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About the Chapel

The Chapel sits at the centre of the oldest part of College, and is the building you are most likely to see pictured in connection with Peterhouse. It stands for a living tradition in the College's life - in particular, the 700-year-old tradition of the College as a place of prayer, enquiry, creativity and community.

Being at university is not just about getting qualifications to equip you to compete in the job market, and university education has never promoted the acquisition of mere facts for their own sake. Universities have been places to learn about how the value of things is to be discerned. They have been places in which wisdom is searched for, and in which people seek to form their lives for good. The Chapel's regular round of services, sung or said every day in Full Term, will offer you an opportunity to share in the rich tradition of the Church's worship, and to examine yourself and all that you are learning in your university life in the light of Christian faith and practice.

It is a place of enquiry, because it is a place where serious thought goes on: reflecting on human experience, the texts of Scripture, and the contemporary world. Time spent as a student at Peterhouse will give you an unparalleled opportunity to hear visiting preachers of extremely high quality each week, ranging from leaders of various Christian denominations, through to prominent political figures and academics working in all fields.

The Chapel is a place of creativity, too. In a candlelit seventeenth-century building, surrounded by some of Europe's finest stained glass and carving, the Chapel Choir sings evensong twice a week, under the direction of two Organ Scholars. Peterhouse's Choir is a friendly one. You do not have to be of professional standard to join it, but it produces music of very high quality. In addition to this, the Choir enjoys an active (and well-subsidised) social life, and the College provides free singing lessons for its members with professional teachers. Many regular visitors to the Chapel come to hear the music.

Above all, the Chapel is the focus for a lively community. People of all kinds find a place in its life and activity. They come from all denominations and none. Some are committed Christians, others are curious enquirers. All of them are welcome. There are often opportunities to meet over meals: weekly breakfasts, weekly bible studies and termly Chapel Suppers. Once a year we go away on retreat. The Chapel's life is run by a team of Chapel Officers (undergraduate and postgraduate), who work closely with the Dean.