Our colleagues in Australia have been sharing ideas on their facebook page for how to turn a big space like an assembly hall into a chapel space. I know many of you in A-NZ-P are in the same boat, with chapels which are too small for your school (or no separate chapel building at all). Here are some of the ideas they have come up with.

  • Use lots of visuals, but make sure they are BIG.
  • The basic one: make sure there is a large cross for a focal point.
  • See if you can get a specific lectern to use which is different to the one used for assemblies.
  • Use a gazebo frame to hang things on: maybe symbols which will be used in the service, or banners, coloured fabrics, balloons, streamers…
  • Try “worship in the round” if you have easily moved chairs (or students sit on the floor). That makes it easier to draw eyes to the altar or cross or candle rather than the sports equipment or other paraphernalia that may be in the room.
  • If it is a big room and you have a smaller group, set up in a corner rather than on a wall
  • If it is a big space, think about using it for something like dance or movement.
  • Use BIG seasonal focal points:
    • Hire big palm trees in pots from your local nursery for Palm Sunday/Holy Week. (Or talk your school into buying them and use them for the whole Green Season)
    • Enlarge live actors by having them projected as silhouettes on a large sheet.
Image may contain: one or more people, people on stage and indoor
  • Use big painted cardboard boxes for constructing different visuals
  • Get a really big Christmas tree! Here’s one from Waikato Dio:
  • And, of course, we have a number of ready-made big and mobile symbols to use in Anglican Services – as seen at Rathkeale, below!

Anything you can all add to this?