The College is fortunate to possess two historic chapels as reminders of the College’s Christian heritage. The Norman Chapel dates from the 11th Century; the Tunstall Chapel, established in the 1540’s, was used by the Prince Bishops of Durham as their private chapel. Both chapels are used for worship within the College and our chaplain, the Rev'd Dr Stephanie Burette, has responsibility over the services held in them as well as the chapel(s) life more broadly.
The chapels are open to all members of the College, everyone is invited to participate, every student can apply for the scholarships for the various positions available (see below). Students from a diversity background are particularly encouraged to do so. We are committed to make the chapels safe places where the diversity of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, social, economic, and faith background, is to be honoured and celebrated.
The Chaplain and Solway Fellow: Rev’d Dr Stephanie Burette -- she/her
Raised atheist, Stephanie converted to Anglicanism while she was doing research at Oxford University for her PhD at the Sorbonne Nouvelle. The beauty of the Evensong Choral services at New College was crucial. It is there also that she experienced critical thinking and faith as not excluding each other but enriching each other. Upon her return to Paris, she joined the American Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, which became her sponsoring parish for ordination to the priesthood. After completing her PhD, she went to seminary at Yale Divinity School, and Berkeley Divinity School, and was also trained at Wescott House, Cambridge, while doing a placement at St John’s College Chapel. Genuinely interested in encountering ‘the other’ in various regions around the world, she has served at St George’s College in Jerusalem and at St James Episcopal Church in Florence, Italy. Since March 2020, she has been working on the Racism Task Force in the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe.
In her PhD, her research focus was on paintings in the 17th and 18th centuries France, especially the teaching of rules (and deviations) at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. Her study of arts is at the intersection with spirituality, theology, and the body. Her latest article published in the Journal of Anglican Studies (see link below*), ‘Learning Chinese’, explores Christian inculturation, Anglican art, and colonialism. Her research seminar in the Theology Department (‘Theological Encounters Through the Arts’) explores how artistic representations of God (especially in paintings) shape not only our internal representation of God but also our relationship with the divine and one another, involving our whole selves -- body included.
As Chaplain at Castle, Stephanie is particularly dedicated to creating a welcoming, inclusive and supportive community, which includes improving religious literacy (about all faiths), for an appreciation and celebration of the diversity of faiths within our community. Inviting speakers, religious leaders, scholars, to give talks or to engage in conversations with students and staff of different faiths and none, is something she is particularly passionate about.
She is available to every member of the College, of all faiths and none, and working closely with the chaplains of all religions in the Chaplaincy network at Durham University.
John Piper (1903-1992), Risen Christ in the House at Emmaus, c. 1958, mural mosaic, St Paul’s, Harlow.
This eighteen-foot mosaic is situated right behind the altar at St Paul’s Harlow Town Centre. It offers a representation of the moment when Jesus is recognised over the supper at Emmaus (Luke 24:32). As the church’s website states: ‘It was Piper’s first mosaic,’ the theme chosen conveys ‘the sense of Christ being always present in his house and at worship, drawing people together in fellowship with himself.’
All members of the College and University, and of the wider public, are most welcome at all chapel services.
As we lament the discriminations actively present in society and in the Church itself, and as we recognise our complicity in maintaining these discriminations in place and our power to dismantle them, we commit ourselves to make the chapels safe and transformative places where the diversity of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, social, cultural, economic, and faith backgrounds, is to be recognised, honoured, and celebrated.
The regular schedule in Chapel is:
Tuesday: either Sung Compline or Taizé, 8pm Thursday: Choral Evensong, 6pm Sunday: Choral or Said Eucharist, 5pm
SUNG COMPLINE A brief service at ‘the close of the day’ (to ‘complete’ the day), which includes a few sung parts (Nunc Dimittis and an anthem), a brief scripture passage, and said prayers.
TAIZÉ A brief service from the community in Taizé (Burgundy, France). It is punctuated by songs sung by the whole congregation. The songs only have one or two verses repeated several times to invite meditation. These songs, regular silence, informal prayers, a brief scripture passage (in various languages) are characteristic of this service.
CHORAL EVENSONG This sung Evening Prayer service is found in the Book of Common Prayer. The Chapel Choir sings many of the parts of the service. In chapel we often have a sermon right after the anthem, with special guest preachers on a particular theme. The theme this term is: ‘liberation’.
