St Catharine’s College is a diverse and vibrant community wholly committed to fostering an environment where all students, staff and Fellows are able to thrive. In line with our founding statutes, the College carries forward the tradition, continuous since its foundation, of being a place of spiritual and ethical reflection on religious faith and its implications for the individual and society.
Reflecting the increasing diversity of our community, the College included a Multifaith Prayer Room as an integral part of the ‘Central Spaces’ building project (completed in October 2022). The configuration and fittings for the room were planned by a group of Fellows, staff and students representing a variety of faith traditions.
The Multifaith Prayer Room is open to any and all members of the St Catharine’s community, resident visitors (during conference season) and guests when accompanied by a member of the St Catharine’s community.
- A lobby area with washing facilities, tea making facilities, and a shoe rack
- Comfortable seating
- A prayer space separated from the lobby by an open archway
- Two meditation cushions
- Three prayer mats
- Copies of the Quran and book stands
- Compasses (and arrows on the ceiling to indicate the direction of Mecca)
- Moveable privacy/divider screens in both the lobby and prayer area
- A small library of information and books relating to world religions
- A magnetic chalkboard and chalk pens for notices and fliers
- Copies of this document, and the Faith in Cambridge booklet
- A poster showing the dates and details of festivals in world religions
- A prayer timetable provided by Cambridge Central Mosque
If you have any suggestions of other items that may enhance the room for its intended purpose, please contact the Chaplain (firstname.lastname@example.org).
How to get to the room
The room is located on the second floor of the main College buildings. Find the room on a map of the College's main site.
To get there:
either take the main atrium lift to the second floor and go through the door in front of you;
or take the atrium stairs to the Sherlock Library, down a short flights of stairs and through the door; then turn left and the prayer room is at the end of the corridor.
Accessing the room
Access to the room for College members is via your camcard. If you would like to be able to access the room, simply take your card to the St Catharine’s Porters’ Lodge and they will enable your access, and ask you to read this document.
We hope that this room will be well used, and we ask that all users share responsibility for keeping it tidy, both as a sign of respect for one another, and so that Housekeeping staff can easily undertake cleaning and routine maintenance. Please also ensure that you wash up any cups that you use.
The room is equipped with some simple furnishings to make it more hospitable. Please also look after these items, and notify housekeeping if you find that any of the furniture or fittings are dirty, damaged or missing. Damage to books or religious items should be reported to the Chaplain.
Please note that maintenance staff may need occasional access to the store (the door to the store is next to the ablutions area).
Using the space
The room can be used for personal prayer in any religious tradition, or for meditation, reflection, or just peace and quiet. The room is not bookable, as it is intended as a space where anyone can drop in when they need. Please therefore be sensitive to one another as you use the room; it should usually be possible for more than one person to pray at the same time, even if praying in different faith traditions.
For the safety and comfort of others using the prayer space with bare feet, please note that footwear must be removed before entering the prayer space itself. There is a shoe rack and bench provided on your right as you go in.
The room can be used for small groups to prayer together, but it isn’t intended for organized formally-led acts of worship or speaker events; these need to be arranged in other venues across College through the prescribed room-booking rules.
We ask that you do not light candles or use incense burners in the prayer room. This is for fire safety reasons.
There are comfy chairs, a small library of resources, tea-making facilities, and a supply of herbal tea bags. If the tea bags need replenishing, or if you would like to suggest books to add to the library or other resources, please contact the Chaplain (email@example.com).
Looking after each other
We hope that this room will be a welcoming space for all who use it, and a place where people of any faith or none can encourage and support one another. Please always be respectful of others’ beliefs and devotional practices. If any issues arise, please contact the Chaplain in the first instance.
The magnetic chalkboard and pens can be used for notices about forthcoming events, and seasonal / festival greetings.
Support for you in your faith and spiritual life
Ally, the College Chaplain, is available to talk in confidence with members of all faiths and none, about anything and everything – including your own spiritual journey and/or support for you in the practice of your own faith. Ally is a priest in the Church of England and is part of the College Equality, Diversity and Inclusion working group.
You may also find it helpful to download the new Faith in Cambridge document, which offers a brief guide to faith matters across the University and Colleges, and in the City of Cambridge, and lists key contacts for places of worship in a variety of faith traditions.
For all enquiries, questions, suggestions, or concerns, please contact:
Ally Barrett, College Chaplain (she/they)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Teams: amb66
in case of emergency please contact the Porters’ Lodge