University Chaplain retires after 18 years

Friday 30 September 2011

The Rev Jamie Walker

The Chaplain who worked tirelessly to bring together people of different cultures, faiths and backgrounds at the University of St Andrews, has officially retired from his post.

The Rev Dr Jamie Walker, who married over 550 couples in his time at the University, leaves after 18 years’ dedicated service.

Jamie arrived in St Andrews in 1993 to take up a five year term as Chaplain, but ended up staying a further thirteen years, dedicating much of his time to supporting both staff and students of the University.

Prior to his official retirement this week, Jamie was awarded the University Medal for his outstanding dedication and exceptional contribution to the well-being of the University.

University Proctor Lorna Milne said, “In his time at St Andrews, Jamie provided a listening ear and support for staff and students alike. In in times of bereavement and sadness his support extended to colleagues, friends and family, near and far, not just in the immediate aftermath, but year after year.”

Malawi-born Jamie studied Philosophy and Divinity at the University of Edinburgh, before earning his DPhil from Oxford.  He was ordained in the Church of Scotland and served as Principal of Queen’s College, Birmingham (an ecumenical centre of training for ministry), before coming to St Andrews.

During his St Andrews’ tenure, Jamie was an integral part of the daily life of the Chapels, preaching himself at Sunday and other special services throughout the year and welcoming guest speakers from across the world.

He officiated at over 550 weddings and, together with his wife Sheila, welcomed and catered for over a staggering 3,000 guests into their home.

In 2005 Jamie was entrusted with the additional task of setting up the first University-wide Ethical Review Committee. Since then, under his chairmanship, the University Teaching and Research Ethics Committee (UTREC) has raised awareness and established a high standard of ethical practice across the University.

Speaking after his official retirement presentation this week, Jamie commented, “It has been a great pleasure being University Chaplain for eighteen years, and also Associate Director of Student Services.  There have been many special heart-warming times, but also some heart-wrenching times.  To be alongside people in all of these moments and in the ordinary run of events has been an incredible privilege.

“I wish the University and its new Chaplain, Donald MacEwan, God-speed for the future and especially as the University celebrates its 600th anniversary.”


Note to Picture Editors

Images of Jamie in St Andrews and during his retirement reception are available from the Press Office – contacts below.

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews

Contact Gayle Cook, Senior Communications Manager on 01334 467227, email [email protected]
Ref: Jamie Walker 290911

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