The School Chapels
We are fortunate to have two chapels. Every day, Mass is offered quietly early in the morning in the old chapel dedicated to St Joseph with a handful of people present. This started life as a barn in the Seventeenth Century and was converted into the school’s chapel with the move to Woodcote in 1942. It has a quiet and reflective atmosphere and is never locked, being open for private prayer round the clock.
At other times such as Sundays, Days of Obligation, and Friday evening Vespers, we use the larger new chapel built with the Refectory in 1978. The Church’s worship may be celebrated here on a larger scale with the whole school community present, its gaze focused on the altar. Our worship is unmistakably traditional in its feel, reflecting in a small way the worship of the Oratory churches in Birmingham, London, and Oxford. The architecture and fittings seek to help us “put first things first.”
The great liturgical events of the year take place in the larger chapel. A bishop visits to celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation each spring. We keep the solemnities of the Church in style. Corpus Christi, for example, concludes with the Procession of the Host and Benediction at the outdoor altar in the school grounds. Baptisms take place from time to time, the Stations of the Cross are prayed in Lent, and there are opportunities for Confession which are well observed.
The two chapels also provide a space and quiet atmosphere for us to concentrate on our prayers, joys, or fears in peace and quiet. The Blessed Sacrament is reserved in both chapels as the central point of our praying life together.
This Week in Chapel: Mass Times