Dean Close School was established on an Evangelical Christian foundation within the Church of England, and this is still very much lived out in who we are and what we do as a School.
This is seen most obviously in the way that at Dean Close we value every person, regarding them as uniquely created and loved by God; we seek to provide an environment and opportunities where everyone can explore what this means, primarily discovering the gifts that God has given them within a safe and happy environment. Whatever a pupil’s creed or background, we find that the Chaplaincy can provide both a home from home setting where pupils sometimes many miles from family can enjoy real community, and also something of a field hospital providing a safe nurturing space within which necessary healing can come.
We’re also passionate about pupils feeling able to ask the big and sometimes personal questions which the Christian faith both stimulates and satisfies. Whatever their age, prior knowledge, or personal persuasion, Decanians have many opportunities to discover the wisdom and riches of Jesus Christ. There are a variety of settings for this, spanning the formal and the informal and including pupil-led activities.
The School Chapel
The School Chapel is located in the centre of the School campus. Regular chapel services are taken by the School Chaplain with considerable contributions from staff, pupils and visiting speakers. The building itself stands as a memorial to Old Decanians who gave their lives in the First World War, and has been adorned by the recently built Poppy Cloister showcasing poppies from the emotive Tower of London display. The Chapel Choir is very accomplished, leading worship regularly in chapel and at a range of abbeys and cathedrals, and most recently singing Evensong at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
Our hope for every service is that it will serve our school community by giving life and health in a variety of ways. For many, the reflection facilitated during the services allows for a necessary pause in the middle of their busy week. For others, the beauty of the hymnody and choral pieces bring real rest and joy. And for some, the chance to hear Scripture read and explained in engaging, contemporary and relevant ways can be life-changing and life-enhancing.
Besides red letter annual services such as Remembrance, Confirmation and our much-loved Carols by Candlelight, the Senior School bookends the week with a shorter service on Monday mornings and a longer Service of the Word on Friday evenings, with a lively congregational practice on Wednesdays thrown in for good measure. Pupils and staff are also welcome to join us for a reflective service of Holy Communion fortnightly on Friday mornings. The Prep School meets for worship in the Chapel at the start of every term, and immediately prior to exeats and holidays; we’re delighted to welcome parents to join us at these services. The Pre-Prep enjoys an annual Christingle service in the Chapel.