Millennium Chapel of Peace and Forgiveness
The Millennium Chapel was dedicated by the Bishop of Lichfield, The Rt Rev Keith Sutton on 2nd November 2000.
The Chapel is the only place within the United Kingdom where the Act of Remembrance is observed on every day of the year. Visitors to the Chapel and surrounding areas are invited to stop in silence at 11am to remember those who have lost their lives in conflict. The silence is preceded by an introduction by BBC Newsreader Peter Donaldson, and a recording is played of the Last Post and Reveille by the band of the Royal Marines. Try to time your visit to the Millennium Chapel for the daily homage at 11am
The millennial aspect is made clear at the entrance to the Chapel where the Millennium Prayer, written by Anna Crompton, is displayed. The prayer was the winning entry in a competition run by Lord Lloyd-Webber.
The Chapel's wood construction echoes the early churches built in Britain some 1700 years ago. The structure is supported by twelve trunks of Douglas Fir, each one representing one of the twelve apostles. Each pillar has a carving of one of the apostles undertaken by Jim Heath. Saint Peter stands by the Chapel doors, keys in hand with a cockerel at his sandalled feet.
The font consists of a block of limestone provided by P J Neville, a Lichfield monumental mason. It stands in a shallow pool in keeping with the many biblical references to streams of living water. The water in the font flows from the top as from a spring.
The altar, pulpit and lectern were all carved by the inmates of Swinfen Hall Young Offenders Institute, just a few miles from the Arboretum. For this reason, the altar has two texts: "When I was in prison ye visited me" and "What they doest in private thy Father will reward thee openly" carved in it.
The altar cloth was commissioned by The Royal British Legion Women's Section with a design based on the theme taken from the book of Revelations: "The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations".
Three crosses hang on the wall behind the altar. The central one is the Sword of Sacrifice that is present at every Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery. The other two are made from elms destroyed by Dutch Elm disease and represent the thieves' crosses.