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Durham University

St John's College



The College Chapel is the Church of Saint Mary the Less, and you will find it on the Bailey just across the road from the main suite of College buildings. It was founded in around 1140, extensively renovated in 1847, and acquired by St John's College in 1919.

During University term there are daily services every weekday of Morning and Evening Prayer in the Chapel at 8.30am and 5.15pm to which everyone is welcome.* Between these times the Chapel is open to visitors and College members alike, as a place of quiet and prayer. Whatever your own faith you are welcome to use the Chapel; please honour other visitors by respecting it as a place of prayer.

Sometimes the Chapel is in use for choir and other music rehearsals, which have been booked in advance with the College Chaplain. At these times the Chapel remains open to visitors.

The Chapel may on other occasions be booked as a space for music and theatre performances; these should be discussed and agreed with the Chaplain, who will consult with the Warden of Cranmer Hall as necessary.

The Chaplain may be contacted at

*On Mondays Evening Prayer is in Leech Hall and on Tuesdays Evening Prayer is replaced by College Communion in Leech Hall at 7pm.

The Chapel has also been featured in a local digital walking tour, along with many other places of historical interest in Durham. Most of the tour's content can be accessed remotely, making it suitable for people thinking of visiting Durham such as prospective students and tourists, or people who are unable to get to the city centre; the only feature that requires users to be on-site to unlock it is the quiz.

Chapel of St Mary the Less Tour

Chapel of St Mary the Less Tour

Views: 1715

St Mary the Less is the chapel for St John's College, Durham. It is open to the public between Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer each day during university term time, with additional stewarded open days to be announced. The St John's College Chapel Choir hold a weekly evensong in the Chapel and it is used daily by Cranmer Hall for worship. The Deputy Warden of Cranmer Hall, the Revd Emma Parker, introduces the Chapel, while third year ordinand Joe Moore gives a tour of the inside.

Contact us

The Chaplain

Rev Anna Brooker

St John's College 
3 South Bailey 

T: 0191 334 4436 


St John's College, Durham is a recognised College of Durham University and incorporates Cranmer Hall. Charity No. 1141701 Limited Company No. 113496 (England and Wales) VAT No. 334 6364 57.