Posts Tagged ‘chapel’


article-0-047676A0000005DC-771_634x467 mini chapel

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”.

article-0-04767209000005DC-560_634x452 mini chapel inside

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

Chapel of the Crosses

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bottle-2 bottle-detail

Monks in Thailand have built a temple complex from over 1 million recycled beer bottles. Above is the temple and a detail from the roof.


Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew, also known as Wat Lan Kuad or ‘the Temple of a Million Bottles’, is in Sisaket province near the Cambodian border, 400 miles from the capital Bangkok.

The Buddhist monks began collecting beer bottles in 1984 and they collected so many that they decided to use them as a building material. They encouraged the local authorities to send them more and they have now created a complex of around 20 buildings using the beer bottles, comprising the main temple over a lake, crematorium, prayer rooms, a hall, water tower, tourist bathrooms and several small bungalows raised off the ground which serve as monks quarters.


A concrete core is used to strengthen the building and the green bottles are Heineken and the brown ones are the Thai beer Chang. The bottles do not lose their colour, provide good lighting and are easy to clean, the men say. The monks are so eco-friendly that the mosaics of Buddha are created with recycled beer bottle caps.

Altogether there are about 1.5 million recycled bottles in the temple, and the monks at the temple are intending to reuse even more. Abbot San Kataboonyo said: “The more bottles we get, the more buildings we make.”

The beer bottle temple is now on an approved list of eco-friendly sight-seeing tours in southeast Asia.

For more information go to http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/10/temple-built-from-beer-bottles.php

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