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St John’s College launches ‘Virtual Chapel' during coronavirus pandemic

"The Chapel wants to play its part and ensure that the College community, and all our friends wherever they may be, can have the opportunity to pause together and reflect"

St John’s College Chapel will deliver digital services to give people the opportunity to 'pause and reflect together' during the global lockdown. 

Services are currently suspended at the world-famous Victorian chapel, which celebrated its 150th anniversary last May, to protect the St John's community and visitors during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Chapel team is now going to provide 'Virtual Chapel' services from Tuesday 21 April so the College community can continue to worship from their own homes, wherever they are in the world.

Canon Mark Oakley
The Rev'd Canon Mark Oakley

The Dean of Chapel, The Rev'd Canon Mark Oakley, said: “We have been discovering again that human beings are made for relationship and when personal encounters are very limited we begin to feel less than we can or should be. The imaginative ways people have come up with to stay connected in these difficult times are often inventive and poignant.

"The Chapel wants to play its part and ensure that the College community, and all our friends wherever they may be, can have the opportunity to pause together and reflect, pray and attend to our inner lives, and our hopes for the future, with the help of the College Choir and St John's Voices."

Daily services are being made available online in various formats. College Communion will be streamed at 8.30am on Sundays on Facebook Live on the SJC Chaplain page and the video will remain available to view for the rest of the day. It will be celebrated by the Dean or the College Chaplain, the Rev'd Andrew Hammond.

Morning Prayer, which takes place Monday-Fridays at 8.30am, will also be available on the page via Facebook Live and remain online until midday. Worshippers may join in remotely by using the Daily Prayer app – which is the official Common Worship App from the Church of England – or on the Church of England website.

An Evening Service will be uploaded to the Virtual Chapel with the Choir of St John's Facebook page daily 6.30pm. Led by the Dean or the Chaplain, Tuesdays to Sundays it will include a pre-recorded piece sung by the Choir. On Mondays it will be with St John's Voices on the Evening Service with St John's Voices page.

A Morning Reflection will be uploaded to the Virtual Chapel Choir page each Sunday at 10.30am. Led by the Dean or the Chaplain, it will also include a pre-recorded piece sung by the Choir.

For details of how to access all these services, please go to the Chapel page on the College website.

Please note that as the term progresses, circumstances may change: these will be advertised on all the relevant web pages.

Watch Andrew’s introductory video to the Virtual Chapel.