The Carpenter’s Chapel
at The Bield
The Chapel at The Bield is our engine room. It is here we get our motivation to carry on, it is here we gather twice daily for prayer, and when asked we pray here with people who are staying with us as guests. Daily, during the working week we share in the reading of a poem, a liturgy, and the Scriptures and listen to what they have to say to us, share our insights, and the Holy Spirit opening our hearts. We sing praise to God our Creator and express our thanksgiving for the gift of life. Here, we are reminded of our calling to offer hospitality, welcome, healing, prayer, inclusivity, and companionship. Here, on Sundays, we meet with our guests for the Eucharist, and prayer with the laying on of hands for healing in pre-CV19 days. We hope to be able to do so again in the near future.
Here, we invite all to share reading the liturgy round the Chapel so that everyone has a sense of belonging. We sing together, acapella, and all may join in. If some need to be silent during the services we leave them in peace as the rest of us continue, carrying them as part of the body of Christ with us.
Our worship is generally ecumenical and we mainly use Iona and Northumbria Community liturgies steeped in Celtic ways of praying. All are welcome to join us, and we seek to make newcomers at ease through a short introduction to our service.
The Chapel was originally the carpentry workshop on the farm. When we first arrived it was very rustic with an earthen floor, stonewalls with little ferns growing out of them and rivulets of water running down the walls. The ceiling had tool storage, and a wooden bench held an open rotary saw. It sat before the small hatch where logs would have been pushed through to be cut into planks.
We decided that we needed to let the romance go and insulated the building so that we would not be exposed to the humidity and cold of the stone and water running down the walls. Only later did we realise how well that would echoed our Celtic forebears in the faith, and how hardy they were when they prayed regardless of comfort.
The Furniture - shelves, table and benches - were all fashioned from a single beech which had died on its feet. The wood was good and strong, and local craftsman Neil created what we needed to suit the space available. We opted for simple lights.
A wood-burning stove was installed yielding warmth and comfort. It sits along the wall on a solid old hearth stone in the pine floor. Without it, the winter cold is fierce.
The stained glass window, we installed in 2000 to remind us that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life for us. The road in the stained glass window points to the Icon of Jesus Christ. This ancient image (7th Century AD) originated in St Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai, and was collected there and gifted to The Bield by a friend. It shows Christ as a teacher, Scriptures on his arm, a hand lifted in blessing.
When you come to The Bield, be sure to pop in to The Chapel - it is always open - and sense the love, prayer, and peace that has been soaking into it for many years now. And please say a prayer for us at The Bield while you are there.. Thank you.