St Peter’s College in Auckland will be building its chapel by the end of the year (2018) at an estimated cost of $2.5 — $3million.

James Bentley

Principal James Bentley said the project is solely funded by the school community which had been working hard to raise the funds for more than a decade.

“For a Catholic school not to have a chapel has been a bone of contention for us for a very long time. And our board had been very driven to ensure that we will be able to provide this for our boys and for our community,” he said.

For many years, Mr Bentley said, the school had had to make do with temporary chapels. This had made it logistically difficult to plan school events that included a Mass.

“The community is very eager for a chapel to be based here in school for our community to be able to come together at various Masses and celebrations,” he said.

The front of the chapel.

Mr Bentley said as soon as the consents from Auckland Council come through, they will be able to start construction. Actual construction is expected to start around November and completion is expected by the middle of 2019.

The building had been designed by Stevens Lawson Architects, the same firm that designed the 11.5 metre, 7.5 tonne cross at the entrance to the school. The inverted cross casts a shadow that is right side up during the day.

St Peter’s inverted cross is also the inspiration for the chapel. When sunlight pours through the chapel’s skylight, an inverted cross will shine through.

Mr Bentley said, the design for the chapel “presents a confident and identifiable cross to its most public face, not only to signify the building’s purpose and all that the cross stands for, but also to provide a public message of God’s love and our salvation”.

The main chapel will house two smaller chapels within the building.

“There will be a blessed sacramental chapel on one side and a reconciliation chapel of St Peter. Two quiet spaces for reflection within the chapel,” Mr Bentley said.

He said the desire is to give the students the feeling of a sacred space as they walk in, something not quite achieved with the temporary chapels used thus far.

The chapel will be located adjacent to the school’s top yard and will be seen as motorists drive through Khyber Pass Road.

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