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Page last updated at 10:55 GMT, Monday, 29 March 2010 11:55 UK
A chapel in the Five Valleys has been restored to life

Little Chapel
The Little Chapel was converted in 1925

Set in the heart of the Five Valleys around Stroud the Little Chapel at Rodborough is not only a place of peace and quiet but also a wonderful example of the Gloucestershire influenced Arts and Crafts Movement.

The Little Chapel was converted in 1925 from the former coach house under the direction of the renowned Arts and Crafts Movement architect, Sidney Barnsley who had set up a workshop in Sapperton after moving to the area from London in the 1890s.

The resulting interior, executed by superb craftsmen, is a fine example of Arts and Crafts Movement design.

In recent years there have been problems with the building, especially the roof, as Kay Sandell, a member of the chapel and an authority on its history explained:

This little chapel is important as a church and as fine example of the Arts and Crafts movement.
Kay Sandell

"It became obvious that the problems were greater than we had anticipated and we were told that the roof would need replacing within eighteen months.

"But the work had to be done."

Kay continued: "This little chapel is important not only for us as a church but it is also a fine example of the Arts and Crafts movement and so we felt we had a responsibility to keep it."

With financial support from several major trusts dealing with the conservation of architecturally important buildings the Little Chapel is now restored to all its Arts and Crafts beauty.

The influence of the movement can been seen throughout the chapel including three stained glass windows, two of them created by father and son, Henry and Edward Payne. One depicting Holman Hunt's famous painting Christ the Light of the World.

A third stained glass window was made by Whitefriars of London, famous for their glassware as well as stained glass.

But Whitefriars is also famous for the little extra motif that be found on each window.

Inside the Little Chapel
Furniture and fittings were made by Peter Van Der Waals in Chalford

Kay explains: "All of their pieces have their little signature on them which is a small Whitefriar hidden somewhere on the window."

But the Little Chapel has other Gloucestershire connections as the pews were made by an internationally well known craftsman working in the county.

"The furniture and fittings were made by Peter Van Der Waals at his Chalford workshop having previously been employed by the Barnsley brothers, Earnest and Sidney at their Sapperton workshop. They are very simple but very beautiful."

Besides being used for services and weddings etc., the Little Chapel is also open regularly to visitors interested in its Arts and Crafts Movement associations or as a place of spirituality and quiet reflection.

Individuals or groups are always welcome. Full explanatory leaflets on the Little Chapel and its links with the Arts and Crafts Movement are available in the Chapel.

Little Chapel opening times: Currently between April and Mid October on Sundays from 2.00 to 4.00p.m. Further opening times are planned and will be posted on the Rodborough Tabernacle website .




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