THANKYOU For Helping To Restore the Rock Chapel!
Built in 1876 to a design prepared by Ignatius Scoles SJ, a Jesuit student at St Beuno’s, the Rock Chapel or ‘the Chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows’ is a place known and loved by many, and where many people have had important spiritual experiences. St Beuno’s has been undergoing refurbishment and development over the past few years in order to have a first class retreat house ready for the next twenty years and beyond. This major project has been mainly funded by the Jesuits in Britain. The Rock Chapel was not originally included in these renovation plans, but then a structural survey showed that we needed to undertake significant repairs. We needed to:
- Restore the roof
- Repair the stonework
- Restore the stained glass window frames
We knew that these works would be expensive and we wished to do more to improve the site. We are so very grateful to the many people who have donated to help us with this project - your generosity has raised around £155,000!
We have also taken this opportunity to make improvements to the chapel and its setting. So far we have redecorated and restored the interior. We are now beginning work to landscape and improve the footpath leading to the chapel and improve the woodland around it to make it more accessible and to restore the sightlines from the main grounds to the Chapel. Over the next few months new kissing gates will be put alongside the more tricky to open field gates. Trees which are in poor health (due to Ash die-back) and obscure the route will be pruned or removed by our tree surgeon. The path through the woods will be improved in a way which is sympathetic to the original feel of the pathway. In addition to these works we hope to way-mark the route and also to install a descriptive board to explain a little about the Chapel. These works on the grounds are being led jointly by our architect, Rob Chambers and by Tony Russell, who has designed and is leading on the new St Beuno's Arboretum.
We hope that in years to come new generations of retreatants will make their way to the peace and solitude of the Chapel on the rock!