Chapel & Choir
Welcome to the Chapel
and Choir of Clare College
The current Chapel building is almost certainly the third the College has had since its foundation in 1326. The chief purpose has continued unchanged throughout those centuries - it is a place of quiet and beauty where the regular offices of prayer for the world and the College are offered daily. Three times a week during Full Term these offices are led by the world-renowed College Choir in the service of Choral Evensong. The beauty and light-filled space of the current Chapel building, which dates from 1769, also serves as a space for peaceful reflection for all of any faith or none. During the last century, as the musical reputation of the College has grown and developed, the Chapel has also been a place for recitals. This also provides time and space for reflection.
According to instructions left by our Foundress, the Lady Elizabeth de Clare, the Chapel, as with the whole College, is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The painting of The Annunciation by Giambattista Cipriani (commissioned for the Chapel by the Duke of Newcastle in the 18th century) above the altar attests to this. In the early 20th century two stained glass windows were installed at the West End of the Chapel. The one on the south commemorates Richard de Badew, sometime Chancellor of the University and original Founder of the College (later re-established, renamed and endowed by the Lady Elizabeth). He is offering his Foundation, known then as University Hall, to the Virgin and Christ Child. On the north side are commemorated two of the College's most distinguished ecclesiastical alumni - Bishop Hugh Latimer (a martyr in the reign of Mary Tudor) and Nicholas Ferrar (founder of the community at Little Gidding just before the Civil War). The Antechapel contains memorials to members of the College who gave their lives in the two World Wars, including Hamo Sassoon (brother of the war poet Siegfried).
Members of the public are warmly invited to attend services in Chapel.