Campus Life

Chapel & Spiritual Life


National Association of Episcopal Schools

“Episcopal schools are created to be communities that honor, celebrate, and worship God as the center of life. They are created to be models of God’s love and grace. They are created to serve God in Christ in all persons, regardless of origin, background, ability, or religion. They are created to strive for justice and peace among all people and to respect the dignity of every human being. These principles are the basis on which identity and vocation are to be defined in Episcopal schools.”

Spiritual Life Team

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Elisabeth Barksdale

    Elisabeth "Beth" Barksdale 

    Dean of the Chapel & Spiritual Life, Director of Entrepreneurship
    Read Bio
  • Photo of Rebecca Crites

    Rebecca "Mother Becky" Crites 

    Read Bio

Our Approach

As an independent school within the Episcopal tradition, we aspire to integrate Spiritual Life into all aspects of our educational experience. Chapel serves as a focal point for communal life, and we gather three times a week for services in St. Mary’s Chapel during the academic year.

We offer student-led programs that cultivate cultural awareness and celebrate the rich diversity of our student body, and in doing so invite everyone to participate. Every day we strive to ensure a sense of belonging as a hallmark of our School as we equip curious thinkers to lead lives of impact

Program Highlights

List of 6 items.

  • Episcopal Heritage

    Chatham Hall’s Episcopal heritage dates back to its founding as the Chatham Episcopal Institute in 1894. Today, principle feast and holy days observed by the Episcopal Church are celebrated, including Holy Communion, connecting our present to our rich heritage and history. Photos from Chapels throughout the year are always available on the School's SmugMug.
  • Traditional School Ceremonies

    Many of our annual Chapel services are traditional School ceremonies such as Fall and Spring Convocation, Lee-Yardley Day, Blessing of the Animals, and Baccalaureate. Each year our Lessons & Carols service and Christmas Pageant are highlights of the holiday season.
  • Diversity, Equity, & Belonging Celebrations

    Working in concert with our director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion and our DEI Ambassadors, we offer services each year dedicated to the celebration of often underrepresented populations. Hispanic Heritage, Indigenous Peoples Heritage, LGBTQIA+ History, and a variety of interfaith and multifaith observances are just a few of the services offered each year.
  • Senior Chapel Talks

    As a rite of passage, every graduating senior gives a Chapel Talk. The students plan the liturgy for their programs, request other community members as speakers, create the program, and deliver a thought provoking message to our community. These services are a public and communal celebratory response from our community, and loved ones from near and far often travel to be a part of them. Parents are able to view past Senior Chapel Talks on TurtleNet.
  • Guild System

    The Guild System offers community members yet another way to get involved with Chapel services. Guilds include the Chapel Servers Guild in which students serve as acolytes or banner carriers, the Bread Making Guild in which community members prepare bread for communion, the Altar Guild in which students care for the School's sacred items, and the Flower Guild in which participants make floral arrangements for the altar.
  • Multifaith Room

    Located on the lower level of Dabney Hall, the Multifaith Room is the result of student requests. The room serves as a retreat for people of all faiths and religious traditions to pray, meditate, and engage in other spiritual activities. It is stocked with various books and prayer resources, prayer beads and mats, singing bowls, foldable stools and floor cushions, battery-operated candles in various shapes and sizes, and more.
800 Chatham Hall Circle  •  Chatham, VA 24531
+1 434.432.2941  •
Day and boarding school for girls grades 9-12 in the Episcopal tradition.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Please enter your email above