St John's College launches 'Virtual Chapel'

Posted on: 21 April 2020

Virtual Chapel

This Easter Term, the College will be providing a variety of services online which will feature both the College Choir and St John's Voices. The broadcasts will begin from Tuesday 21st April at 6:30 p.m. A summary of services can be found below, accompanied by links to where they are available.

Each service will be led by either the Dean of Chapel, the Rev'd Canon Mark Oakley, or the Chaplain, the Rev'd Andrew Hammond, and will broadly mirror the format of services in Chapel under normal circumstances.

We will also be supporting four charities throughout the term: Amnesty International; Christian Aid; Doctors without Borders/Médecins sans Frontières; and the Red Hen Project, a Cambridge charity that helps primary school children and their families overcome barriers to learning.

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."

Our Director of Music Andrew Nethsingha has chosen to include a wide variety of music from recent live services. The first week of services include recordings of works by Wesley, Purcell and Weir in addition to a work by Cambridge student and 2012 BBC Young Musician Concerto Finalist Sophie Westbrooke, which was premiered by the Choir last month. Andrew writes:

“Whilst aiming to comfort people with familiar repertoire, I am also seeking to introduce people to fine music which they may not have heard before. In the latter category I am especially keen to promote works by women composers. Music which has been commissioned for the College Choir is indicated by an asterisk, together with the year of its composition.

"I write this in early April, not knowing what the next few months will bring. Our thoughts and prayers are with all who are unwell, bereaved, unemployed and furloughed, as well as all who feel socially and spiritually isolated. In these short acts of worship we thank God for those who are working so hard to protect and support us. I hope we can provide some nourishment for the many musicians, including our own, who are starved of the usual joy of making music together. We also offer these services to those who are not allowed to enter their own Churches, Cathedrals and Chapels. Whether or not you are a person of faith, we hope to contribute to daily moments of solace.”

A service list for this term is available to view below:

Download the current Service List

Virtual Chapel Summary

Evening Service: a 6:30 p.m service that follows the structure of Evening Prayer, which will feature recordings of the Choir Tuesday-Sunday and St John's Voices on Mondays. Each service will be released as a premiere on Facebook Live. You can receive notifications on services by selecting 'Follow'.

Evening Service with the College Choir (Tuesday-Sunday)

Evening Service with St John's Voices (Monday)

Morning Reflection: Each Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m, a Morning Reflection will be broadcast featuring music from the College Choir. Each service will be released as a premiere on Facebook Live. You can receive notifications on services by selecting 'Follow'.

Morning Reflection with the College Choir

Morning Prayer and College Communion: Morning Prayer will be live-streamed at 8:30 a.m Monday-Friday, and College Communion at 8:30 a.m on Sunday mornings. Both will be available via the 'SJC Chaplain' Facebook Group: 

Morning Prayer and College Communion

The Chaplain has filmed a short introductory video to Virtual Chapel, which can be viewed below:

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