Breaking new ground on ancient ground

Thursday 30 September 2010

A towering highlight of the famous St Andrews skyline, St Salvator’s Chapel will celebrate the 550th anniversary of its consecration this weekend.

On Sunday 3 October, the new chapel bells installed last month will mark the occasion – with a peal being rung for the first time in a Scottish University, following Sunday service.

The Rev Dr Jamie Walker, University Chaplain, said:

“The 550th anniversary of the consecration of St Salvator’s Chapel, the oldest University building, is such a special occasion and we look forward to our service of worship marking the event. It was the hub of the original College and, as we approach the 600th anniversary of the University, it continues to play a key role in the University. To mark the 600th anniversary, we are delighted also that an additional four bells have been installed and we look forward to the first ring of the six bells about midday on Sunday.”

The chapel is a rare and beautiful example of Late Gothic architecture. Founded in 1450 as a part of Bishop James Kennedy’s College of the Holy Saviour, the Chapel of St Salvator has had a long and varied history.

Originally founded with a missionary as well as an educational function, St Salvator’s College stands out among the many similar Medieval foundations of Europe. Unlike the colleges of Oxford and the Continent, Kennedy’s institution was very much a part of the local community.

Furthermore, it was intended to have a national role through the improvement of the theological education of the Scottish clergy.

Thus unlike the secluded colleges of Oxford, St Salvator’s presents its face to the wider world, as can be seen most uniquely in the Chapel. The main entrance to the chapel faces out onto the street and not into the college courtyard.

From its beginnings, the building had a dual role both as the college chapel and as a collegiate church serving the wider community. Despite the violent history of religion in St Andrews, the chapel remains a central focus for worship both within the University and the wider world.

The four new bells were lifted into the tower on Sunday 12 September 2010, joining the existing bells, Katharine and Elizabeth, to bring the total number to six and exceeding the minimum of five required to make a ring of bells, and to allow a peal to be rung.

Issued by the University of St Andrews

Contact: Emma Shea, Communications Manager on 01334 462 109 or email [email protected]

Category University news

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