A peek inside a tiny chapel in the Channel Islands, measuring just 16ft by 9ft

Saying a little prayer is an appropriate way to practice at this pint-sized chapel.

Guernsey in the Channel Islands is home one of the world’s smallest chapels.

The place of worship, which is tucked away in Les Vauxbelets, St Andrew, measures just 16ft by 9ft and is adorned with hundreds and thousands of pieces of broken pottery, giving it a magical, otherworldly feeling.

Iridescent mother of pearl shells are dotted around the exterior and interior, with their smooth innards shimmering in the sun.

On stepping into the chapel, it has a calm and serene feeling and you can’t help but be wowed by the jewel box-like interiors.

Small stained-glass windows cast a rainbow of colour on the floors which have been fashioned out of smooth pebbles.

Take a peek inside the teeny-tiny Little Chapel

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The smashed pieces of pottery have been carefully arranged to create an intricate mosaic that could keep your eyes busy for days.

A tiny winding staircase leads you down to another alter area and further down to an exit door.

Guernsey’s Little Chapel was originally built in March 1914, by Brother Déodat.

The Little Chapel in Guernsey measures just 16ft by 9ft and it is adorned with hundreds and thousands of pieces of broken pottery (Photo: Sadie Whitelocks)
Small stained-glass windows cast a rainbow of colour on the floors which have been fashioned out of smooth pebbles (Photo: Sadie Whitelocks)

He planned to create a miniature version of the famous grotto and basilica at Lourdes in France.

However, his first effort, measuring a tiny 9ft long by 4.5ft wide, was criticised by the other brothers, so Brother Deodat demolished the building overnight. 

He built another version, which was completed four months later and this survived until September 1923.

This time around, Brother Deodat decided to demolish it for a second time after the Bishop of Portsmouth failed to fit through the doorway.

A close-up shot of one of the walls at the Little Chapel (Photo: Sadie Whitelocks)

He then started work on another construction, which resulted in the abode which still stands today.

In 1939 Brother Deodat returned to France due to ill health.

After his departure, the care of the Little Chapel was entrusted to Brother Cephas, who continued to decorate the building until his retirement in 1965.

In 1977, a committee was established to restore the chapel and today it falls under the care of The Little Chapel Foundation.

Public donations are used to keep it intact.

The chapel is open from 9am to 4pm throughout the summer and there is no entry charge.

Visiting Guernsey and what to do

Guernsey is set to open to all UK visitors without any Covid-19 restrictions from July 1. Flights run daily from various destinations across the UK and there is a ferry service departing from Portsmouth with Condor Ferries.

Along with seeing the Little Chapel, here are some other top things to do while visiting the island, which measures 9 miles (14.5km) in length and a 3 miles (5km) in width:

  • A day trip to Herm on the Travel Trident ferry. Herm has no cars, a newly-opened nature trail, two pubs, a hotel and multiple beaches. It is also home to puffins which breed there from mid-March to July
  • Stop by at La Nautique in St Peter Port for delicious seafood. The restaurant occupies vaults used in the 18th century by shipowners and merchants
  • Pop to the Hook & Sling cocktail bar for top-notch martinis
  • Check into the four-star Farmhouse Hotel for a hearty Sunday lunch
  • Lap up coastal views from your bedroom at the Peninsula Hotel
  • Have an adventure-filled day with Outdoor Guernsey, which offers a great range of coasteering, kayaking and SUPing trips across the Channel Islands
  • Sign up for a walking tour with Silver level-accredited guide Soo Wellfair, with one of her most popular picks being a trip to the Fairy Ring

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