Appointment of a new Chaplain to Cardiff University

It has been announced today by Archbishop George Stack that Fr. Nicholas Williams has been appointed Catholic Chaplain at the University of Cardiff in succession to Fr. Sebastian Jones.  The appointment will take effect at the beginning of the new academic year in September 2021.

Fr. Sebastian was appointed chaplain by Archbishop Peter Smith on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady, 8 December 2009. He was the first Catholic chaplain in the role of Co-ordinating Chaplain at Cardiff University. A member of the Ethics Committee of the University, he also worked closely with the University’s Student Support Services.  Fr. Sebastian is a Fellow of the University of Cardiff Centre for Law and Religion. He has lectured in the Codes of Canon Law for the Western and Eastern Churches as part of the LLM degree course since 2010. He has overseen the extension of the work of the Catholic Chaplaincy. In addition to the current premises at 62 Park Place he was responsible for the establishment of Newman Hall, a student Hall of Residence situated in the newly renovated buildings which provided the erstwhile nursery at Nazareth House.

In August 2019 Archbishop Stack invited the Oratorian Community in Formation to accept the pastoral care of St. Alban’s Parish, Splott. Fr. Sebastian was appointed the Parish Priest.

Generations of students have good reason to be grateful for the dedication and ministry of Fr. Sebastian as their chaplain over the last thirteen years. Fr. Nicholas Williams will be able to build on the legacy he has inherited and take the chaplaincy forward in these new  and challenging circumstances of university life.

Fr. Sebastian Jones writes:

“I warmly welcome the appointment of Fr. Nicholas Williams as Catholic Chaplain to the University of Cardiff. He will bring the same dedication and enthusiasm to the chaplaincy as he displayed when he re-founded the CathSoc at the University of Portsmouth. I give thanks to God for the years of ministry at Cardiff University. They have been a precious time to me. I thank all the outstanding staff and students who have supported and contributed to the life and witness of the chaplaincy during that time. I particularly wish to record my thanks to Mr. Ben Lewis who is responsible for the provision of chaplaincy and the University and for his tireless work for the welfare of students.”

Fr. Nicholas Williams writes:

“I am grateful to the Archbishop for appointing me Catholic Chaplain at the University of Cardiff, my home city. I feel privileged to be entrusted with the sacred duty of caring and accompanying the students in their journey of Christian faith and discipleship and in providing for their sacramental lives. My experience of chaplaincy comes from my time at the University of Portsmouth when the re-establishment of the CathSoc was in response to the critical need for students not only to gain their academic credentials, but also emerge as well formed young people, knowledgeable about their faith and its practice. I thank Fr. Sebastian for the legacy he has handed on to me through his work as chaplain. I look forward to building on the foundations which he has laid.”

Biographical Note:

Fr. Nicholas Williams holds a B.Eng (Hons) in Aerospace Manufacturing Engineering (Bristol UWE) 1997 – 2002. MSc Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (Portsmouth) 2009-2012. BA (Hons) fundamental Theology (Birmingham and Oscott) 2012-2015. STB (KU Leuven) 2015 -2018. He was Graduate Materials Technician at Architen Landrell 2003-2004, Chepstow Engineer at Baldor UK 2004-2006, Bristol and Senior Manufacturing Engineer at Eaton Aerospace Hydraulics Division, Portsmouth (2006-2012).

He was ordained a Deacon in 2017 and Priest in 2018. Since ordination, he has served at St.Mary and the Angels and Holy Family parish, Cardiff.