On Feb. 26, National Cathedral School dedicated a new chapel that joins the Washington National Cathedral as a focal point for the spiritual life of the school's students, faculty/staff, and alumnae.
The new Grace Chapel was consecrated in a service led by the bishop of the Diocese of Washington, the Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, and attended by more than 250 people, including a dozen clergy from around the Cathedral Close and the region.
"May this space be a place where, in a time of wondering and curiosity about the future, the assurance of God's grace might be revealed to a heart," Bishop Budde said in her sermon
, adding, "When God looks into your heart, God is graciously and overwhelmingly pleased with you."
Grace Chapel is dedicated to the memory of Ben Hutto, the late director of the coordinate performing arts program at National Cathedral School and St. Albans School. It opened for the first time last week, when NCS's three divisions each held divisional chapel services, which will now be a regular occurrence there.
The consecration service included prayers from several members of the NCS community: alumna Mary Hobart '61; current students Anna Youngkin '18 and Emma Stifel '25; the school chaplains—the Rev. Eva Cavaleri, Rachel Mumford, and the Rev. Cameron Soulis; and Head of School Kathleen O'Neill Jamieson. Music was provided by Kimberly Tan '18, Director of Instrumental Music Scott Wood, Director of Choral Music Brandon Straub, and a choir of students, faculty, and staff.
Over six months of construction, Grace Chapel took shape within a 100-year-old building that was originally constructed as a gymnasium. Whitby Gym was the second building to open on the NCS campus, and it allowed the young school to offer physical education classes. It included an elevated stage upon which plays could be performed. Over the years, the gym would serve also as the site for dances and, most recently, a library for the Upper and Middle Schools.
Its dedication marks the final ceremony of the Educating Women for the World Campaign, which also renovated much of NCS's Woodley North buildings and grounds. Special thanks go to all whose philanthropic gifts made Grace Chapel a reality and to those in our community who helped bring it to life.