University Chapel, Keele

IMG_6251Brutally stark in style, the encouragingly large chapel in the middle of Keele University campus is not to everyone’s taste. Keele is one of the UK’s newer universities, purpose built on a self-contained campus in the Staffordshire countryside. The chapel is big and constructed of blue brick, with a pair of round towers at its east end. Inside, around 2/3 of the floor space is Anglican, the other 1/3 Catholic. When required, the screen behind the Anglican altar can be raised to join the two worship spaces together in one huge ecumenical church. There is a gallery, meeting room, counselling rooms, a digital sound system, and wooden pews a bit like very old fashioned tram benches – the back rest can swing over so that the congregation – or audience – can be seated facing in either direction. The acoustics are amazing, and that’s why I know the Chapel. This summer, Jennifer and I attended a Sing for Pleasure conducting summer school held at Keele every year, and the chapel is the primary performance venue.

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