Did you know that 2.2 million people in England are studying and training at a Further Education or Sixth Form College? Did you know that FE and Sixth Form colleges educate a higher proportion of 16-19s than school sixth forms? Did you know that there are 257 FE and Sixth Form Colleges in England (10 in our diocese), often major organisations in their local communities and employing hundreds of thousands of staff nationally?

Further Education chaplains are at the forefront of the churches’ efforts to love and serve this important sector of society. Chaplains come in all shapes and sizes – lay and ordained, paid and voluntary, from a couple of hours a fortnight to full-time. But what does Further Education chaplaincy actually look like, and how do chaplains make a positive contribution to their local colleges?

West Midlands Churches’ FE Council have put together five two-minute videos, filmed in three colleges, introducing the FE sector, the life and work of chaplaincy teams, and how you can get involved. Go to our Youtube channel here. These videos feature our very own Hazel Charlton, Vicar in Halesowen, sharing about the monthly animal café at Halesowen College.

Within the Diocese of Worcester there are further chaplaincy links at King Edward VI College in Stourbridge as well as a new chaplaincy forming at Dudley College linked with Top Church, building on the good relationship formed with the previous Bishop of Dudley.

Further school chaplaincy provision including sixth-formers is also embedded at Dyson Perrins School in Malvern, who continue to employ a part-time chaplain following an ecumenical mission project set up a few years ago connecting churches and young people across the town. As chaplaincy in Dyson’s grew, The Chase School also opened its doors to the Malvern Chase team where sixth-formers, including some from St Andrews Church, have recently led an Alpha Youth course for students.

However, there are many more opportunities and FE Colleges in Redditch, Bromsgrove, Evesham, Malvern and Worcester have all had previous experience of chaplaincy provision and would be keen to set up new projects. For more information contact  Simon or the West Midlands council directly at: info@wmcfec.org.uk.

Watch the first video about FE Chaplaincy: 

Watch more videos from the West Midlands Churches FE Council