In December 1923, The Decanian magazine reported on the Dedication of the Chapel. The article began;
‘In years to come the first of November 1923, will be a memorable day for all those who belong to the School, either as present members of it or as Old Boys who retain a vital regard for it.’.
Almost a century has passed, and the Chapel is approaching its 100th anniversary, coinciding with the half term. Just as The Dedication ceremony on All Saints Day in 1923 was an unforgettable day for the pupils who were present, for countless others who have visited since it holds a special place in their memories. It continues to be a cherished destination for Old Decanians who return to Dean Close and often wish to revisit. This Chapel is at the core of the Dean Close Community, bearing witness to both the most joyful and challenging moments.
Dr Flecker recognised this the night before the Dedication when a service was held to mark the closure of the Temporary Chapel. In his words, he reflected on the fifteen years during which the Chapel had been in use and the memories, both happy and sorrowful, that it held for him and the Old Decanians in attendance. Notably, it was the site of his son, James Elroy Flecker's funeral. The Temporary Chapel occupied the space where the current Beaufort block stands today and functioned as a chapel from 1909, later transforming into Brook House Common Room after 1923.
Picture: The exterior of the Temporary Chapel with the Old Oak Tree on Chapel Close
Picture: interior of temporary chapel
Picture: Brook House Common Room 1924
The following day commenced with the Past and Present Football match, which was succeeded by a luncheon held in the gymnasium. Distinguished guests in attendance included the Rector of Cheltenham, The Bishop of Gloucester, and Miss Clara Winterbotham, the Mayor. Following these events, all congregated in the newly erected Chapel for the Dedication Service. The service itself was short, with the Bishop delivering the sermon, Archdeacon Gardner reciting the lesson, and the hymn 'All things are Thine' was sung. Mr. Ellam, the second master, then proceeded to read the Roll of Honour, after which the buglers played 'The Last Post' and 'Reveille.'
The Chapel stands as a War Memorial, paying homage to individuals from the past while also remaining a significant place for those in the present and future. Here's to hoping that the upcoming century holds just as many memorable moments.
Picture: Chapel being built
Picture: Interior of chapel
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