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7.11 Chapel


The Chapel

The Dean of Chapel and Chaplain is the Reverend Canon Hugh Shilson-Thomas, who is in charge of all matters connected with the services and use of the Chapel. His college room is D7, and he is available to assist any junior member of the College with any sort of personal problem or difficulty, or faith-related matter. Where he is not the right person to talk to he is happy to help point students to other sources of support.

Selwyn College was originally founded in the nineteenth century with the purpose of “providing a University education for young men in a College at Cambridge, conducted in accordance with the principles of the Church of England”. In the twenty-first century, Selwyn is an inclusive community consisting of people of all faiths and none, but it is proud of its tradition and heritage and remains committed to its mission to widen access to a university education in a place built on sound values.

The Chapel seeks, through its programme of activities, to engage with the wider questions of what virtues and values are worth pursuing. Services are said or sung in Chapel every day (except Saturday) during Full Term. They are open to all members of College, their families, friends and guests, no matter what their religious conviction or affiliation. The Chapel has an excellent choir, which sings at the evening services on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Choral Evensong in particular is a traditional part of Oxbridge college life, and something well worth experiencing during your time at Selwyn. Celebrations of Holy Communion follow the Anglican pattern, but all baptized Christians are welcome to receive communion and all are welcome to come to anything, whether to participate, observe, or to enjoy the music. Full details of all the Chapel Services can be found in the Chapel Card issued at the beginning of each term and on the chapel web pages at /about/chapel-and-choir.

The Chapel is also used for various College occasions: the installations of new Fellows and scholars and also, from time to time, for the installation of a new Master of the College. Baptisms, weddings and occasionally funerals of College members also take place here.

The Chaplain (who is also Chaplain at Newnham College) is assisted in the administration of the Chapel by the Chapel Administrator (Caroline Stafferton) who works part-time on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays during Term in the Chapel Office (D7, tel: (7)46950, e-mail: A number of current students also assist in different ways as part of the Chapel Team.

Information about places of worship in Cambridge is available from the Chaplain (, as well as the contact details of chaplains to the various world faith communities. There are also various student faith societies in the university which students may choose to join.