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One of the new banners at the Mary Harris Memorial Chapel of the Holy Trinity, purchased with support from the Alumni Annual Fund.

New banners for the Mary Harris Memorial Chapel thanks to alumni support

The Mary Harris Memorial Chapel of the Holy Trinity is located on the Streatham Campus, between the Old Library and Roborough Studios. Designed by Vincent Harris and completed in 1958, it is Grade 2 listed, the ‘jewel in its crown’ being its extraordinary ceiling, painted in a geometric pattern by W. Thomas Monnington. 

Today, the Chapel continues to host an active Christian community, holding formal Church of England worship weekly in term-time, as well as being home to the prestigious University of Exeter Chapel Choir and providing a venue for numerous other students and staff faitand music societies.*

One of the primary ministries of the Chapel, however, is to provide a quiet space in the heart of campus, open to students, staff and visitors of all faiths and none. The Chapel provides an opportunity for anyone to enter, to light a candle, to sit and pray, meditate or just get some headspace away from the busyness of campus life. 

 Appropriate and welcoming signage is important to the Chapel’s appeal. The previous banners, on the exterior North, South and West sides of the Chapel, were erected in the mid-90s. Chapel Committee minutes from the time comment approvingly on the banners, especially how they draw new students to the building. Of course, 25 years later the typeface looks old-fashioned and off-brand, and the banner on the West side of the Chapel was faded almost to illegibility.

With the generous support of the Alumni Annual Fund, the University of Exeter Anglican Chaplaincy received a £700 grant to replace all three banners. The University’s Design studio came up with a simple banner in dark blue, on-brand with the rest of the University’s signage. Featuring the University’s logo, these banners are a visual indicator that the Chapel is open to all members of the University community. Already, students and staff have commented on how much fresher and appealing the banners look.

The Anglican Chaplaincy would like to extend their thanks to the Alumni Annual fund, and all alumni  and supporters of the University who have donated to it. In receipt of the donation they said: “We’re a small team within the University, dedicated to the pastoral and spiritual care of students, and this long-overdue update to our building’s signage is a great help. Thank you for your support.”

*Please note due to the second lockdown in England which started on Thursday 5 November, the Chaplaincy is currently conducting its usual services and support online. Find out more on their website.

Date: 11 November 2020