The Emmanuel Centre

When was the church built?

The building was consecrated on 15th September 1880 by the Bishop of Ripon. It was a parish church before it was a chaplaincy, one of many churches built around the end of the 1800s in Leeds to extend the reach of the church beyond the central Minster. It has served the university for many years as a central space for the chaplaincy, but is still officially owned by the Anglican Church.

When was it renovated?

The building as it is now was opened on the 21st October 2004. As much of the original building was kept in place as possible. The Chaplaincy runs out of the north end of the building, whereas the seminar rooms to the right as you walk in are owned and used by the university. The building has never been deconsecrated. The unusual glass floor in the foyer area was a result of the Victorian society’s strict requirements that the beautifully painted ceiling must be visible from the ground floor of the building.

Are the stained glass windows original?

The windows are half original. The patterned glass was rescued from the windows and they were reinstalled with the surrounding plain glass after a fire.

Is there a Muslim prayer space in the chaplaincy building?

The Emmanuel Centre is consecrated as a place of Christian worship; anyone can come to our chapel to spend some time reflecting or praying, but it is not a designated space for Muslim prayer. There are lots of spaces for Islamic prayer provided by the universities. Please check your institution’s website, or ask for details.


What is a chaplain?

A chaplain is a priest, minister, or volunteer, who is here on behalf of their church to support people in our university community. They are here for pastoral support, to help you think through decisions or questions you have, as well as to provide faith based services, groups and activities for students and staff. Our team of chaplains are from a wide variety of church traditions, and would all be happy to meet you for support, advice, or just a cup of tea.

What is the Chaplaincy?

There are several elements that make up Chaplaincy. It is the support we offer, and the presence of faith on campus that we provide. It is also the team of people we have here to do that job. The physical space of the Chaplaincy is based in the Emmanuel Centre, as well as in the Catholic Chaplaincy building. Come along and see us to find out more.

Who is the Chaplaincy for?

The Chaplaincy is for the whole university community – undergrad students, postgrad students, research and teaching staff, support staff, international students… right up to the vice chancellors. Anyone in the universities can come and see us and join in with our groups and events, from Leeds Beckett, the University of Leeds, and the University of Law. We provide a range of different groups, activities and resources for different people around the university – get in touch to find out how we can support you.

Is it part of the university?

Yes and no… the Chaplaincy is run by the Universities Chaplaincy in Leeds Trust, which is made up of representatives from the various churches that are involved, as well as representatives from the university communities that we serve. The universities contribute to our funding so that we can continue to provide the services that we do, and we work closely with them to ensure that we are doing the best work we can for the staff and students here. But we are not officially part of the university institution, meaning that we are able to be a fully faith-based service within a fully secular institution.