Archive Centre tour: religion

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Engraving of Chapel
Coloured engraving of King's College Chapel, published by R. Dimmock, King's Parade.
Given by J. Line in 1991. (reference: Coll.39/9)

Religion has influenced College life and architecture ever since its foundation in 1441. King Henry VI founded the 'College roial of Oure Lady and Seynt Nicholas' from a deep and genuine sense of piety. After his death he was venerated as a saint, and although he was never canonised, the Chapel, which is substantially as he designed it, reveals the Founder's belief in a glory other than his own. The significance of religious faith to the construction of the buildings is seen in the fact that foundation stones of the College and Chapel were laid on major festivals of the Church: on Passion Sunday 1441 and on the feast of St James 1446.

Although daily attendance at Chapel ceased to be obligatory for college members in 1912, worship remains the main purpose and use of the Chapel. Choral Evensong, early morning services, marriage and baptism ceremonies, memorial commemorations, ensure that worship continues in the vibrant and holy place which the Founder intended.