04 November 2014
Canterbury Christ Church University has celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the consecration of the University Chapel of Christ in Majesty.
The chapel, which was consecrated on October 28, 1964, is at the spiritual heart of the University, emphasising its commitment to education as a source of hope and transformation.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Rama Thirunamachandran opening the Chapel service
As part of the celebrations, the University invited the Class of 1964 back to the University for a tour of the campus, Evening Prayer held in the Chapel to commemorate its consecration, and a presentation by the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rama Thirunamachandran.
Reverend Jeremy Law, Dean of Chapel, said: “It is very fitting that we are celebrating the Chapel’s 50th anniversary, as the Chapel and its location in the middle of the Campus is important to our mission.
The class of '64
“We are here to serve all faiths and none, and welcome all students, staff and visitors to attend services and meetings of prayer. By coming together for worship, we celebrate and witness to God’s presence in the University, and seek to be a place to be with God in prayer, a place to learn about faith, and a place to make real friends.”
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, said: “I am honoured to be a part of such a special milestone for our University. The Chapel is the spiritual heart of the University today, as it was 50 years ago, and will be for many years to come.
“It has been a pleasure meeting with those who studied here in 1964, and for them to share their memories of that chapter of their lives. I am sure they saw many differences to student life today, compared to when they studied at Christ Church, but our values have not changed over the decades. As a University community we still believe in the transformative power of education, not only for the benefit of the individual, but to society as a whole.”
The chapel was built by Johnson Marshall and took two years to build. The architectural design gave the chapel a spire with triangular gables of pointed glass fins representing the crown of Christ the King, visible across the whole campus and city. At night the light shines through the spire as a beacon and during the day beams light down into the chapel.
Prior to its completion, students used St Martin’s Church, the oldest parish church in England, adjacent to The Priory for mandatory morning service each morning before lectures. The chapel was designed at the centre of the College to be its main focal point and spiritual heart, reflecting the College’s Church of England Foundation.
The impressive appliqué tapestry by the late David Holt, former Head of Art, was commissioned in 1963. It depicts the risen and glorified Christ as the redeemer of all creation. The organ was donated by owners of a cinema in Leicester Square and reassembled at the College.
To watch the highlights from the Chapel service, click here.
Notes to Editor
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.
With nearly 20,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.
- 93% of our most recent UK graduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
- We are the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2013 UCAS).
- We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.
*2012/13 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey