• Oriel College Chapel by Marcus Peel
    Photograph of Oriel Chapel by Marcus Peel

For some of us Chapel is very familiar; for others it’s a total novelty. Everyone is welcome, whether you make it a regular feature of your week or just pop-in occasionally for a service or a quiet moment of reflection. Sacred music sung by our superb Choir is an important part of the College’s identity stretching back centuries. Oriel was founded as ‘a college of scholars studying sacred theology, civil and canon law and useful knowledge’ in honour of the Virgin Mary. Our heritage continues to the present day. Chapel is a place of learning, prayer, and community. Anyone can get involved. Come and see for yourself!

It is possible to book the Chapel for concerts and music recitals. Please contact for more details.

Choral Evensong

Choral Evensong is the main service of the week on Sundays at 6pm. It combines profound and beautiful liturgy with ancient and modern music and hymns sung by the Choir and congregation. Everyone is warmly invited for drinks with the Chaplain and the Provost after the service, and it's a nice way to begin an evening at Formal Hall with friends. Collections are donated to a different charity each term.

Get off to a good start

Morning  Prayer is at 8.10am on weekdays and takes place in the Newman Oratory, upstairs behind the organ. It's an opportunity to listen to Scripture and to pray at the start of the day. We're done in time for breakfast in Hall.

At the end of the day

Compline, or Night Prayer, is at 9.30pm on Wednesdays, a peaceful time of candlelit reflection led by the choral scholars to help us wind down at night. Let yourself be carried along, relax, and de-stress.  If you're not quite ready to go to bed, all are welcome for hot chocolate in the Chaplain’s room afterwards.

Holy Communion

Our main midweek service with the Choir is on Thursdays at 6pm. You can join in as much or as little as you feel comfortable. Sometimes a student will give the address. Sign-in to Formal Hall afterwards.

On Mondays at 6pm we have a service using the traditional language of the Book of Common Prayer. This finishes in time to catch Informal Hall afterwards.

Useful Links

Taking Part in Chapel

Everyone is warmly encouraged to take part in the life and activities of the Chapel. This may mean coming along to a service several times a week or only once in a while. It may mean singing in the Choir or becoming a Bible Clerk, one of the students who helps organise and lead services. It may mean reading a lesson at Evensong or coming to the pub to talk about the meaning of life. Or it may mean using the Chapel to stage a play or organise a concert. The Chapel is a resource for everyone at College.

Students are always welcome to come and talk to the Chaplain about getting involved in Chapel life.