The Chapel at Bradfield is integral to the life and ethos of the College. All pupils attend Chapel services as part of their weekly programme.
The core of Chapel life is that everyone connected with the Bradfield community regardless of their particular beliefs are welcome and encouraged to engage with the moral and spiritual life of our community in our beautiful Chapel. The services are distinctively Christian but are accessible to those of all faiths and none.
The Chapel stands at the heart of the school and on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings there is a short morning service led by either staff or pupils. On Friday evenings, we have a choral service, frequently with visiting preachers. Chapel is a place where many pupils have developed their leadership skills through leading worship, reading from the bible and delivering a reflection.
History of the Chapel
Prior to 1893, the College went to the parish church of St Andrew’s for worship, which is located the other side of the Quadrangle. However, as the College grew the decision was made to build a Chapel to accommodate the increasing numbers. The foundation stone of the Chapel was laid in 1891 by Lord Stamford, and the completed western half was consecrated in 1893 by the Bishop of Oxford, The Rt Revd William Stubbs. At this stage, the Chapel, although unfinished, could hold 250.
In the late 1890s the decision was made to complete the Chapel according to the original designs by Mr John Oldrid Scott to hold 450. Mr Scott’s father, Sir Gilbert Scott, had restored the parish church of St Andrew, and also Mr Scott married Mary Ann Stevens the eldest daughter of The Reverend Thomas Stevens, the founder of Bradfield College.
Bradfield College Chapel as we find it today was opened on Saturday 20 June 1903 by the Bishop of Oxford, The Rt Revd Francis Paget DD, at Commemoration. Dr Paget in his sermon at the opening of the Chapel dwelt upon the great influence which a school chapel has upon pupils. The value of the Chapel was he said, that from generation to generation pupils should come there and think the thoughts of youth and hear the words that one by one the touch of life would turn to truth. A school chapel also taught pupils to live for the social and corporate life and to set this cause above renown. (See The Times, Monday, June 22, 1903, pg. 6, col B)
The College grace
BENEDIC NOBIS DOMINE DEUS atque iis donis Tuis quae de Tua largitate sumus sumpturi, per Jesum Christum Dominum Nostrum. AMEN
AGIMUS Tibi gratias, Omnipotens Deus, pro his et universis donis Tuis, quae de Tua largitate accepimus, Qui vivis et regnas et es Deus in saecula saeculorum.
BLESS US, LORD GOD and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. AMEN
WE GIVE thee thanks Almighty God for these and all they gifts which we have received of thy bounty, who livest and reignest, and art God for ever and ever. AMEN
Pupil involvement and leadership is key to the life of the Chapel throughout the year. Each house provides a House Chapel rep who is involved in helping to suggest moral and religious themes to explore. Over the past year, we have explored a spiritual response to body image, political involvement and global warming.
In addition, the House Reps take a leadership role in their own House-led services, which each House leads once a year. We have had House-led services with themes ranging from the evidence of the resurrection, human equality and responding to mobile phone addiction.
CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT – 16.12.20 – 19:30
Every year at the end of the Michaelmas Term, the Chapel hosts carol services to which all the Bradfield Community are warmly invited. Our first carol service of the year is in honour of the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust. This is followed by our Bradfield Society service on Winter Bradfield Day, after the Huxham run. This service is always popular with OBs, members from our local community, as well as those currently in the school.
On the Monday, we go to St James’s Church Paddington for all those connected with Bradfield who may be in the London area. Our two College Carol Services take place later that week; all are most welcome to attend. Tickets are typically available www.ticketsource.co.uk/bradfieldevents
Parents Prayer Group
Bradfield has a new Parents Prayer Group which meets twice a term to pray for our school. This is a small but growing group. Parents, relatives and guardians are most welcome to join this fellowship group. Do email the chaplain for further details: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weddings and Baptisms
Bradfield College Chapel has many weddings and baptisms for OBs or current or former members of staff. If you are interested in exploring this further, please email the Chaplain: email@example.com.
Every May Bradfield hosts a Confirmation Service in Chapel with the Bishop of Reading, officiating. Confirmation preparations sessions take place on Thursday evenings during the Lent Term at 6pm. Both Church of England and Roman Catholic pupils participate in these preparation sessions.
Before the Confirmation service, the group have a quiet day at Douai Abbey. If you are interested in finding our more, please email the Chaplain: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Swinbank Society has a long history at Bradfield College; named after a former Chaplain and Housemaster of Army House, the Reverend John Swinbank, the society has been meeting weekly for over 70 years. In its current format the society usually meets on Tuesday evenings in a boarding house, where pupils from all year groups, of all faiths and none, gather in an informal setting to listen to a guest speaker give a talk from the Bible and to engage in discussion about the claims of the Christian faith. This year meetings are taking place virtually with face-to-face meetings by year group as appropriate. For further details, email Mr Anand Singh (email@example.com).
A prayer for the world facing the Coronavirus pandemic
God of love and hope,
You made the world and care for all creation.
But the world feels strange right now.
The news is full of stories about Coronavirus.
Many people are anxious because of it.
Many people are anxious that they might get ill.
Many people are anxious about their family and friends.
Be with us all in our worries and help us to find some peace.
We pray for the doctors and nurses and scientists who are working to discover a vaccine and to provide the right medicines and care to give hope to those who are ill.
We pray for all politicians and leaders of the world at this time of pandemic that they do not forget the poor and vulnerable. Help us at this time to reach out to all regardless of creed, country or background as we work together to seek God’s love for all.
Thank you that even in these strange and unusual times, you are with us and love us fully.
Help us to look for the signs of God’s goodness and love towards us.
At this time, we ask those who are able to, to donate food and other items to food banks around the country who continue to provide for the needy and less fortunate.