Welcome to Clare College Chapel.

Here you will find details of Chapel services, events and music for the coming term. 

Clare Chapel is in Old Court, at the heart of our College, and is a place of worship, beauty and peace. Three times a week during Full Term Choral Evensong is sung by our world-famous College Choir.  The simple light-filled elegance of the Chapel building, completed in 1769 to a design by the architect (and Master of Caius) Sir James Burrough, lends a poise and intimacy to our services, and creates an oasis of stillness and reflection for those of any faith or none. The Chapel is a place where all are welcomed and valued, whatever their background or beliefs, and Choral Evensong is open to Clare alumni and members of the public, as well as to our current College community. On Sundays during Full Term, Choral Evensong includes a stimulating sermon, and is followed by drinks and supper. You can find details of all the services and events in Chapel life in our Chapel Termcard.

History of the Chapel

According to instructions left by our Foundress, the Lady Elizabeth de Clare, the Chapel (as with the whole College) is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The Annunciation scene at the east end of the Chapel, painted by Giovanni Battista Cipriani (1727-85), recalls the moment when the archangel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was to give birth to Jesus. The elegant style and uncluttered layout of the Chapel remains largely unchanged since the eighteenth century. More recent stained glass at the west end of the Chapel commemorates, among others, Richard de Badew (the original founder of the college) and Bishop Hugh Latimer (a martyr during the reign of Mary Tudor). The breathtaking 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).

The Dean

Mark Smith, Dean of Chapel
Our worship and reflection in Chapel is an integrated and lively part of Clare life, seeking to serve our whole community, and to knit it together in kindness, joy and mutual flourishing. Clare students of diverse experiences and beliefs value Chapel as somewhere that they can find a warm welcome, peace and friendship. I look forward very much to welcoming you in person.
The Rev'd Dr Mark Smith, Dean