Meiji Gakuin Chapel (Shirokane Chapel)

Frequent earthquakes caused the ground of Miller Memorial Chapel, built in 1903 (Meiji 36), to sink. Because Miller Memorial Chapel was no longer safe, the auditorium on the 2nd floor of the Sandom Pavilion began to be used as an alternate chapel. However, the Sandom Pavilion was burned down on November 24, 1914 (Taisho 3), leaving no place for the school to conduct services. The construction of a new chapel became the school’s priority. After consulting with the board of directors, “the school prime minister” (means school principal), Kajinosuke Ibuka, and Dr. Imbrie tried to raise funds for its construction. They submitted a petition to both the Presbyterian and reformist missions in the U.S.A. to request financial aid. Their efforts bore fruit, and the donation from Mr. Seberance was applied the construction.

Learned from the Miller Memorial Chapel, the foundation work for the new chapel was carefully done. The cornerstone laying ceremony was held on November 30, 1915, and Dr. Spier, an officer from the Presbyterian Japan Mission who was visiting Japan at the time, laid the cornerstone. Following a smooth construction progress, the Chapel was completed the following year, in March, 1916. The consecration ceremony took place along with the graduation ceremony on March 27th.The total floor measures 589 square meters (704.4 square yards). It adopted an English architectural style, designed by the Voris Architectural Design Office.

Because the chapel became too small to accommodate the student body as it increased in subsequent years, both wings were expanded in 1931, creating a cross-shaped structure. Additionally, a portion of the platform was renovated. On February 19, 1966 (Showa 41), a pipe organ made by Walcker, a West German company at that time, was installed and a dedication ceremony was held.

Moreover, preservation and renovation work including seismic reinforcement was carried out from April 2006 (Heisei 18) through February 2008, and an inauguration ceremony was held on February 29, 2008 (Heisei 20). On October 24, 2009 (Heisei 21), a new pipe organ created by Henk van Eeken from the Netherlands was installed and a dedication ceremony was held.

Meiji Gakuin Chapel became available to alumni for wedding ceremonies, and more and more alumni have chosen this chapel for their weddings.
Please call Meigaku Service Ltd. at 03-5421-1555 for details.

Meiji Gakuin Chapel (Shirokane Chapel)