Monnaie Chapel trust looking to install wheelchair access

VISITORS to the Monnaie Chapel may soon have a new facility to enable better access to neighbouring land, if a crowdfunding campaign is successful.

Nicholas Drake, chairman of the The Monnaie Fellowship Trust, in the land beside the Monnaie Chapel. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 30232182)
Nicholas Drake, chairman of the The Monnaie Fellowship Trust, in the land beside the Monnaie Chapel. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 30232182)

The Monnaie Fellowship Trust is hoping to build a 200-metre wheelchair walkway which would follow the line of the St Andrew’s site’s 50 memorial oak trees, which were planted 12 years ago and are dedicated to people associated with the chapel.

The trail would end at a large pond which was originally installed for horticultural use and has recently been cleared of brambles, bushes and trees.

Trust chairman Nicholas Drake said £4,000 worth of pledges had been received so far, though only £2,002 of this appeared on their JustGiving page as of yesterday as some pledges had come in separately. The money will be invested in a one-metre wide pathway consisting of 100mm crushed hardcore over a geotextile membrane and finished with a layer of compacted stone dust.

It will also have metal-edged sides to keep weeds to a minimum and so ease maintenance.

Once finished, the new facility will be named the Jeanne Groves Walkway after a regular member of the Monnaie Chapel congregation, who died in August at the age of 99.

Mr Drake said the trust was not keen to open the site to all members of the public and the new facility was intended for use by those visiting to worship at the chapel.

‘I’ll be happy to think it’s a facility for future generations of disabled people to enjoy,’ Mr Drake said.

The site is set back from the road, down a track from the Rue du Monnaie and there is a legal right of way for callers to the chapel, which has its own wheelchair access.

Services have been held at the chapel every Wednesday morning for the last 60 years, although these were interrupted by the Covid lockdowns. These services are currently provided at 10.30am by a rota of eight to 10 clergy of different denominations.

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