We are absolutely delighted to celebrate 100 years of the Little Chapel, a truly unique creation which is situated at Les Vauxbelets in Guernsey.
The Little Chapel – one of the smallest chapels in the world - was the vision of Brother Déodat -Antoine, who belonged to an Order of Brothers founded by Jean-Baptiste de la Salle in France in 1680. He wanted to create miniature replica of the famous grotto and Basilica at Lourdes in the French Pyrenees.
In recent decades funds for the maintenance and refurbishment of the Chapel have been limited, which resulted in the fabric of the building falling slowly into decline. In August 2016, the true extent of the urgent repair work required to save the Chapel was revealed; the need for underpinning and stabilisation was immediate.
In 2016, the Little Chapel Foundation was set up to safeguard the future of the Little Chapel, ensuring it could be saved and protected for future generations to enjoy.
In 2017, the Little Chapel was kindly gifted to the Foundation by the Brothers of the Order of De la Salle in Paris. The Foundation has since placed the Little Chapel in trust for the people of Guernsey and the restoration work has become a cherished community project. Fundraising by the Foundation has enabled stable foundations to be laid underneath the Chapel and the roof and floor have been completely rebuilt. It is skilled and painstaking work and a daunting amount still remains to be done.
The Little Chapel is open to the public free-of-charge and has hitherto received no financial help from the Government. The Foundation therefore relies totally on donations to continue its programme of repair work and improvements.
Top of the funding priorities for the Chapel’s centenary year is the provision of disabled access. The generous support of islanders and visitors will be vital and, as always, it is much appreciated.
With special thanks to The Little Chapel Foundation for its assistance with this stamp issue.