In establishing the school, it was William of Wykeham’s intention that “Christ may be more fervently and frequently preached, and faith and the worship of God's name increased and more firmly maintained.” Today, whilst remaining true to our origins we welcome pupils and staff from a variety of faiths and beliefs.
The Chaplaincy of the school plays a key role in promoting the spiritual wellbeing of all pupils. The chaplains support various prayer and discussion groups and are available to the school community for pastoral and sacramental counsel. A Catholic Chaplaincy is also available.
Regular worship in the Chapel draws pupils inclusively into a community informed by Christian values and Sunday services offer a moment of contemplation and peace for all. On Sunday mornings, there are various Faith Circles held for those of other religions, and a Roman Catholic Mass.
A strong commitment to the choral tradition of the Church is maintained by the renowned Chapel Choir, made up of pupils and staff from across the school, and sixteen Quiristers drawn from The Pilgrims’ School.
Choral Evensong is sung in Chapel at 1730 on most Tuesdays, and Sung Eucharist at 1730 on most Thursdays during term-time. Members of the public are very welcome at Tuesday Evensong and should sign in at the Porters' Lodge on College Street on arrival. Please always check the school calendar for the most up-to-date information, using the filter to view 'Chapel & other services'.
The inside of Chapel has seen many alterations but still has its original timber cusped lierne-vault, very like a fan-vault, designed by Hugh Herland, Richard II’s chief carpenter. It is thought to be the earliest vault of its kind.
The stained glass is a copy made between 1821 and 1828 by Betton and Evans of the original, made by Thomas Glazier of Oxford between 1392 and 1394. The medieval glass was later relocated and a large section of the original east window, a Tree of Jesse design, was acquired through the generosity of the art historian Kenneth Clark and installed in Thurburn’s Chantry. A further portion, subsequently located, was purchased or gifted to the College and forms the east window of Fromond’s Chantry.
O, Eternal God, the life and the resurrection of all them that believe in thee, always to be praised as well for the dead as for those that be alive, we give thee most hearty thanks for our Founder, William of Wykeham, and all other our benefactors, by whose benefits we are here brought up to godliness and the studies of good learning; beseeching thee that we, well using all these thy blessings to the praise and honour of thy Holy Name, may at length be brought to the immortal glory of the Resurrection, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Senior Chaplain and Dean of Chapel
Prior to joining Winchester, Hester was a senior lecturer in English at the University of Bristol and vicar of the parish of Abbots Leigh and Leigh Woods. She studied at Cambridge and also worked previously at Liverpool University. She loves to write and teach in the areas of poetry, theology, and gender studies, and is writing a book about depth and Christian faith in poetry of the twentieth century.
Hester has two children and loves cycling, reading and music, as well as walking her two dogs, Pip and Josie.
19th September 2022
On Sunday 11 September the whole school gathered for a Commemoration Service in War Cloister, marking the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
1st May 2022
Over the Easter holidays the Chapel Choir, including the Quiristers, took the opportunity to go on tour to Durham, singing in the splendour of the city's Cathedral.
6th March 2022
Winchester will welcome a new Senior Chaplain in the summer, following the departure of Rev Justin White.
19th October 2021
We have an exciting opportunity for four young boys to join the Winchester College Chapel Choir in September 2022 as Quiristers. Find out more about what it's like to be a part of one of the country's most famous choirs.
12th February 2021
To mark Ash Wednesday next week our College Chaplain, the Rev Ross Maidment, has prepared this podcast to share with our community.
16th October 2020
'A Winter's Night' is a wonderful collection of Christmas classics and choral music from Winchester's Chapel Choir. Released on Signum records on 16 October 2020.