Over 40 airport chaplains from across the UK and Ireland gathered at London Luton Airport (LLA) this week for a one-day conference.
The meeting of the British Isles and Ireland Airport Chaplains’ Network was organised by LLA’s chaplaincy team. This is the first time in 16 years that the airport has hosted the event.
A panel made up of local faith groups joined the conference for a discussion on how to best meet the varying spiritual needs of passengers in the aftermath of an emergency, a key role of the airport chaplaincy service. The packed agenda concluded with a tour of the airport terminal which has recently been transformed in a £160m redevelopment. The airport already has an airside multi-faith prayer room, and a landside prayer room and chapel are due to open early next year.
Now in its 32nd year, LLA’s multi-faith chaplaincy service, which includes a Rabbi and an Imam, offers comfort and emotional support for travellers as well as access to local charities and support groups for those who need it. They offer a listening ear and a place of peace for quiet reflection for those of all faiths or those with none.
Rev Canon Liz Hughes, Senior Chaplain at London Luton Airport, said: “It was an honour to host my colleagues from across the UK and Ireland and it was great to spend time networking and learning together. As passenger numbers continue to grow at airports it’s really important for us to share our knowledge and experience. The chaplaincy service at LLA, as at all airports, provides a really valuable service to travellers. It is staffed mostly by volunteers and we work hard to ensure we remain in step with the needs of our passengers.”