Chapel & Choir
Welcome to the Chapel
and Choir of Clare College
Welcome to the web pages of Clare College Chapel. Here you will find details of services and music, and information about our preachers and speakers for the coming Term. The Chapel is situated in Old Court, at the heart of our College, and is a place of quiet and beauty where prayers for the world and the College are offered daily. Three times a week during Full Term Choral Evensong is sung by the world-famous College Choir. The simple beauty and light-filled space of the Chapel, built during the 1760s to a design of the keen amateur architect and Master of Caius James Burrough, also serves as an oasis for peaceful reflection for those of any faith or none. All are welcome at any time, regardless of their own views on faith and life, and I am always happy to speak to members of the College community on any matter of interest or concern.
Our worship and reflection in Chapel is an integrated part of College life, seeking to serve and build up our community in peace and virtue, in mutual respect, and with a clear commitment to the holistic flourishing of every person. Each Sunday at Choral Evensong, we hear from a speaker whose insight and experience is hoped to be helpful, challenging and encouraging. Biographies of some of this Term’s speakers can also be found here, as can details of many of the musical recitals which are frequently held in Chapel.
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 RA (commissioned for the Chapel by the Duke of Newcastle in the 18th century) above the altar recalls this moment, when Mary heard from the Archangel Gabriel that she was to give birth to Jesus, God-with-us. 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 Queen 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).
I look forward very much to welcoming you in person!
The Revd Dr Jamie Hawkey
This Term's Charity is the Ankawa Foundation. In June 2014 15,000 people made the journeyrom the Christian villages of the plains of Nineveh to the relative safety of Kurdistan after their villages were overrun by militants from ISIS. They left with almost nothing, having fled as their neighbours turned on them and came to loot their houses. They came to Ankawa, increasing the size of the town by half. Elliot Grainger, an Englishman who used to work for Number 10, was working nearby for YouGov and decided to use some of his political and campaigning knowledge to start a fund to support the town and the refugees in Ankawa. Last year money was raised and a spare clothes campaign was set up to try to clothe the refugees who had fled in summer to an area that goes below freezing in winter. This year, as things settle down, the major figures in the town have asked for support to educate the 8,000 children of the camp. Their plan is to try to create mobile school facilities – initially a bus converted into a mobile classroom, specially designed as a safe space for children, especially girls by having a glass side. This reassures parents that their children are safe, an especially important element in a region where rape has become horribly commonplace. The Ankawa Foundation has recently launched its Christmas appeal for £15,000. Visit www.ankawafoundation.org for more information, or you can find them on Facebook.