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Lancing College Chapel

The foundation stone of the college chapel was laid in 1868, but the chapel itself was not finished in Woodard's lifetime. In fact, the chapel remains unfinished. It stands at about 50 metres (with foundations going down 20 metres into the ground), but the original plans called for a tower at the west end which would raise the height to 100 metres. The apex of the vaulting rises to 27.4 m (90 ft). One reason that the chapel ended up as high as it did was that Woodard insisted that it be built to its full height at one end first, so that even if he died before completion the height could not be cut down to save money. The chapel is built in the English gothic style of the 14th century, with 13th century French influences. It was designed by R. H. Carpenter and William Slater, and is built of Sussex sandstone from Scaynes Hill. The chapel was dedicated to St Mary and St Nicolas in 1911, although the college worshiped in the finished crypt from 1875. Inside can be found, amongst other things, the tomb of the founder, three organs, and a rose window designed by Stephen Dykes Bower, completed in 1977, and the largest rose window in England, being 32 ft in diameter. The chapel itself is the largest school chapel in the world.

The eastern organ is a two-manual mechanical organ built by the Danish firm Frobenius and was installed and voiced 'in situ' in 1986. That year also marked the completion of the rebuild of the four-manual Walker organ at the west end of the chapel - both of which were showcased in the opening concert by the American organ virtuoso, Carlo A stained glass window was recently commissioned in memory of Trevor Huddleston OL, and was consecrated by Desmond Tutu on Tuesday 22 May 2007. The chapel is open to the public every day, Monday to Saturday from 10.00 until 16.00, and Sunday from 12.00 until 16.00. Full school services are held every Wednesday morning during term time at 08.35, and on certain Sundays throughout the year. There is also a eucharist every morning at 07.40, and benediction on a Friday evening followed by a lower school service on Saturday mornings at 8:25.

Lancing's chapel "symbolises the importance of Christian worship" at the college. Every year the building brings thousands of visitors to its doors.

Lancing College is a co-educational English independent school in the British public school tradition, founded in 1848 by Nathaniel Woodard. Woodard's aim was to provide education "based on sound principle and sound knowledge, firmly grounded in the Christian faith." Lancing was the first of a family of more than 30 schools founded by Woodard (others include Hurstpierpoint College, Ardingly College, Bloxham School and Worksop College)

Ref: DP367

Gallery: Buildings

Lancing College Chapel

Lansing, West Sussex.


United Kingdom.


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