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3.2 The Chaplain


The Chaplain is the Reverend Dr Arabella Milbank Robinson. Her pastoral care extends to the whole community, Fellows, students and members of the College staff alike. As Dean of Chapel, she is responsible for all aspects of College Chapel life – including the variety of services which take place each week, activities for those interested in exploring issues of faith and life, and with the Director of Music, the musical life of the Chapel.

The Chaplain has rooms on D staircase and is available to all members of College, those of all faiths, no faith and everything in between. Chaplains can lend a listening ear, provide support at difficult times, or simply be available to engage with those exploring their spiritual lives or faith heritage. Arabella can be contacted at, but if ever you need help contacting the Chaplain urgently, the Porters will endeavour to do so on your behalf. She also serves as Chaplain at Newnham College, and is supported in her work at Selwyn by the Chapel Administrator, Rebecca Wilson.

The Chaplain hopes you will feel free to speak with her in confidence. You may be assured that appropriate boundaries of confidentiality will be observed subject to the provisions of section 3.1.2 of the Guide relating to Confidentiality.

The College’s policy on Confidentiality in a Welfare Context can be found in section 10 of the Student Guide. It forms both a guide for Tutors and others in the welfare team, including the Chaplain. The policy makes clear the following fundamental baseline principle: members of the Welfare Team cannot promise to maintain absolute confidentiality in all circumstances and the complexity of individual student health and welfare matters mean that there is no single, definitive ‘right’ answer about what to share. The policy enshrines guiding principles to which, in line with the Senior Tutors’ Committee’s agreed position, Selwyn College subscribes:

College Tutors and Tutorial Office staff cannot promise to maintain absolute confidentiality because, if students or other individuals are in danger, further help may need to be sought. Nonetheless, confidentiality will normally be maintained within the College Welfare Team on a strictly need-to-know basis.