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Angela Levitt-Harwood

Chaplain to Yorkshire

Railway Mission Chaplains:

Supporting Rail Staff on Life's Journey

In the first of a new blog series, we shine the spotlight on members of our dedicated chaplaincy team and their invaluable work supporting rail staff on life's journey. Members of the team will share their motivations, daily responsibilities and the impact of their work across the rail industry.

Next to feature in our series is Angela Levitt-Harwood.

Angela’s main area of operation as a Railway Mission chaplain is Yorkshire.

What inspired you to become a railway chaplain?


Initially, I just happened upon it whilst looking on Indeed. I thought why not these roles cannot come up very often and it was based in the York area where I lived at the time. During my time as a Church Minister, I had previously trained and been a chaplain for a large shopping centre in Worcestershire supporting Managers and staff so understood the basics of the role and knew both the challenges and the rewards.


Being there for people at some of the toughest times of their lives is a great privilege and one that I never take lightly. To be that impartial friend as it were to the bereaved, hold the hand of someone who is faced with a major illness or sit down and support both a manager and an employee through a workplace problem and see them reach a resolution is worth it all.


How do you spend a typical day in the role?

A good portion of my time is spent getting to know those who work on the railway at all levels so that when life hits that bump in the road as it does for all of us they either remember me and make contact or if I hear things are difficult and approach them we already have a relationship which makes support so much easier.

There is in truth though, no typical day. A day that is planned out can change at any moment by way of a phone call, text or email which requires urgent attention and everything else goes on the back burner.

How does your faith play a role in the support you provide and how do you navigate the diversity of beliefs and backgrounds of the railway workers with whom you interact?

Faith is in truth central to all I do in my work it is both the foundation and the backbone.

There are opportunities to pray with people and share my faith but a great deal is simply being present and as Mother Theresa said Spreading the love of God through actions and only using words when necessary.

There are of course a multitude of faiths represented on the railway and I believe it is important to respect them and find common ground. There are many differences but a lot of shared values.

Can you share a memorable experience from your time as a chaplain?

I was privileged to be part of the support team that went out when the Manchester attack took place back in May 2017.

We spent long days there talking to staff, British Transport Police and various agencies sent to help with the devastating aftermath.

I was also the chaplain on duty at a Memorial held for the bereaved and along with the Police chaplain, we spent time talking to the families that night which then led up to a silence marking the time of the attack.

I hope that in some small way, I was able to bring support and comfort for a few moments at least to those caught up in this terrible tragedy.

What message or advice would you like to share with railway employees and their families who may be reading this blog post?

I hope you never need a chaplain, but if you do we are here for you.

Finally, how can people inside and outside the railway industry support the work of Railway Mission and chaplains like you?

I think by firstly being aware of Railway Mission as an organisation, connecting with us on social media @railwymission, exploring our website railwaymission.org, and of course spreading the word that we are around.

Keep an eye out for the next in our railway chaplain blog post series