University College is an ancient Christian foundation. But as a modern and inclusive community we welcome students and staff of all faiths and of none.
The College Chapel is in the Front Quad, next to the Hall, at the heart of the College. It offers an attractive and tranquil space that all members of the college community and their guests are welcome to use. Some people use it for rehearsing and performing concerts and plays. Others use it as a place for lectures and meetings, or in which to take time out in a busy day. But it was built as a place of Christian worship, and that remains its purpose today.
Our services are those of the Church of England, and our ethos is welcoming and inclusive. Anyone who wishes to attend or to participate is welcome to do so to the extent that he or she feels comfortable. Some who worship here are committed Christians, and glad to make connections between their faith and their studies. But many others would say that they are not religious, are agnostic or enquiring, or identify with another faith. Some people come simply because they wish to sing, or listen to the choir. Anyone who wishes to attend is welcome, whatever their reason for coming might be. Our main act of worship is usually Choral Evensong on Sunday evenings at 5.45pm in term time. Our excellent choir leads much of our worship, and there is a short sermon, often by a visiting preacher. Daily prayers are also said throughout most of the year.
We hope that those who attend will find a warm but unobtrusive welcome. Chapel services and discussion groups offer an opportunity to address questions of ultimate significance in a context that is thoughtful, honest and respectful, and where spirituality may be explored in a meaningful way. Thus we seek to engage seriously but critically with the claims of the Christian faith. And we do this in conversation with the competing claims of the multi-faith and multi-cultural world in which we live, and the academic knowledge and understanding that we prize.
The College takes great pride in its organ scholars and choir, and offers them its full and enthusiastic support. Our Director of Music is Giles Underwood, who will always be pleased to hear from prospective organ and choral scholars. Find out more about Giles on the Director of Music page here.
The Chapel Building
The Chapel contains some of our most important material treasures, including our Van Linge windows and our Flaxman monument to Sir William Jones. You can find out more about the Chapel building and many of its features, including the Van Linge windows, here.