550th Anniversary of the Chapel

On 5 May 1474 the foundation stone of the Chapel was laid by President Tybard and blessed by Bishop Robert Tully of St David’s. 550 years later, the College will be celebrating the Anniversary of this event with a series of ceremonies, services and seminars. All are welcome to attend the following services and events:


3pm, Magdalen Chapel

The College Choir sings music by Charles Villiers Stanford in his centenary year, alongside music by Roxanna Panufnik, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. Congregation members must be seated by 2.45pm.

4.30-5.30pm, Summer Common Room, Magdalen College

Led by: Professor Peter Davidson, Senior Research Fellow in Renaissance and Baroque Studies, Campion Hall, Oxford. Peter spent many years at the University of Aberdeen, as Professor of Renaissance Studies, teaching literature and art history, as well as having curatorial responsibility for the university’s five hundred years of library and museum collections. Before that he taught at the Universities of Warwick and, like many Scots before him, at Leiden in the Netherlands.

Register for tickets here.

The College Choir sing the traditional Hymnus Eucharisticus by 17th-century Informator Choristarum, Benjamin Rogers, and madrigals, in a tradition dating back over 500 years.

3.00-4.00pm Sophia Sheppard Room, Magdalen College

Led by: The Reverend Dr Jo Spreadbury, Canon Precentor, Portsmouth Cathedral.

Canon Jo wrote her doctoral thesis on the origins, development and influence of the medieval legends about Saint Mary Magdalen as preacher and apostle.

Register for tickets here.

4.30-5.30pm, Sophia Sheppard Room, Magdalen College

Led by: The Reverend Dr Ayla Lepine, Art Historian and Associate Rector, St. James’s, Piccadilly.

Pre-Raphaelite artists and Gothic Revival architects took Oxford by storm in the nineteenth century. This talk will explore the ways in which these remarkable people and ideas revolutionised modern eyes, hearts and minds.

Register for tickets here.

Sunday 5th May, 11am, Magdalen College Chapel, A Service of Thanksgiving for the 550th Anniversary of the Laying of Magdalen College Chapel’s Foundation Stone, sung by the Consort of Voices.

Professor Willian Whyte, the Professor of Social and Architectural History at the University of Oxford, will give an address.

(Not ticketed)

9.00pm, Magdalen College Chapel

A Service of Compline (Night Prayer), featuring the music of John Sheppard, the Informator Choristarum at Magdalen College in the 1540s.

This 30 min service will be followed by drinks and canapes, for those who have registered.

Register for tickets here.

11am, Magdalen College Chapel
Choral Eucharist sung by the College Choir, with Baptisms and Confirmations,

Celebrant and preacher: The Right Reverend Dr Stephen Croft, The Bishop of Oxford.

4.30-5.30pm, Summer Common Room, Magdalen College

Nicholas Orme is emeritus professor of history at Exeter University. He has written more than thirty books on the religious and social history of England, including Medieval Children, The History of England’s Cathedrals, and Going to Church in Medieval England, which was shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize.

Register for tickets here.

2.00pm-5.30pm, Summer Common Room, Magdalen College

Keynote speakers:
Francis Spufford, author and teacher,
Dr Michael Ward, literary critic and theologian

A panel discussion will follow, with contributions from the keynote speakers, Dr Simon Horobin, and the Reverend Dr Laura Biron-Scott. The day closes with Evensong (6.00pm) in the College Chapel, sung by the Consort of Voices.

Register for tickets here.