|The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty|
The Chapel is the only building of a hospital founded by HENRY VII for homeless people in 1512.
This hallowed place of worship belongs to Her Majesty The Queen in Her Right as Duke of Lancaster.
It is a ‘free’ chapel or ‘peculiar’, not falling within any bishop’s jurisdiction, though remaining firmly within the established Church.
The Chapel remains an important part of the Savoy Estate, the Duchy of Lancaster’s principal London land holding.
It continues to provide spiritual service to the community, as it has done for nearly five hundred years.
The Savoy Chapel is also the chapel of the Royal Victorian Order, an Order of Chivalry within the Sovereign’s personal gift.
By The Queen’s appointment, the present Chaplain is also Chaplain of the Order.
The expenses of the Chapel are borne by the sovereign, and collections are donated to charity.
Maintenance of this historic building remains the Duchy of Lancaster’s responsibility.
Work began on a new development plan for the Chapel in 2012.
The last extensions were constructed in 1957, with the creation of the ante-chapel, the royal Robing room and the Chaplain's office.
The new work, improved and extended in a project in 2012, included:-
- The royal Robing room was enlarged.
- A new door from the retiring room into the newly-excavated semi-circular courtyard.
- The Chaplain's office was divided into a new office for the Verger.
- A new Chaplain's office was created adjacent to the Verger's office, accessible to the courtyard.
- The present ante-chapel now has windows opening on to the new courtyard.
- The choir vestry was refurbished.
- There is a new kitchen.
The chancel carpet was removed to reveal the Victorian tiled floor, together with the brass memorials to two bishops, both of whom are buried in the churchyard.
Heraldic banners are being made for the Sovereign and the Grand Master of the Royal Victorian Order.
The brief was also for the re-landscaping of the Chapel in conjunction with a major development on the adjoining land.
The vestries were re-roofed with copper; the churchyard re-landscaped, to form an oval lawn, path and stone border carved with an inscription recording the re-opening by Her Majesty the Queen.
THE ROYAL VICTORIAN ORDER has about eighteen members in Northern Ireland.
The photograph above shows His Grace the Duke of Abercorn, KG, attending a reception with some members of the Order at Hillsborough Castle.
First published in January, 2014.