St Hilda’s abolishes chapel in favour of multi-faith space

Feb 5, 2020 by

by Felix O’Mahony, Cherwell:

St Hilda’s College will abolish its chapel from next year, replacing the space with a multi-faith room. The announcement makes St Hilda’s the third undergraduate college in Oxford not to have a dedicated anglican chapel.

The announcement follows months of debate around the presence and need for a chapel at the college. According to a JCR motion debated in Michaelmas, a number of fellows at St Hilda’s moved to reallocate any religious spaces within the college.The issue has been raised as part of extensive development plans due to be completed in 2020. As part of preparations for St Hilda’s 125th anniversary, the Milham Ford building, which had originally housed the chapel, was demolished. A temporary chapel was established in an adjacent building, on the expectation that a new permanent chapel or interfaith room would be installed in the new development.

In response, the JCR resolved unanimously to vote in favour of the inclusion of a new space in which members of the college community may carry out an expression of their faith in the new building. The motion made no reference to the room necessarily being a chapel, and expressed an interest in the college dedicating an interfaith room, inside of which members of any faith are welcome to pray or spend time in contemplation. The new space will cater to a number of faiths by including ablution facilities, where those praying may wash themselves, and space to store religious objects.

Read here

See also: St Hilda’s demolishes its chapel, and the humanists crowby Giles Fraser, UnHerd:

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