The Rev Canon Liz Hughes is set to succeed the Rev Michael Banfield as Senior Chaplain at London Luton Airport, when Michael retires later this summer. Luton-based Liz was appointed to her new post by Workplace Matters (WM), an ecumenical charity which takes Christian values into the workplace and which, among other things, oversees the chaplaincy work at London Luton Airport.
For the last 14 years, Liz has been chaplain at The Hospice of St Francis, working with patients, staff and volunteers of all faiths – and none – and maintaining working relationships with local leaders of mainstream Christian groups and faith leaders. Previously, Liz had been an honorary chaplain to both the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Police Services.She is married to Paul, who is the Archdeacon of Bedford, and they have adult children, Chris and Nicola.
Ordained as a priest in the Church of England nearly 20 years ago, Liz became an Honorary Canon of the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Albans earlier this year. However, the main focus of her ministry has been outside the Church; establishing relationships and trust with individuals and community groups that have little or no experience of formal religious institutions.
“Liz already has nearly 20 years of maintaining and building pastoral and spiritual care within a chaplaincy context,” said the Rev Dr John Scott, WM’s chief executive. “We’re delighted that she’ll be making use of her experience and expertise in this area within the context of London Luton Airport.”
Liz commented: “Having had many years’ first-hand experience of chaplaincy, I’m excited by the prospect of taking on a more substantial role as a Team Leader. I’m looking forward to both maintaining and expanding the high quality of pastoral and spiritual care across the whole airport community, in what is a busy and diverse setting.
“Having lived as a family, and worked in West Hertfordshire and South Bedfordshire for the last 30 years, London Luton Airport has been our airport of choice when travelling to our holiday destinations,” she added. “I feel I know the airport well as a traveller and am now keen to learn more about the aviation industry from the other side.”
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.