Hamorton Chapel is a church on the move—literally. In the next few weeks the historic Chapel will be carefully lifted and moved south on its existing property. The move will provide the Chapel with a new and safer entrance, larger parking area, a full basement and new landscaping.
The relocation of the Chapel was necessitated by the widening of Route 1 North as part of the ongoing relocation of Route 52. The planned addition of a turning lane on northbound Route 1 would have placed the road just six feet from the existing Chapel’s front door.
Part of the historic district of Hamorton, the Chapel was formed in 1866 and the church building constructed in 1874, with an addition of a fellowship hall and kitchen added in 1958. To preserve the historic building and community, it was decided to preserve and move the existing Chapel, rather than rebuild.
“The Hamorton Chapel and its congregation are invigorated by the relocation of our Chapel.
Not only are we preserving our historic building, but the move will also enable us to provide a safer entrance, more parking and many other benefits for our ministry, congregation and community,” said Reverend Jimmy Montgomery. “This project is a cooperative effort with partners in the community and we are grateful for the support we have received.”
The Chapel will be moved approximately 100 feet farther south on its property, where it will sit for approximately four weeks while a foundation is built for the Chapel in the new location. When the foundation is completed, the building will be moved onto its new foundation, approximately 35 feet from its original location.
During the project, the 80-member congregation will hold services in the auditorium of the Visitor Center at Longwood Gardens.
“Being an active and supportive member of the community is of paramount importance to Longwood Gardens and integral to the legacy of our founder Pierre S. du Pont,” said Paul Redman, Longwood Gardens’ Director. “We are pleased to cooperate with Hamorton Chapel on this exciting project that not only preserves an important part of the community’s history, but also offers new opportunities for the future,” said Redman.
The relocation is expected to be completed by late May. In June, Hamorton Chapel plans a celebration service to mark the completion of the project.
About Hamorton Chapel
Founded in 1866, the Hamorton Chapel is a multi-racial, multi-generational, spirit-led congregation of 80 members. Its mission, adopted in 2009, reads: The people of Hamorton Chapel are: called by the grace of God, inspired by the love of Jesus Christ, led by the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, and guided by God’s word to: celebrate, serve, and share that same grace, love, fellowship and word with the community and the world.” For more information, visit www.hamortonchapel.org.