University Sermons

A University of Cambridge tradition since 1300

A University of Cambridge tradition since at least 1300, the Sermons Before the University challenge us to consider faith more thoughtfully.

University Sermons have inspired the English Reformation, the Abolitionist movement, and more.  Each year prominent women and men from many different traditions deliver Sermons on topics of particular interest to students.  The services are very simple, last about an hour, and are open to all.

Members of the University are reminded that they should wear academical dress in the University Church when attending University Sermons. All are welcome and if circumstances permit, those present will be invited to take refreshments with the Preacher afterwards.


Upcoming University Sermon

Lady Margaret's Preacher: Dr David Hoyle

On Sunday, 6 November at 11.30pm, the University Sermon will be preached by The Very Revd Dr David Hoyle, Honorary Fellow and former Fellow and Dean of Magdalene College, member of Corpus Christi College, Dean of Westminster.  Dr Hoyle is the Lady Margaret's Preacher and this service is the University's annual Commemoration of Benefactors.  His title will be:  The conviction of things not seen. The Chapel Choir of Corpus Christi College will sing at the service. All are welcome, and a reception in Michaelhouse after the Sermon 

Members of the University attending should wear their gowns (scarlet at Commemoration for Cambridge Doctors) and graduates are welcome to wear their hoods. The dress of non-Cambridge degrees can also be worn on this occasion. 

The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle MBE, Dean of Westminster:

David Hoyle is the 39th Dean of Westminster, overseeing the spiritual life of Westminster Abbey and giving leadership to the Abbey community. He was installed as Dean on 16th November 2019.

Dr Hoyle studied history and theology in Cambridge, and subsequently did doctoral research on the later stages of the Reformation in England. His ministry took him to a housing estate in Cambridge, to Magdalene College, and to a Vicarage in North London before he became Director of Ministry and Canon Residentiary of Gloucester Cathedral. From 2010 until 2019 David Hoyle was Dean of Bristol.

He is a published author with recent books about ministry and doctrine. In Bristol, he was drawn into the debate about the legacy of transatlantic slavery, into charity governance and into issues of social justice. He served as Chair of the College of Deans from 2018 until 2020 and was closely involved in conversations about the governance and management of cathedrals. His interests include literature, art and walking. In 2020 he was awarded an MBE for service to the community whilst Dean of Bristol.


Recent University Sermons