Our current Chapel was consecrated by the Archbishop of York on All Saints’ Day (1 Nov) 1719. It remains a space at the heart of the College where we express our life as a community: a place to bring our joys and our yearnings, to mark beginnings and endings, to honour our history, and pray for our future. It is a place to celebrate one another’s joys and stand in solidarity with those who are struggling. Simply stepping into this hushed and hallowed space can help to bring perspective in a pressured academic environment.
The Chapel is there for the whole College, and it is open throughout the day for any member of College to spend time. It is often in use as a rehearsal and performance space for musicians, and there are also times set apart each day for quietness and prayer.
Regular services run throughout term-time. These are open to the public, and the beautiful choral music and traditional worship attract many visitors, especially during the summer. Regular services are conducted according to the practice of the Church of England, but they are open to all: it is the College Chapel, and as such it belongs to all members of the College, regardless of their own religious belief or affiliation. Any member of the College who is interested in becoming more involved in Chapel services (for instance reading the Bible lessons or welcoming visitors) is warmly invited to contact the Chaplain or any member of the Chapel Team.
The main services are sung by the College Choir, an adult choir of both men and women, which is among the finest and most active university choirs in the UK. Its repertoire ranges from Renaissance polyphony to contemporary pieces, including some commissioned and premiered by the Choir.
Outside term, the Chapel hosts many Old Members who return to College to celebrate their weddings.
During Full Term, the Chapel generally follows this pattern of services.
All choral services are open to the public free of charge, with a collection for charity. Choral Evensong takes place at the following times:
Wednesdays & Fridays 6.30 pm
Sundays 6.15 pm
with a sermon from the Chaplain or a visiting preacher
On occasion, Evensong is replaced by a Choral Eucharist starting at an earlier time, and there may be other variations through the term. Please check the Termcard or Music and Services list.
In addition to the choral services, all members of the College community are invited to take part in the following services:
Monday to Friday Morning Prayer 8.45 am
Sundays Holy Communion 9.30 am
Compline and midweek eucharists occasionally, as advertised.
'I am here to be a supportive presence for the whole College, and you will see me around College in many contexts (especially anywhere there is free food and drink…). I am available to provide pastoral support to any member of the College community. I’m part of the welfare team, and we work closely together to co-ordinate support. However, I’m outside the academic, disciplinary, and medical structures: I’m not here to make any decisions for or about you. My concern is you as a person, not you as a student or a colleague, and I see part of my role as reminding everyone that College is more than just a degree factory! I don’t promise to fix your problems, but I can listen confidentially and I can often point you where you need to go, be it on a welfare matter or a practical issue about life in College.
I am in College most of the time, except Saturdays. Simply drop round to Front Quad 5/2, or if you prefer you can make an appointment by calling 01865 279143, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or sending a message on facebook (Katherine Magdalene Price – I accept all non-spam friend requests!). Come to sound off about the small irritations of daily life, or to grapple with the big questions of identity, values, and what the future might have in store. Or just drop round for a cup of tea!'
The Chapel is consecrated as an Anglican place of worship, but many of those who attend regularly and those who assist at services belong to different churches or would not consider themselves religious at all. Preachers are invited from various Christian traditions. Once a term, a mass is celebrated by a priest from the Catholic Chaplaincy.
The Chaplain is available to all members of the College community, regardless of religious affiliation, and is your first point of call for religious and spiritual life in the College. The Chaplain is a priest of the Church of England and licensed by the Diocese of Oxford. For members of the College seeking spiritual care that cannot be provided by the Chaplain, there is University-wide chaplaincy for different religious groups and Christian denominations. Details can be found at: www.ox.ac.uk/students/welfare/chaplaincy.
There is also a list of University and locally-based societies, groups, and places of worship, including groups for atheist and agnostic members of the University, here: http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/eop/religionandbelief/faithsocietiesgroupsorreligiouscentres/.