church for families, and with youth. I met my husband at university, and we now have three children who are older than we were when we met! Tom studied at Exeter Uni and is now combining working with my husband and travelling. Esther is just finishing her final year at Sheffield Uni, and Lucy is in her second year at Hilda’s College in Oxford.
TB: How did you become interested in chaplaincy? And what was the process that led to you being employed at Bede’s?
JH: When I left work I spent a few months reflecting on what it would be good to do next. The job at Bede’s was the first that I applied for. Chaplaincy seemed to be something that would use the experiences I already had, whilst being fresh and exciting, with lots to learn.
TB: So, you have been here for nearly 2 terms. How have you found it? What sort of things have you been involved with?
JH: It has been good to be in an environment where the pupils and staff are valued, where the whole person is nurtured, and diversity is celebrated. I have spent time in both the Prep School and the Senior School. Initially the challenge was simply finding my way around and beginning to build relationship. It has been a varied role so far. There has been preparation and planning for chapel, evensongs and confirmation classes. I have had one-to-one chats with pupils, and spent time with tutor groups, classes and the Christian Union and have recently become involved with peer mentor training.
TB: What does your average day look like?
JH: I am not sure that there is an average day, and that’s great. As a team, we try to start our school day with prayer and by chatting about what might lie ahead; I might then join with a tutor group, and spend a little time planning or organizing in the Chaplaincy. I’ll maybe pause from emailing the bishop’s PA about our upcoming service of Confirmation in order to chat to one of the cleaning staff. Break time can be a slot to join the Prep School Welfare Officer, Mr Joe Badham as he talks with pupils, it can include a visit to one of the 10 houses in Senior School, or a time to pray with members of staff or one-to-one times with pupils. After lunchtime chapel, it can be a mad dash down to Prep School, popping into a house at Senior School, or a more measured time to work on projects.
TB: What has been the single greatest source of joy working here and what have you found more challenging?
JH: The greatest source of joy? That has to be the people.
More challenging? Well, I was very shy as a child, so going into houses unannounced or standing up in front of lots of people have been probably my biggest challenges.
TB: And how long are you hoping to stay for? Do you know what might be next for you?
JH: I hope to stay for one more year, and to do some study in Applied Theology and Chaplaincy to compliment the work here. After that I am not sure, but I know that I am learning so much that will be useful and will equip me for either chaplaincy, or something related to it.
TB: Thank you Julia
We are delighted to have Julia on the team and are thankful for all the work that she has done, is doing and will do at Bede’s.