The All-Faith Chapel
All good things come in their own time, it is said, and the All-Faith Chapel was one of them.
With infinite wisdom and foresight, the founding fathers and mothers of Ivy set aside land near the center of town “…for the use and enjoyment of all.” This “common ground” became known as the Town Commons.
As reported in The Ivy Vine, there was a further caveat: “No structure shall be built thereon that does not enhance the beauty and serenity of the place.”
Over the years, there had been many proposals for buildings on the Commons, but none achieved a consensus and, therefore, the grounds remained empty of anything man-made except for plantings, paths and benches to which no one objected.
There seemed to be a desire to do something with this pastoral piece of Ivy real estate. The question was, what, and the answer came from the collective clergy of Ivy’s houses of worship: a chapel in which members of all faiths could find solace and serenity. They proposed their idea to the Town Council and later to the village at large. It was enthusiastically embraced.
But to make a good idea a reality is, in the words of the group’s spokesman, Parson E. T. Brown, “ten percent inspiration and ninety percent perspiration.” And that it was, though it brought together the community in a way no other activity had. There was a true sense of brother-and sisterhood in the venture.
Despite diverse personal tastes and individual ideas of what such a place should look like, there was surprising agreement when it came to the Chapel. It started with brother Brown’s description of what a chapel should and shouldn’t be: “Not a monument to man, but a humble expression of our faith in a higher power.” And he went on to give his fellow clergymen’s vision form and substance, saying, “In our mind’s eyes, we can see a modest spire reaching heavenward as earnestly as the tallest cathedral, mosque or temple. Its natural, local materials will celebrate the gifts God has bestowed upon Ivy.” The nods of agreement indicated that his audience understood and shared his vision.
Everyone contributed something. One resident’s brother, a noted big-city architect, translated the vision into working drawings – gratis, of course. The townspeople organized themselves by interest and ability. Some gathered and hauled stone for the foundation, while others cut timber in the nearby forest. The skilled taught those less able, and the most affluent worked shoulder-to-shoulder with those who were less well off, both becoming richer as a result.
The women and children contributed their abilities in equal measure. Rock by rock, board by board and nail by nail the Chapel took shape and rose up as if lifted by some divine providence, which most folks felt was truly the case.
Now the place of choice for weekend weddings, the Chapel’s daily role is to provide residents and visitors alike a refuge to quietly reflect on where they are, and how fortunate they are to be there.
5-pc Set Includes:
All Faith Chapel 05240, Mary & John Knight, Jr. 05241, Elizabeth Knight 05242, Parson Brown 05243, and Joyful News 05244.