Education in a collegiate setting is about more than just degree outcomes. Those who study here have the opportunity to learn as part of a community, to fulfil their creative as well as academic gifts, and to explore and discover the values which will shape them in their life to come. Whether or not you choose to attend worship in the Chapel, its presence as a space for glorious music, quiet contemplation, and challenging preaching stands as an invitation to engage with your time at Oxford on a more than purely academic level.
Trinity 2022: Regular services resume on 24 April. Please see the services page for the service schedule and guest preachers for the coming term.
In this section:
Our current Chapel is three hundred years old, consecrated by the Archbishop of York on All Saints’ Day, 1 November 1719. It remains a space at the heart of the College where we express our life as a community: where we mark beginnings and endings, where we celebrate one another’s joys and stand in solidarity with those who are struggling, where we honour our history and pray for our future. Just to step into this hushed and hallowed space can bring perspective in a pressured Oxford term.
The Chapel is there for the whole College, and it is open throughout the day for any member of the College community. 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. 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. In normal times, these are open to the public, and we are privileged to share the beauty of our choral worship with many local residents and tourists, as well as members of the College.
Outside term, the Chapel hosts Old Members who return to College to celebrate their weddings.
Please see the services page for details of services this term. Some services are livestreamed.
Worship in the Chapel ranges from the stately beauty of Choral Evensong to the intimacy of our quiet communion services. The main service is Sunday Evensong, and each term we have a diverse programme of guest preachers on Sunday evenings. You can get a taste of worship in the Chapel from the video below, and watch or listen to sermons from previous terms here.
The choral 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.
Any member of the College who is interested in becoming more involved in Chapel services (for instance reading the Bible lessons or assisting at services) is warmly invited to contact the Chaplain or any member of the Chapel Team.
The regular pattern of services is as follows:
Mon – Fri, 8.45am: Morning Prayer. A chance to pray together using the church's pattern of psalms and bible readings, lasting approximately fifteen minutes.
Weds & Friday, 6.30 pm: Choral Evensong. The traditional Evening office of the Church of England, a service of psalms, scripture and song adapted from ancient monastic practice. Lasting 30 - 40 mins and led by the Choir, it is a chance to draw breath at the end of a busy day.
Sunday 9.30 am: Holy Communion. A quiet, intimate communion service with a short reflection from the Chaplain. Followed by hot chocolate, coffee and pastries!
Sunday 6.15 pm: Choral Evensong with Sermon (occasionally replaced by a Sung Eucharist) lasting approximately an hour in total.
Please check the services page for details and variations from this pattern.
The Chaplain is The Revd Alice Watson.
The Chaplain is here to be a supportive presence for the whole College, and to provide pastoral support to any member of the College community. She is also part of the welfare team, and they work closely together to co-ordinate support. However, the Chaplain sits outside of the academic, disciplinary, and medical structures: she is not here to make any decisions for or about you. Her concern is you as a person, not you as a student or a colleague. She can listen confidentially and often point you where you need to go, be it on a welfare matter or a practical issue about life in College.
You can get in touch with her by email, phone, facebook, or on Teams, 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 College is committed to being an inclusive community, in which members from all backgrounds feel fully welcome and involved in College life. As part of the College's ongoing work on equality and access, the Chaplain is convening a group of students from different religious traditions to discuss faith and inclusion. If you are a new, current, or recent Queen's student and would be willing to contribute your experiences and insight on this topic, please get in touch with the Chaplain.
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. 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.