The Emmaus Chapel at Launde Abbey
With a few Church of England clergy, I recently spent a 24-hour retreat in the beautiful rural countryside of Leicestershire at Launde Abbey, an Abbey with three chapels. One of them, a very small one, lying away from the main building and near to the converted stable block, is called the Emmaus Chapel, after St Luke 24 verses 13 to 35.
On entering, you are greeted by these words:
Welcome to this
“Chapel by the way”
for solitude and private prayer as you journey
on your Christian pilgrimage.
It is a rather dark building with only a few chairs. A small window, whose colours are mainly blue, green, yellow and fawn, has been inserted into the wall near the door, marking the re-development work done at the Abbey from 2007-2010 and the contribution to that work made by so many different people. The Abbey itself and a group of local people are portrayed in the glass.
Engraved into the window are the following words, prayed across the length and breadth of the country in vast Cathedrals, in small and large urban and rural Churches and in wayside Chapels:
Father, here may the faithful find salvation and the careless be awakened; here may the doubting find faith and the anxious be encouraged; here may the tempted find help and the sorrowful comfort; here may the weary find rest and the strong be renewed; here may the aged find consolation and the young be inspired; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
I offer too this alternative prayer, which I personally find very helpful:
Father, we ask you to open wide our hearts, that we may welcome and share with others; open wide our minds, that we may receive new truth and understand your will; open wide our doors, that as we have come into worship so we may go out with you to the service of the world; and open wide our lives, that we may experience your power in daily living. We pray this through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
More information about the Abbey will be found at www.laundeabbey.org.uk