The Deconsecration of Christ Church at the Quarry

As time wore on, there were fewer and fewer services held at Christ Church at the Quarry. Services in Quarry Chapel became sporadic through the 1920s and 1930s as different Bishops had differing opinions on the role of the chapel. In October 1935, use of the chapel was finally discontinued, and the church was closed indefinitely. In the spring of 1937 the chapel was broken into and vandalized. Names were carved into the chapel’s walls and furnishings damaged, prompting the Harcourt vestry to discuss various options concerning the chapel’s future.

Reverend Leland H. Danforth of Kenilworth, Illinois contacted Harcourt Parish to ask that the furniture from the now closed Quarry Chapel be given to his chapel. Since the Kenyon community had made no decision on other options of storage or use, then Bishop Rogers and President Pierce urged the vestry to consent to give the pews, and other furnishings to Rev. Danforth. Former parishioner Louise Adams reports in her memoirs, “Most of the members of the parish were not informed of the proceedings until the arrangements were accomplished and there was much indignation.” Community members who had grown up attending services at the chapel were irked that they were not consulted before decisions were made. As there was no official rector of the Parish at the time, there was some hesitancy on the part of the acting rector, Mr. Roach (his first name is never mentioned), on what to do. Mr. Roach felt that no decision should be made until a rector was appointed. Despite these protests, the furniture, some of it hand-made by former members of the community, departed for Illinois.

The chapel was deconsecrated in 1937. No-one could guarantee that the chapel would not be broken into again. Adams reports that, “The grounds grew up in weeds and the property deteriorated.” Between its closing and the restoration, Quarry Chapel, as the history of Harcourt Parish relates, “faced the ravages of time, weather, and vandalism.” Though it remained a physical symbol of the Gambier community, there was little that could be done to save it.