Spiritual Life

The Chaplaincy and the Chapel support the entire Brentwood School community – pupils, teaching staff, support staff and their families alike. Although we are a Christian School, pupils and staff from all faiths, or none, are welcome.

The Chaplaincy and the Chapel are situated at the very heart of the School and provide a space where we can take time in the midst of a busy week to reflect upon our lives.

Each week, our regular Chapel services provide an opportunity for such reflection and during these important times together we seek to deepen our understanding of the nature of what it means to be human and allow space for us to recognise the spiritual dimension to life. For more details about the regular Chapel services we have, please see the Chapel Services page.

History of the Chapel

The School Statutes of 1622 made it clear that scholars should be seated together and Monitors would take the ‘names of the absents and the misdemeanours of the presents.’ Today’s students are no doubt relieved that those times are long gone and Chapel is something to be enjoyed.

For the first 300 years of its life, the School used the local South Weald Church for worship. In the 19th century, Headmaster Dr West was keen to have a dedicated School Chapel built in order to house the expanding number of students.

It was in 1868 that the Brentwood School Chapel was completed to serve its pupils, and it still sits at the very heart of the School site.

In 1910, the west window of the Chapel was commissioned in memory of Headmaster William Quennell.
In the period after the First World War, the School increased again in numbers. The Chapel could not house the whole of the School in any one sitting, so half of the boys attended Chapel and the other half had assembly each day.

In 1925, expansion work was undertaken to include two aisles as memorials to the Great War of 1914-1918.

The beautiful stained-glass east window, above the altar, is an illustration of the ancient Christian hymn Te Deum. Of the other two stained-glass windows which look in on this tranquil setting, one – Faith, Hope and Charity - was given to the School by St Mary’s, Great Warley, a nearby church, and the other features striking depictions of the prophets Moses and Elijah.

Today, even though it can accomodate 320 worshippers, the Chapel cannot house the entire School so the six year groups of the Senior School take turns to attend a short Chapel assembly once a fortnight.

Please see our History and Chaplaincy booklet on the right of this page for further information.