The Chapel is a place of beauty and is a wonderful setting for the use of the Book of Common Prayer which we use for all regular worship. It is a vital piece of Dulwich and London heritage, and its history is described more fully on a separate page. Also it offers great scope for social and educational activities and there is an established programme of Chapel Events. The Chapel is open to visitors every Tuesday afternoon from 1.30 to 3.30pm via Dulwich Picture Gallery.
regular pattern of services is
Holy Communion every Sunday at 8.00am
Morning Prayer every First and Third Sunday at 10.00am
Evening Prayer every Second and Fourth Sunday at 6.30pm
Dulwich College Choral Eucharist once per term at 10.30am
Dulwich College Choral Matins once per term at 10.30am
Dulwich College Choral Evensong at least once per term at 6.00pm
The calendar of Chapel Services for the next three months is listed on a separate page.
Christ's Chapel was consecrated in 1616 by George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury, as part of the Dulwich College foundation. The Elizabethan actor Edward Alleyn built his College of God's Gift on Dulwich Green as an act of thanksgiving to God for his talents as an actor and his ability in business. Since then it has been in use continually as a spiritual focus for the almshouses and three Dulwich Schools of the Foundation: Dulwich College, James Allen's Girls' School and Alleyn's School. You can read more about the history of Christ's Chapel.
Chapel Organ was built in 1760 by George England, replacing the
first pair of organs 'for ue
chapell off mr.Gibbs of powles' of 1618. It is said that the Dulwich organ was damaged during the
Civil War; in 1669 it is likely that George Dallam completed repair work which may have included
additions to the organ. George England's organ replaced this one. Between 1760 and the present
day, additional work was done by Lewis of Brixton in 1880, by Norman and Beard in 1908. It was
cared for and added to by Arthur Coombs, an Alleyn's Old Boy in the 1940's. In 1969, Mander Organ
Builders made further modifications to the organ. Changes in fashion during the twentieth
century led to the organ's original tonal design to be changed almost beyond recognition, yet its
famous cornet stop, reputed to be the oldest extant in the country, remained in place. It also has
a fine Gothic case.
The organ was rededicated during a
special service of Choral Evensong on 27th September 2009,
after which a celebratory recital was given by Margaret Phillips. This followed a masterly
reconstruction and refurbishment of the instrument by William Drake of Buckfastleigh. The Chapel possesses one of the finest organs of that era in the country. If you would like more information, a book describing the history of the organ and its recent reconstruction has been published by the Chapel Organist, Marilyn Harper and the St Barnabas Director of Music and project consultant, Dr William McVicker. Copies are obtainable at a cost of £5 each from the St Barnabas Parish Office. Please apply by email or telephone. The address and telephone number are on this page.
In addition to normal Sunday services where the emphasis is on congregational singing of the hymns, psalms, canticles and responses, Choral Evensong, led by Christ's Chapel Chorale is sung three times a year. The same choral group also leads the singing at the Good Friday and Christmas Eve services. Although singers come from well beyond the parish boundaries, anyone with good sight reading skills and experience is welcome to join in any of our services, both the musically more elaborate as well as the more congregational ones. Anyone interested in taking part should contact the Chapel Organist for more information. Visiting choirs are also welcome.
Barnabas Parish Office
40 Calton Avenue, London, SE21 7DG
020 8693 1524