The Chapel

Tonbridge is a Christian foundation, and Chapel services play an important and regular part of school life.

The Chapel is staffed by the Senior Chaplain, along with a Chapel Verger. Religious life is taken seriously at Tonbridge. Boys and staff are invited to think positively about faith and to explore what their individual faith means to them and to the society from which they come and are to enter.

The Chapel of St Augustine of Canterbury is both spiritually and physically at the centre of the school and its daily life. It was consecrated first in 1902 to replace a smaller nineteenth century chapel. It was a notable building and much loved by boys and staff alike. In 1988 it was severely damaged by fire. Restoration and repair took seven years to complete and the Chapel was re-consecrated by the Bishop of Rochester in 1995.

The Chapel is collegiate in layout with twelve blocks of pews and seats corresponding to the respective Houses. The focal point of the Chapel is the fine stone High Altar and there are two pulpits, one each on the north and south sides of the Chapel. The fire enabled an extra Chapel area to be developed. The Lady Chapel is used for the daily celebration of the Eucharist, Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament and Baptisms.

The Narthex or outer lobby of the Chapel is also the school War Memorial. The original statuary, lost in the fire, was copied and installed. In addition the names of all Old Tonbridgians who lost their lives in the First or Second World Wars are displayed in stone or ironwork. Each year wreaths are laid here during the school Remembrance Day service.

The 1995 Marcussen organ is widely regarded as one of the finest instruments in the country; it is a four-manual tracker-action instrument with 66 speaking stops, including two 32' stops. Each year a series of organ recitals is given, often by major international soloists. These are often followed by masterclasses, in which our boys participate, together with outstanding young organists from other schools.

This Term's Chapel Booklet: