Cambridge college accused of ‘desecrating sacred chapel’ as nude models pose ‘spread eagle’ on altar for art

Cambridge college accused of ‘desecrating sacred chapel’ as nude models pose ‘spread eagle’ on altar for art

Nude models at the Cambridge college

Steven Edginton

By Steven Edginton

Published: 20/06/2024

- 10:28

Updated: 20/06/2024

- 14:43

Nude models posed at a chapel in Cambridge during a student ball causing outrage among Christians

A Cambridge college has been accused of ‘desecrating a sacred chapel’ with naked models who were ‘spread eagle’ on the altar of a 14th century church, GB News can reveal.

Exclusive video and photographs, seen by this channel, show nude models posed in the altar of Gonville and Caius college’s chapel on Tuesday evening.

The models were drawn by students as a part of the college’s end of term May Ball.

Footage shows students protesting against the naked people being placed in a sacred place for Christians, who were then escorted out of the college by security guards.

A nude model at the ancient chapel

Cambridge Professor of Philosophy of Religion, Douglas Hedley, told GB News: “We are being compelled to be ‘respectful’, except when it comes to the sacred itself!”

“What a pity that this college finds itself embroiled again in controversy.”

“There seems to be either a failure to respect the spiritual dimension of life, or an attempt to desecrate the chapel as a sacred space.”

“As a Christian I could not believe what I was seeing,” James Bates, a student who attended the ball and witnessed the naked drawing, said.

“The chapel has been at the cultural and religious centre of my college for centuries,” he continued.

“To find it flippantly debased for half-drunk undergraduates to be able to sketch nude models who were spread eagle is deeply offensive.”

“Unfortunately, under the new chaplain this kind of thing is likely to become more prevalent, as the college abandons its traditions and embraces the woke and debauched.”

According to the college’s website, the Gonville and Caius chapel dates back to 1390 and “has a claim to being the oldest purpose-built College Chapel in Cambridge still in use”.

Cambridge's St John’s college saw a large pro-Gaza sign draped over the college building reading: “Cambridge divest from genocide”.

The end of term ball is an event for students to celebrate and drink together.

Several students entered the chapel during the nude drawing and were seen protesting against the stunt.

Following their protest, college authorities escorted them from the building, claiming they had not left the chapel when asked to, a claim denied by the students.

Emma Webb, a writer and broadcaster who studied theology at Cambridge, said: “It is sickening. As the altar is where the holy sacrament of communion is received, the desecration could not be more profound.”

“It is a disgrace that the College would not only allow this egregious sacrilegious act to take place, but also treat the Christian students who protested as if they were in the wrong.”

“The message the college sends is clear - no one is excluded from chapel, except for committed Christians.”

“The Archbishop of Canterbury must condemn this in the strongest possible terms.”

The nude controversy is not the first to adorn Gonville and Caius college.

In 2022, following a private talk held at the college featuring the gender critical feminist Helen Joyce, an email was sent by Cambridge faculty apologising “for the distress caused” to students “by the circulation of an email promoting the Helen Joyce event”.

Gonville and Caius college master and senior tutor boycotted the event and wrote to students describing Mrs Joyce’s views as “offensive, insulting and hateful to members of our community who live and work here”.

On Tuesday during another May Ball at Cambridge at St John’s college a large pro-Gaza sign was draped over the college building reading: “Cambridge divest from genocide”.

GB News understands the banner was swiftly removed by security.

Gonville and Caius were approached for comment.

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