VIRGINIA: New chapel honors Bishop Lee

June 10, 2010

Retired Bishop of Virginia Peter Lee's vision for a chapel at Roslyn Conference & Retreat Center in Richmond, Virginia, was officially realized on June 1.

Some 300 people gathered at the conference center to dedicate and consecrate the Bishop's Chapel, build to honor Lee's episcopate.

"His episcopate is an enduring example of grace in action," said the Rev. John E. Miller, rector of St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Goochland and a member of the Chapel Interior Committee, who delivered the homily at the celebratory Eucharist. Lee served as 12th bishop of Virginia.

"The Bishop's Chapel is meant to honor the historic significance of one ministry and to affirm the Episcopal leadership of our diocese in the past, in the present and in the future," Miller said.

The Carpenter Gothic-style chapel, designed by architectural firm Bartzen + Ball, holds 100 worshippers, which matches Roslyn's overnight guest capacity.

"Bishop Lee has always envisioned a chapel at Roslyn," said Kass Lawrence, director of Roslyn. "To be able to fulfill that wish in his honor is an expression of the incredible amount of love and respect that people have for Bishop Lee."

Walls of glass blur the distinction between the indoors and nature in the simple structure, which features a cross built into the glass that rises behind the altar. And, as drivers cross the bridge over the nearby James River, the lighted chapel is a visible lantern on the hills of Roslyn.

"The design takes natural perception of God's presence and points it heavenward, where God’s grace fulfills faith," said Miller.

Lee currently serves as interim dean at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco.