St Benet’s is a Christian chapel and meeting place open to all students and staff at Queen Mary University of London.

St Benet’s is a good place to be – or become, or just be still, whatever your beliefs. Everyone is always welcome.

The chaplain, Ella Sharples, is available to talk with, for help and advice, to share your experiences and offer a listening ear. For one to one support contact us by emailing e.sharples@qmul.ac.uk or you can phone/message Ella on 07740 547689.

You can book a one to one Zoom meeting with Ella at least 24 hours in advance by going to the ‘Contact Us’ page.

St Benet’s was rebuilt in 1962 as the University of London chaplaincy.

In 1964 the interior walls of the circular domed chapel were decorated with a series of unique murals, designed and executed by the renowned Polish ceramicist, Adam Kossowski.

In June 2014 the chapel and murals received a Grade II listing from English Heritage.

The murals feature seven scenes from the last book of the Bible, the Revelation of St John and form one of the most impressive examples of ‘sgraffito work in England. ‘Sgraffito is an ancient technique which essentially involves scraping through a thin layer of soft plaster to reveal a darker base.

The book of Revelation was written at the end of first century AD during the reign of the Roman Emperor Domitian, a period of extreme suffering for the early church. The readers/viewers of Revelation are encouraged to see their present suffering against the whole background of human history and eternity. It was the underground resistance literature of its time, using elements of symbolism both to hide its message from the persecutors and to reveal a message of ultimate triumph to the faithful.

The first panel depicts the author, St John, in exile on the island of Patmos, receiving his vision and writing letters to the seven churches of Asia (Revelation, chapters 1 to 3)

About St Benet

St Benet’s is named after Saint Benedict whose name is sometimes shortened to St Benet.

Benedict was born in Nursia in Italy and lived from about 480 to 550 AD. After studying in Rome, he tried to live before God in solitude as a hermit in a cave at Subiaco, but was soon joined by others eager to learn from him. Eventually he organised these followers into small communities, bound together by a common rule of life.

The Rule of St Benedict is essentially a simple and practical guide for daily living: a balance between physical work, intellectual study and corporate prayer.

Benedict is regarded as the founder of Western monasticism and he is the patron saint of Europe. With his simple rule of work, study and prayer, we think he’s a good saint for a university chaplaincy too. We celebrate St Benet’s Day each year on 11 July, with a simple service of thanksgiving at the end of the academic year.

A prayer of St Benedict

O gracious and Holy Father,
give us wisdom to perceive you,
intelligence to seek you,
patience to wait for you,
vision to behold you,
a heart to meditate upon you,
and a life to proclaim you,
through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.