A Christian ethos

Downe House welcomes pupils and staff of all faiths and denominations, or none, to join us in Chapel.

The Chapel is a place for worship and much more

The School’s Church of England foundation is central to our values and ethos, and every member of our school community is able to count on the pastoral and spiritual care of our Chaplain, the Reverend Anthea Platt.

The Chapel is the spiritual heart of the Downe House community and serves as a place for worship, as well as a space for quiet reflection and prayer and the performance of music. The Chaplain is a full-time member of the School’s pastoral and teaching staff.

There is morning service for the Lower School on Tuesdays and Upper School on Thursdays. These Services include the singing of hymns, a reading from the Bible and a short talk or homily from a member of staff. Girls in the Upper School can attend Holy Communion on Thursdays in place of the later Morning Service. Sunday Worship uses a variety of patterns and invited preachers, and week-by-week participation in the leading of these Services by individual Houses is encouraged.

There are three Anglican Confirmation Services held during the year, one in each term, and Roman Catholic girls join with pupils at Radley College for their own Confirmation during the Summer term. For those families who wish their daughters to prepare for Confirmation, they can undertake an eight-week course run by our School Chaplain. This gives girls the opportunity to explore different aspects of the Christian faith and this may also include a Confirmation Retreat, most recently held at the magnificent Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford.

Discover more about the spiritual life of Downe House

condolence book

The School Prayer

Our school prayer is the Prayer of Saint Francis.


The School Prayer

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

candles in chapel

A Prayer for Peace

People of all faiths and none use this universal prayer.


A Prayer for Peace

Lead me from death to life,
from falsehood to truth.
Lead me from despair to hope,
from fear to trust.
Lead me from hate to love,
from war to peace.
Let peace fill my heart,
my world, my universe.

hymn books

The School Hymn

Dear Lord and Father of Mankind


The School Hymn

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways!
Re-clothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.

In simple trust like theirs who heard,
Beside the Syrian sea,
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word
Rise up and follow thee.

O Sabbath rest by Galilee!
O calm of hills above,
Where Jesus knelt to share with thee
The silence of eternity,
Interpreted by love!

Drop thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm!

Words by J G Whittier
Music ‘Repton’ by C H H Parry

Founder's Hymn

Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life


Founder's Hymn

Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life:
Such a Way as gives us breath,
Such a Truth as ends all strife,
Such a Life as killeth death.

Come, my Light, my Feast, my Strength:
Such a Light as shows a feast,
Such a Feast as mends in length,
Such a Strength as makes his guest.

Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart:
Such a Joy, as none can move,
Such a Love as none can part,
Such a Heart as joys in Love.

Words by George Herbert
Music ‘Come, My Way’ by Alexander Brent Smith

Roots group


Roots is the Christian Union at Downe House.



Roots offers a space for Christians to explore their faith by reading and discussing the Bible and understanding how it is relevant and applies to our lives today. It encourages girls to ask bigger questions about faith, spirituality, history, and culture.

The safe and welcoming atmosphere also allows girls to voice their doubts. Questions like, “Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?” or “Why Does God Allow Suffering?” have been previous topics of conversation.

Roots is open to all girls, from all faiths and backgrounds, looking to ask questions and explore the Christian faith. The group meets weekly and is split into two sessions to better cater for different age groups.

For more information, please contact Miss Nardin Thabet, who runs the group.

candles in chapel sitting

Useful Links

To help you find quiet reflection.


Useful Links

The Church of England website offers daily prayers

The Bible App offers a selection of different bibles, including audio options

The Sacred Space site offers a daily online prayer in a variety of languages

Tours & Open Mornings

The best way to find out more about Downe House is to experience it for yourself. Book a personal tour or join us at one of our Open Mornings, available throughout the year.

A flexible and modern approach – Full Boarding | Flexi Boarding | Day Pupil – what’s your Downe House journey?
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