A PART-time chaplain has taken on a project to reopen the YMCA's chapel after more than 20 years.

Since January 2019, YMCA St Helens has had a part-time chaplain, Kieran Bohan, who is working to restore the chapel as a communal space for residents and staff to gather, or to take quiet time out for reflection.

The chapel, on the second floor of the early 20th century building on North Road, has not been used regularly for more than twenty years.

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When Kieran arrived and explored the space, he found some hidden treasures including a stained glass window celebrating the international YMCA movement with the original red triangle logo and the name in different languages.

There was also a 1949 edition of the YMCA hymnal ‘specially designed for the use of men’ with the original logo representing ‘Spirit Mind Body’ on the cover.

He also found a 1927 edition of the YMCA hymnal and prayer book presented to ‘St Helen’s YMCA Everyman’s Chapel’ presented by the ‘St Helens YMCA women’s auxiliary in loving memory of Betty Leyland’.

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Other items included several wooden plaques commemorating significant people and moments in the life of the association.

Kieran said: "YMCA St Helens has begun to renovate the space to return it to use as a chapel – a creative, reflective, quiet space for the YMCA community to enjoy.

"Since the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) is no longer just for young men, or Christians, I want to rename the former ‘Everyman’s Chapel’ as ‘Everyone’s Chapel’ when the restoration is complete.

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"It will include artwork designed and made by residents to reflect the new name.

"The re-dedication of the chapel will include an event which is open to the wider community to celebrate with and show support for the YMCA St Helens."

Anyone who remembers the Everyman’s Chapel when it was in regular use, or who wishes to help in the restoration, is asked to get in touch with Kieran via kieran.bohan@sthelensymca.org.uk