Melbourne Grammar School’s foundations are built on the philosophies of the Church of England. At the heart of the School’s Founder, Bishop Charles Perry’s, educational philosophy was evangelical religion. He believed that education of the conscience and heart enabled good judgements to be made and to this day, the School community embraces Anglican traditions.
Students from Prep to Year 12 take part in regular chapel services and classroom teachings in religious education. Worship in the chapel offers students the opportunity to explore their own relationship with God, to have some time for reflection and quiet in the midst of the busy school day. It is also an opportunity to experience some simple Anglican liturgy.
While proud of our Anglican tradition and following a Christian philosophy, Melbourne Grammar School is privileged to have students and staff from various faiths and cultures, allowing all students to examine religious, moral and ethical issues in an environment of tolerance and respect.
The Chapel of St Peter
The Chapel of St Peter is the spiritual and physical heart of the Senior School. Completed in 1893, this notable bluestone building is the first purpose-built school chapel in Victoria. Designed by Mr A E Johnson in the modern British tradition of Pearson and Burges, the Chapel is used daily during term for worship.
Dominating the main school quadrangle the Chapel symbolises the School’s Christian ethos and is an oasis of quiet in the teeming life of a large school. It is a sacred canopy where solemn commitments are made in baptism, confirmation, marriage and bereavement.
Over the years, invaluable gifts have been made to the Chapel, such as silver, fabric, linen, stained glass, embroidered kneelers and bells, and there is always the possibility of similar endowments being gratefully received to enhance the beauty of a much loved building.
The Chapel of St Andrew
was consecrated on 4 October 1931 Like the Chapel of St Peter at Senior School, the Chapel of St Andrew is the spiritual and physical heart of Grimwade House. Consecrated on 4 October 1931, it is positioned in the centre of the school grounds, signifying the historical value the founders have placed upon the centrality of Christian faith and values.
Within the chapel, the Holy Table has pride of place as the symbol of Christ gathered with us. The table itself comes, via the Chapel of St Peter at the Senior School, from the parish church of St Peter on Eastern Hill, from the steps of which Melbourne was proclaimed a city.
All Grimwade House students attend chapel as a year level in a service that lasts about 30 minutes. The service includes singing, prayer, bible reading and reflection upon the theme of the week. The children are introduced to aspects of worship including, liturgical greetings and responses, calls to worship, opportunities for meditation and contemplation, readings from the Christian scriptures, time for reflection, confessional prayer and intercessory prayers, the Lord’s Prayer, Blessings and Benedictions.
Boys in Years 7 and 8 regularly attend Chapel in the Chapel of St Peter. Wadhurst students are encouraged to participate in the various aspects of the services, including serving, reading from the Bible, leading the prayers, special presentations and enhancing the music. The services provide an opportunity for the students to explore the Christian faith and the Anglican tradition. Annual services are held in Term I for each of the Houses at Wadhurst. Boys and their families are expected to attend their House service. It is an opportunity for the House to gather together in worship and fellowship.
A voluntary service of Holy Communion is celebrated most Wednesdays at 8.00am at Senior School. A weekly Choral Eucharist is celebrated on Fridays when the Chapel Choir is present. One or two Houses are rostered to attend along with any other members of the community who wish to attend. Boarders attend a number of morning Chapels with day boys during the week, as well as occasional Sunday evening Chapels with Melbourne Girls Grammar School boarders.
The Staff Eucharist, when the members of each campus come together twice a year, is held in Term I and Term III. The House Service for each of the twelve Houses occurs once a year, and family members are invited to attend. The Valedictory Eucharist for Year 12 students and their families takes place in October. In addition, there is an ANZAC Day service for the Year 9 students.
Grimwade House holds an annual carol service in late in Term IV at St.Paul’s Cathedral. The whole school, together with family and friends, gather for a celebration of Advent and Christmas through song, prayer, and readings with a focus on peace and goodwill to all.
Each year instruction is given for any student who wishes to be Confirmed. The Confirmation Service is a very special occasion, with a visiting bishop and the Chapel Choir adding their presence to ensure a memorable service the Confirmees and their families will recall for many years.
Baptisms are occasionally held in the Chapel and are restricted to Old Melburnians who have been married in the Chapel or by special arrangement with the Senior Chaplain.
Weddings are celebrated in the Chapel of St Peter and are also restricted to Old Melburnians, Staff members, children of staff or those with express permission of the Headmaster.
“May thy blessing and protection, O Lord, be upon us this day; upon our homes; and upon all for whom we are in duty bound to pray; upon the Queen, the Governor-General of the Commonwealth, the Governor, and all who are set in authority under them; upon the ministers of Christ’s holy religion, and the magistrates who administer justice.
And that there never may be wanting a sufficient supply of persons duly qualified to serve thee, whether in church or State, we pray for a blessing upon all places of sound learning and religious education, especially upon this school;
That those who are called to bear any office herein may always remember that strict and solemn account which they must themselves one day give before the judgement seat of Christ;
And that those who shall here receive the lessons of piety and knowledge may use the talents committed to their charge to the welfare of their fellow-creatures and the honour of thy great name.
And this we beg for Jesus Christ’s sake.”
Compiled by Dr J E Bromby and used at the opening of the original school buildings in 1858.