A campaign has been launched to raise $1.5 million towards the construction of a new chapel at St Bede’s College in Christchurch.

The “A little from a lot” campaign was launched recently (see pp10-11). The former Chapel of St Bede at the college had to be demolished following the February, 2011 earthquake, as did some other buildings on the site.

With the loss of the former chapel, an old science building at the college was converted into a small chapel.

But as St Bede’s rector Justin Boyle explained in a campaign booklet, “It has served us well but it was always a temporary solution. It is something of concern that boys who began in 2011 and 2012 have only known this building as a place to worship”.

Mr Boyle has described the new chapel as the college’s most important building, which will provide a spiritual home for Bedeans for the next 100 years.

The booklet stated that the “Society of Mary has very generously donated $1million to the Chapel Appeal and the College’s Board of Proprietors has agreed to match this through a combination of money from its insurance payout and its own funds. Given the overall budget of $3.5m, the initial target for the fundraising campaign is therefore $1.5m. This target is achievable based on the goal of enlisting one thousand ‘A Little from a Lot’ donors”.

These donations will be managed by the St Bede’s College Foundation. The foundation’s Hayden Ryan explained in the booklet that the ‘A Little from a Lot’ campaign has been structured around the concept of a large number of old boys, parents, and friends of the college giving a small amount on a regular basis.

“While larger donations and major gifts will be very happily accepted, the general push will be for individual donations of $10 per week for a period of three years.”

St Bede’s Board of Proprietors chairman Shane O’Brien said in the booklet that “some six years of research and evaluation has gone into a new masterplan for the college that will future-proof St Bede’s for the next three decades”.

The masterplan is in three stages, with the first involving the construction of the new chapel as well as several other significant projects. It hoped that building the chapel will start in 2018.

“The fundraising appeal for a new chapel is one part of an ambitious and costly rebuild programme for the college,” Mr O’Brien said.

The new chapel will be clearly visible from the road.

According to the booklet, “the style of the new chapel design is best described as ‘Collegiate Gothic’ and within this style many attractive architectural details are possible, including the decorative treatment of the exterior. The chapel will have a striking silhouette when viewed from the playing field with the bell tower, lantern, and pinnacles breaking the skyline”.

“Apart from Mass, and the celebration of the other sacraments, it will get a great deal of everyday use as a teaching space for religious education.”

The booklet noted that stained glass windows from the old chapel were salvaged and will be reused.

To view the campaign video please visit: www.oldboys.stbedes.school.nz/chapel