In a special service held at the Chapel at London Luton Airport, the Rev Canon Liz Hughes has been officially commissioned as the airport’s senior chaplain. The commissioning was conducted by the Bishop of Bedford, the Rt Rev Richard Atkinson.
The service – which included a tribute from Glyn Jones, Managing Director of London Luton Airport, to the way the airport’s chaplaincy team meet the pastoral needs of both staff and passengers – also provided an occasion for the rededication of the entire chaplaincy team at the airport.
Those taking part in the service also included the Rev Dr John Scott, CEO of Workplace Matters (WM) – an ecumenical charity which takes Christian values into the workplace. WM shares responsibility for the airport chaplaincy service with the London Luton Airport authorities. In addition to Luton Airport, WM’s chaplains operate within the emergency services – in police stations, among fire and ambulance teams and so on – in manufacturing industry; especially at Vauxhall Motors in Luton; in the ‘town centre retail’ environment, and with those living and working along the Grand Union Canal.
The Rev Canon Liz Hughes, who heads up a team of some 15 part-time chaplains at the airport, explained: “As a chaplain here, I’m committed to working with and praying for the well-being of everyone connected with the airport, regardless of their religious faith or cultural background.
“At times, it can be challenging but also rewarding work. I’m delighted to be surrounded and supported by the chaplaincy team, which includes chaplains from a variety of faith backgrounds,” she added.
Employing over 500 people directly and some 8,000 people indirectly, London Luton Airport is the UK’s fifth largest passenger airport, dealing with 9.6m passengers in 2012. Some 96% of its passengers fly on scheduled – rather than charter – services and 89% of its passengers fly on international flights, leaving 11% of passengers to fly on domestic flights.