The Chapel and Choir
Chapel is a place to sit, to breathe, to pray, to worship, to take time and be a little bit more human again. It is always open, always there, and you don’t need permission to open the door and go in.
Our choral services, based in the rites of the Church of England, are likewise open to everyone – whether faith is new or familiar or totally alien to you, and whatever life-story you bring as you join us. Our aim is to offer peace and hope and a few moments with eternity as we come before God together day by day. Our hope is that our whole community might find a safe space and an inspiration in our music and our prayers.
Term-time services sung by the Choir
Sunday 6.00 pm: College Evensong
Monday 6.00 pm: Choral Evening Prayer
Tuesday 6.00 pm: Choral Evensong
Wednesday 9.00 pm: Compline (Night Prayer)
Thursday 6.00 pm: Choral Evensong or Choral Eucharist
The College Chapel was completed in 1791, but its interior was transformed into the riot of colour, humour and detail that it is today by William Burges in 1864. The paintings and woodwork include many jokes, whilst the animals at the ends of the pews are a mixture of the weird and wonderful, including a unicorn and blue whale. Based on the five morning canticles, the decoration presents the wonders of creation within the scheme of salvation, creating one of the most beautiful and structured Chapel interiors in Oxford. The Chapel is open every day and is the perfect place to reflect.
The Chaplain of Worcester is the Revd Marcus Green (email@example.com), who is pastorally available to all members of College. The Revd Dr Matthew Cheung-Salisbury (firstname.lastname@example.org) is our Assistant Chaplain, and Professor Edward Higginbottom our Director of Chapel Music .
Do get in contact with us if you have any questions. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter. You can find out more about choral and organ scholarships below and more details about the life of Chapel, its history and our programme of events on the Chapel website.
Choirs and music
Worcester is unique among Oxford colleges in that it has not one, but two flourishing chapel choirs of equal status, which share the weekly services between them. There is a mixed-voice choir and a choir in which the upper part is sung by trebles from Christ Church Cathedral School. This choir includes the mixed choir's contraltos as well as male countertenors, and as such is unusual amongst Oxford chapel choirs in its constitution. These choirs are run on a day-to-day basis by Worcester's three Organ Scholars.
A wide variety of music is performed in Worcester chapel, ranging from the early, such as Palestrina, right through to the very modern. In this way, members of the choir are able to experience music of all kinds, and gain a broad knowledge and understanding of the sacred choral repertory. The choirs also give regular concerts in the Chapel, haved toured across Europe and have produced several CDs, which can be obtained from the College Lodge.
Choral awards are available to male and female undergraduates and postgraduates of Worcester College reading for any Oxford degree. In addition, choral awards are occasionally given to singers who are not members of the College. The awards are called Choral Scholarships for members of the College and Choral Bursaries for others. The number of awards available, which have a value of £200 p.a., depends on the needs of the choir. Holders of choral awards are required to sing in the Chapel Choir at the services and rehearsals as necessary, and may also be called upon from time to time to assist the Organ Scholars in other duties relating to the choir.
Postgraduate students interested in choral awards should contact the Director of Music.
The Woodroffe Society
The Society was founded in 1947 as a forum for the discussion of moral, ethical and religious issues. Every Monday lunchtime from 12.30pm until 2 pm a group meet in the Chaplain's room for lunch to talk about God, ethics, faith, doubt, the bible or just life. All are welcome to this open, sociable, non-judgmental and frank discussion group.