The Chaplaincy at Oundle is at the heart of the School both physically and spiritually. It resides in the Chapel, where the School community meets regularly to worship and find time for spiritual reflection.
The Chaplaincy links past and present, and bears witness, both in itself and in its art and worship, to the abiding values of the Christian faith. In addition to its wellbeing approach, the Chaplaincy provides support to pupils through individual prayer or informal bible study groups. It is often within this setting that a pupil feels able to work through whatever it is that is troubling them as well as to explore their faith and sense of moral values.
All pupils, regardless of faith, attend Chapel. Attendance is at the heart of our School community, where people of all faiths and none assemble with their Houses for a time of reflection and spiritual nurturing. Boarding pupils attend Chapel twice a week and day pupils once a week, with additional timetabled hymn practice. There are also voluntary services in the Chapel and in the Houses.
The Chapel of St Anthony was built as a memorial to those who fell in the First World War and was consecrated in 1923. The Chapel is a Church of England foundation and there is a Chaplain, Assistant Chaplain in Holy Orders, and one Lay Chaplain, all of whom are fully immersed in School life, through teaching, worship, sport and pastoral care.
The Chapel contains some of the most important and influential stained glass in the country. The apse windows were designed by John Piper and made by Patrick Reyntiens in 1955-6. They show the Son of God in nine roles, the human figures being based upon sculptures from Chartres and paintings by Picasso. There is also the charming Seven Ages of Man series by Hugh Easton (1949). To celebrate the Millennium, the School commissioned Mark Angus to create a new series of thirty-six stained-glass windows for the nave illustrating Old and New Testament themes.
Many pupils at Oundle are confirmed whilst at School. The Chaplaincy prepares pupils for confirmation every two years. The ten-week course commences with a day at Launde Abbey and ends with a morning at Peterborough Cathedral. Pupils who have not been baptised and who wish to be, are welcome on the confirmation course, and will be baptised prior to confirmation.
Where possible, we work with pupils of all different faiths to help them fulfil their spiritual obligations. School routines and rhythms do present certain challenges, however, and there needs to be a degree of flexibility on the part of pupils to accommodate these.
There is specific provision for Catholic pupils, of which there are approximately ninety. Saturday Mass is held at the local parish Most Holy Name of Jesus, and the Catholic parish priest is regularly invited to preach in Chapel.