Welcome to Jesus College Chapel! We have a fantastic chapel with plenty going on. Feel free to explore the links below, and do read the welcome message from our wonderful Chaplain, Megan.
Message from the chaplain
Welcome to our Chapel page on the JCR website.
My name is Megan; I’m your Chaplain.
First and foremost, that means that – although I’m a Church of England priest (you can sometimes spot me quite easily: I’m the one who wears a “dog-collar” and carries mugs of coffee regularly around the second quad) – I’m here to care. To look out for you, to listen to you, to smile at you, to cheer you up, to let you rant, to give you space to think, to give you a moment to chill out… whatevs. Hopefully you know me, or at least know what I look like (the picture below gives you a clue).
Hopefully you already know that I’m here for everyone. Whether you’re someone who likes thinking about faith and spirituality, or whether you want to avoid “God-bothering” at all costs. Whoever you are, I’m here for you…
Well, that’s me; but what about Chapel?
Who’s Chapel for? Everyone. Simples.
What’s Chapel for? Doing Jesus for Jesus. Which means, for us, lots of things.
We’re an Anglican Christian foundation (the first Church of England chapel in Oxford, in fact). Being Church of England today means we make space for all things of faith and religion in our secular society.We provide services for everyone – absolutely everyone. Everyone in the country can claim the Church of England as their own. So everyone in College can make the very most of the Chapel. You have a claim on me and on your Chapel, and the College has a claim on the Church of England.
Chapel has a specific denomination, but that means rejoicing in fellowship with brothers and sisters in other Christian traditions.
Chapel may have a specific faith foundation, but that means a firm footing in our relationships with all faiths and different standpoints within those faiths.
So for us, Chapel is about having space for each of us to make our own faith journeys. To ask questions, to listen, to discuss, to think, to reflect, to learn, to engage, with things that are both central to, and tangential to, our faith and spirituality. This is a place to pray, to worship, to take time out, to daydream, to come close to the divine. In short, a place to value the other.
Chapel’s also a place to make music, to make friends, to be silent, to celebrate other traditions, cultures, and faiths, to do hearty group singing that’s not at the river or on the rugby pitch, to be quiet, to read, to rest, or even have a snooze (many in the JCR love to “napple” – or nap in Chapel). To make space in our intense College life.
So how’s this doing Jesus for Jesus? As a Christian, and your Chaplain, I want to live out Christ’s values of love, hospitality, humility in learning, joy, and coming close to God. I don’t go around “converting” people, or being “religious”, but I do speak my own truth, my own integrity. I walk with people in their journeys, and I try my best to live out the Gospel as I understand it. Our Christian community rejoices to serve our College community, and I love serving you all.
Don’t forget our fabulous choir which is based upon an ethos of fun (no auditions, jolly rehearsals, and a certain amount of free food and free singing lessons) and who sings for us every Sunday evening. If you’re not in it, I expect you’ve got a friend who is, so come along and support their music. Like the rest of what we do, it’s lovely, varied, and inclusive. We try and make sure there’s something for everyone.
This term in Chapel we’ve got the Freshers’ Evensong in 1st week (Sunday 9 October, 5.45pm), with our fabulous College Hymn “Bread of Heaven” and drinks afterwards with the Principal in his Lodgings. The University Big-Wigs are making a rare visit to us for the University Sermon on Sunday 30 October (4th week, 5.45pm). More drinks with the Principal with lots of posh gowns and lofty traditions. And how could we get to the end of term without doing a College Carol Service – 5.30pm Sunday 27 November (be there early to help us fit everyone in – such fun!)
But there’s more to our Chapel life than even our wonderful music and speakers at Evensongs; our peaceful and prayerful Thursday evening Communion service with students preaching; our happening CU in their Text-a-Toastie evenings; or our sherry and social opportunities.
Look out for the Colloquium evenings where we eat and chat together, across faith boundaries, and share reflections on hot topics. Come and chill with the Meditation slots (Tues 5pm Habakkuk Room). Engross yourself in a range of religious textual traditions in Scriptural Reasoning (Weds 1pm, Harold Wilson, lunch provided). Enjoy our growing Arts profile (Monday lunchtimes come and enjoy something arty every week).
Have other ideas that you’d like to see? Be in touch. In fact, be in touch anyway. In touch with me, or in touch with your spiritual life… Or just come have coffee. I rarely need persuading.
Bye for now,
Megan Daffern, 26.ix.2016