Supporting all faiths

St Catharine's welcomes students, Fellows and staff of all faiths and none, and as the Chaplain I am here to support you in your faith, whatever your tradition and wherever you are in your life of faith.  I hope you will find the information below helpful as you navigate living faithfully in Cambridge, or as you explore questions of faith or doubt, spirituality, and life generally.

Revd Ally Barrett
Chaplain & Dean of Chapel

The Chapel

Although the College Chapel is a Christian place of worship, the Chapel is for everyone, and in addition to all the concerts and events that take place there, please do be reassured that all are welcome to go in and spend some time in peace and quiet. You can access the chapel (step free) from the corridor by the garden room, using your camcard, and you are also welcome to use the old big doors in Main Court (which do involve steps).  There are two small internal steps between the antechapel and the chapel, for which we are actively seeking a solution. There are blankets to make your time in Chapel more comfortable, and a supply of 'feel good' painted pebbles (do take one for yourself or a friend) as well as a small library of resources. 

More about Chapel services

Multifaith Prayer Room

St Catharine's has a new multifaith prayer room, which is available to all members of the College community, of any faith or none, and their accompanied guests. It is located on the second floor of the central College buildilng that also houses the Chapel and the Dining Hall, and is accessible via the stairs or lift. You will need your camcard to access the corridor on which the room is located, and the prayer room itself. Staff wishing to use the room will need to ask the porters to add access to their cards. Students should find that access is automatically enabled, but do ask the porters if your card doesn't work on either of the doors. 

More about the Multifaith Prayer Room

Support in your faith & places of worship

The Faith in Cambridge document provides information about places and organisations for a number of different faiths, in College, in the University and around Cambridge. There are so many places of worship in Cambridge, especially when it comes to Christian churches, that it can be hard to know where to start. Please contact the Chaplain for suggestions and advice if you don't find what you're looking for above (especially if your denomination or faith tradition isn't on the list), or if you want to know more about whether a particular place of worship is LGBTQ+ affirming. 

The University of Cambridge website provides a non-exhaustive list of prayer rooms available for use, across the university and collegiate university. 

Tutors and DoSs (for undergraduates) and supervisors/departments (for postgraduates) are the first port of call for issues that are impact academic work (or when academic work impacts the practice of faith), for example, if fasting means you may have a bit less energy during supervisions or labs, or when a major festival means you need to ask for an extension. The exam timetable may also conflict with religious observances, and the University's process for managing this can be helpful but may not completely deal with any clashes because the exam timetable is so complicated – it may be possible for College’s to make alternative provision if necessary.  The Chaplain is happy to liaise with Tutors or DoSs, and support students in asking for special exam arrangements, if needed. 

If you would like any additional information to be added to this page or to the Faith in Cambridge document, please contact the Chaplain.  

Interfaith engagement in Higher Education

A recent report, Building student relationships across religion and worldview difference, from IDEALS UK (a major research programme at Durham and Coventry Universities) highlights a range of ways in which Universities can encourage better interfaith engagement, and support students of all faith traditions. The report is co-authored by Catz alumna Dr Lucy Peacock. 

Cambridge Interfaith Research Forum provides a hub for members of the University to exchange scholarship aligned with our goals, and to develop skills relevant to our commitments to outreach and public engagement.  The Forum is interdisciplinary, offering options for networking and collaboration. The Forum is part of Cambridge Interfaith Programme, a research centre based in the Faculty of Divinity.