Jon and Muriel Richards outside the tiny chapel “Chapel of the Crosses” in their back garden
A couple fulfilled a two-and-a-half year “labour of love” by building a fully functional miniature chapel in their back garden.
Jon and Muriel Richards spent around £25,000 assembling the sanctuary next to their house in Mappleborough Green, Worcestershire, from pieces they collected from reclamation yards across the country.
The altar and pews had to be chiselled down to size, the stained-glass windows specially cut and the building, named The Chapel of the Crosses by the local vicar, can only accommodate 12 people but Mr Richards, a retired watch-importer, said the result was “wonderful”.
He said: “It is about 8 feet by 12 feet – about the size of a garden shed.
“It is very private – it’s part of our home. It’s a home chapel.
“But it is certainly a wonderful place inside; it’s a very emotional place.”
Everything including the chapel’s centrepiece, a bronze crucifixion figure about three-and-a-half feet tall, has “in its previous life” been in a church or a chapel and was collected over a period of around two-and-a-half years, Mr Richards said.
The building has not been consecrated but the local vicar has given services there, he added.
Mr Richards said: “The question everyone asks me is, ‘Why?’
“I’d like to say I experienced some divine intervention but that’s not true. My wife is very involved with the church and is in the choir and … that’s how it started out.
“If you look at the time we spent running up and down the country, going to reclamation yards for all the artefacts, the materials … it is a lot of money but it wasn’t intended. I don’t think we started off with a budget; it just went on. Sometimes when you put prices on it you realise how foolish you were but we fell in love with things.
“It was a labour of love and we knew one day it would be completed.”
This story appeared in the Daily Mail (UK) on 15 April 2009