Weddings, Baptisms and Memorial Services

The Chapel is a rustic and beautiful building and a wonderful place in which to hold a special ceremony. We are happy to offer you its use for weddings, baptisms and memorial services, conducted either privately or during our regular services.

The following guidelines are provided to help make your experience an easy and joyful one for all. Please read the entire document and, if possible, plan to visit the Chapel during a regular service. This will help you decide whether the Chapel is the right place for you.

SOME BASIC FACTS:

  • The Chapel is only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  It can comfortably seat 60-75 guests.
  • The Chapel is located on the highest elevation of Bear Island. It is most easily reached by a simple woodland trail that begins at the Chapel docks in Deep Cove on the southern end of Bear Island.
  • Depending upon your age and physical condition, it can take 10 to 20 minutes to climb the hill to the Chapel. While the trail is somewhat steep in places, there are resting benches along the way to ease the walk up.
  • There is no electricity or plumbing at the Chapel.
  • The donation for the use of the Chapel for a Wedding is $300, and it is $150 for a private Baptism or Memorial Service .
  • The Chapel owns three docks in Deep Cove on the south end of Bear Island which can accommodate up to six boats, 15-22 feet in length, maximum. Any larger boats should arrange to be moored or to dock elsewhere.  
  • Some wedding parties have taxied guests over from Cattle Landing or Shep Brown’s Boat Basin, both of which have public parking lots and are a 5-10 minute boat ride away. 

Location

WEDDINGS

PLANNING YOUR WEDDING:

If you decide you would like to be married at St. John’s on-the-Lake, here is THE PROCESS YOU MUST COMPLETE prior to your wedding day.

 RESERVE A DATE

Contact either Barbara Griscom (barbaragriscom@gmail.com) or Marjorie Burdette (mburdette22@comcast.net) to find out whether the date you have in mind is available and to answer basic questions about the use of the Chapel.

GET A SPONSOR

A Board member of the St. John’s on-the-Lake Association needs to act as your sponsor. He or she will advise you about your arrangements, open the Chapel on the day of the wedding, attend the wedding, and close the Chapel after the ceremony.  If you do not know anyone on the board, ask Marjorie Burdette or Barbara Griscom to help you find someone.  

 TURN IN YOUR APPLICATION and FEE

Once you have a date and a sponsor, complete the appropriate application form found below and send it with your $300 check (made out to “St. John’s-on-the-Lake Association”) to:  12 Loch Eden Shores Rd., Meredith, NH 03253.

Please note: Your date is not confirmed until your application and payment are received.  If you cancel or your plans change, we are happy to give you a complete refund. 

CONFIRM YOUR MINISTER

The Chapel does not have a resident minister. You are responsible for obtaining one for your ceremony and providing his or her transportation.  We can provide you with a list of local ministers. Suggested fee for a minister is $200.00 and is paid directly to the minister.

COMPLETE LEGAL PAPERWORK

You must obtain your own marriage license locally prior to the wedding, and you will need to provide a copy to your minister. Please note that if your minister of choice does not have a pastoral charge in New Hampshire, he or she will need a special license, which takes up to two weeks to obtain from the state. Information and a copy of the application can be found at www.sos.nh.gov/marriage.htm  Please plan to send a copy of your marriage certificate to the Chapel for our records. The address is: 12 Loch Eden Shores Rd., Meredith, NH 03253.

PLANNING THE DAY

ORGANIZING PRINCIPLE:  KEEP IT SIMPLE

St. John’s on-the-Lake is a bucolic Chapel at the top of a hill in the middle of the forest. Whatever you carry up the hill, you will have to carry down.  For example, keep flowers and decorations simple, fun and easy to pack. If you are providing food, think picnic. 

MUSIC

  • You are responsible for arranging for your music and/or musicians. Guitars, flutes and violins sound wonderful in the Chapel.  The Chapel organ is a foot pumped, 19th Century Estey Organ.   (We recommend paying an organist or other musician at least $150.00.)
  • We have multiple copies of the Pilgrims Hymnal, which contains Songs, Psalms and Prayers if you wish to have responsive readings with the congregation or readings by friends.

PREPARATION AND DECORATION

  • You can access the Chapel up to two hours before the wedding and should plan to have cleaned up the Chapel, the trail and the docks one hour after the service. Your Board sponsor will inspect and then lock the Chapel at the end of the event.
  • The candle scones on the wall are the only source of extra light in the Chapel. Bringing a portable light source for the minister and musicians should be a consideration, especially if the weather is cloudy.
  • FIRES, FIREWORKS OR SPARKLERS ARE STRICTLY FORBIDDEN inside or outside the Chapel . Your Board sponsor retains the right to end our agreement, lock the Chapel, and cancel the event immediately should any of these prohibited items be used.
  • Please do not use nails, tacks, or other fasteners on the walls, chairs, or Do not use spray paint of any kind.
  • Do not use rice, glitter or confetti or any other non-biodegradable or inappropriate substance for after the service. In keeping with the natural surroundings, we suggest you provide bird seed or flower petals for tossing after the ceremony.
  • Remember, there is no electricity or plumbing at the Chapel. Please inform your guests that this means there is no running water, toilets, electrical lights, or electrical outlets.
  • Some Cleaning Supplies are kept in the Chapel, including brooms, cleaning liquids, and paper towels.
  • There is one folding table that can be used for refreshments. There are no vases for flowers or mirrors.
  • If the bride and wedding party plan to dress at the Chapel, they may use the second floor landing above the entryway to change. We recommend bringing a sheet for the floor of the landing to protect the dresses.
  • The wedding party and guests should remember to bring appropriate footwear for the rocky walk up to the Chapel.
  • Please note, the upper tower is closed to guests due to safety concerns. (There is no longer a view from the tower due to the surrounding forest.)

IMPORTANT REMINDER:

  • You are required to have the Chapel and grounds returned to their pre-wedding  condition within an hour after the service.

BAPTISMS AND MEMORIAL SERVICES

Special ceremonies should be coordinated  with either Barbara Griscom (barbaragriscom@gmail.com) or Marjorie Burdette (mburdette22@comcast.net). A completed application form and a donation of $150 to St. John’s on-the-Lake Chapel are requested for private baptisms and memorial services.  The date you have chosen in coordination with your Board sponsor will be reserved upon receipt.  The donation is separate from any honorarium paid to the minister and musicians.

Baptisms are most often part of our regular Sunday services, but you must clear this with either one of the coordinators above and the minister scheduled for that Sunday.

 Be reminded that St. John’s is an interdenominational Chapel, and the various denominations have different expectations.

Please remember to bring your own water. We have a small silver Revere bowl to be used for the ceremony. If you wish to use another bowl, you will need to provide it.

 If you wish to have a special ceremony apart from our regular services, you are welcome to do so. In that case, you are responsible for arranging for a minister and making sure you have a sponsor from the Board to unlock and lock the Chapel. If you wish to have music, you must make your own arrangements as well.

The general guidelines for memorial services are similar to those for private baptismal services outlined above.

APPLICATION FORMS :

Click on the appropriate line below to bring up the link to the application that meets your needs. Then follow the steps below.

Chapel wedding application

Special Services Application

  1. Print and complete the form.
  2. Enclose your donation check
  3. Mail the package to:

                  St. John’s on-the-Lake Chapel

                  12 Loch Eden Shores Rd.

                  Meredith, NH 03253

Your reservation date will be confirmed upon receipt of the completed application.

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