Chapel Services

Chapel Services 

The main services of the week in full term are on Thursday and Sunday evenings. The Thursday service is at 6.15pm and the Sunday service at 6pm. Both are usually based on the traditional Anglican service of Choral evensong (Book of Common Prayer) and are led by the Chaplain, the Revd Dr Elizabeth Pitkethly. These services include excellent music by the college’s magnificent choir, a psalm, two readings from the Bible, some prayers; on Sundays there is also a short sermon (ten minutes) and two hymns and on Thursday there is one hymn and no sermon. 

The Sunday sermons relate to a theme for each term. They are delivered by the Chaplain and by a range of speakers from a variety of different Christian denominations (for example Baptist, Roman Catholic). Last years’ speakers included local clergy (such as Charlie Cleverly Rector of St Aldates church, Oxford and Peter Groves from St Mary Magdalen), academics (such as Dr Andrew Gosler, University Research Lecturer in Ornithology and Conservation; Fellow in Human Sciences), distinguished professionals such as Richard Godden, partner of Linklaters and Dr Elaine Storkey (writer and broadcaster). For more information see this term’s sermons.

In addition to these sung services of choral evensong the following services take place:

Compline takes place twice a term (usually weeks 2 & 6) on a Tuesday evening at 9pm (see the Chapel term card for dates). This is a quiet reflective service often known as ‘night prayer’ which lasts for between twenty and twenty five minutes. It’s a good service to try out as you can just come in, take a candle if you wish and sit and reflect quietly on the words and music. Most people like to come and sit up the front in what are called the choir stalls but you are welcome to come and sit where you like! Traditionally compline is the service that takes place in monastic orders at the end of each day in which the community comes to God at the end of the day, asking for his peace, help and protection as the night begins. 

Services of Holy Communion or Eucharist normally take place on Thursday lunchtimes in weeks 2 4 6 & 8 from 12.30-1pm and once a term from 6.15-7pm on a Thursday evening. Services of Holy Communion is often regarded as the central service in the Anglican Church where Christians share consecrated bread and wine together in remembrance that Christ died for the sins of the world and secured the defeat of sin and evil. Everyone is welcome to come forward for a prayer of blessing and everyone who is a practising Christian (whatever denomination) is welcome to receive the bread and wine.

Thursday lunchtime service of Holy Communion: this is a spoken service which uses the traditional liturgy from the Book of Common Prayer. Everyone is welcome to this, especially staff.