EUCHARIST, 5 pm in the Tunstall Chapel. The service is usually according to the Church of England’s Common Worship Order One. Literally, ‘eucharist’ means to give thanks. It is a specific service at which we give thanks to God, we remember Christ’s death and resurrection, and the gift of new life. We share, through communion, the bread and the wine, the body and blood of Christ, as a sign that we are together the body of Christ, the Church itself.
This term, weather permitting, said Eucharist will take place in Fellows’ Garden, followed by a picnic (potluck style) in town.
Please note that this term, a collection plate will be situated at the back of the chapel: all donations will be given to associations which provide support to people in Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees across countries.
Thank you for your generosity.
Mark your calendars
Wed 27th April, 5.45pm, Joint Choral Evensong at St Hild & St Bede College Chapel, Durham
1st-2nd May, A Celebration of Eid with the Islamic Society, Great Hall (Reservation required)
Thurs 2nd June, 3.45pm, Bishop's Dining room, Talk and Conversation with the Revd Canon Remi Omole.
6th-10th June, Artists in Residence: Gaylene Gould and Zaynab Bunsie.
Mon 20th June, 5.30pm, Joint Choral Evensong at Durham Cathedral, Choir of St Hild & St Bede Chapel and University College Chapel Choir.
6:30 pm South College Choir Concert in the Tunstall Chapel. Proceeds from the concert will be donated to associations working for the people of Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees.
Wed 9th June, 6pm-9pm, Chapel Dinner in Fellows’ Garden (or BDR if inclement weather).
Thurs 23rd June, 6pm, Finalists Service.
The Chapels and The Chapel Team
University College has two chapels: the eleventh century Norman Chapel at the foot of the Norman Gallery stairs, and the larger Tunstall Chapel, dating from 1540, which can be reached via the courtyard clock tower stairs. They are your chapels, and you are welcome to use them either for private prayer or reflection, or quiet reading, between 8 am and 8 pm.
If you wish to use the chapel for rehearsals, music practice, to rent it for a concert, etc., this needs to be agreed with and booked via the chaplain, the Revd Dr Stephanie Burette at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to be involved in the Chapel (to read, set up, suggest ideas, curate special services, etc.), please come talk to members of the Chapel Team after a service.
If you have ideas on how to celebrate the religious diversity of our College community, the Chaplain is eager to hear from you! Please be in touch!
The Chaplain is here to serve all members of the community, students and staff alike, of all faiths and none. She is part of the Durham Chaplaincy Network and is happy to introduce you to a Chaplain of another faith or belief if you wish to. Please reach out for any question you may have about faith, religion, or just if you wish to talk to somebody who can listen.
She is also part of the Student Support Team in College and can provide support in that regard to all students of the College.
Director of Music: Edmund Milwain. Senior Organist: Isaac Conroy. Junior Organist: Jiri Svatos. Volunteer Organist: Jonathan Palmer.
The Choir of University College, Durham (informally called Castle Chapel Choir) is an auditioned ensemble of sixteen choral scholars and is regarded to be one of the finest choirs in the North East. Led by a student team comprised of the Director of Music, Senior and Junior Organ Scholars and Choir Administrator, singers are a mix of undergraduate and postgraduate members of the University and represent diverse backgrounds and areas of study. The Choir has a busy schedule, leading weekly services of Evensong, Eucharist and Compline in Durham Castle’s two chapels – the eleventh century Norman Chapel and sixteenth century Tunstall Chapel – as well as numerous special services, concerts, recordings and tours.
In July 2020, the Choir released their second CD in three years, ‘In Memoriam’ (featuring Durufle’s Requiem and Parry’s ‘Songs of Farewell’) on the Priory Records label; tracks from the CD were later broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Upcoming plans include further recordings with Priory Records, broadcasts of Choral Evensong, and a Festival of Early Music.
Joining the Choir
Auditions take place in Freshers’ Week each year and consist of range and oral tests, two contrasting sight-reading extracts (one polyphonic, one modern) and a short interview with the Chaplain, Director of Music, Organ Scholars, and other members of the Chapel Community. Good sight-reading ability is essential. Previous experience is useful but not essential.