Chapel of the Snows

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The Chapel of the Snows
Chapel of the Snows.jpg
The Chapel of the Snows, as of 2007
Basic information
Location Antarctica
Affiliation Christianity
Rite Protestant, Roman Catholic, Latter Day Saints,
Municipality none
Territory Antarctica
Country no value
Year consecrated 1956
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Active
Architectural description
Architectural type Church
Architectural style Modern
Funded by United States Government
Completed 1956
(demolished in 1978, rebuilt in 1989)
Capacity 63
Dome(s) 0
Spire(s) 1
Materials Wood
Chapel of the Snows interior 2008

The Chapel of the Snows is a non-denominational Christian church located at the United States' McMurdo Station on Ross Island, Antarctica and is one of eight churches on Antarctica. The chapel is the second southernmost religious building in the world and has regular Catholic and Protestant services. During the Austral Summer, the chapel is staffed by rotational chaplains. The U.S. Air National Guard supplies Protestant chaplains and the Diocese of Christchurch supplies Catholic priests. The chapel is also host to services and meetings for other faith groups such as Latter Day Saints, Baha'i, and Buddhism and non-religious groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. These meetings are dependent on lay leadership to be the points of contact and facilitators. The building itself may hold up to 63 worshippers.[1]

The original Chapel of the Snows, before the 1978 fire.

The original Chapel of the Snows burned down in 1978 and was replaced with a new temporary chapel. That makeshift building was converted to other uses after the current chapel was built and has also since burned. The current chapel, dedicated in 1989, features custom stained glass featuring the Antarctica Continent, the Erebus Chalice (during Austral Summers only), and memorabilia from the US Navy's historic involvement in Operation Deep Freeze. The altar of the Chapel of the Snows comes from St Saviour's Chapel in Lyttelton, New Zealand,[2] where Robert Falcon Scott worshiped prior to embarking on the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chapel of the Snows. A history of the Chapel of the Snows
  2. ^ "Chapel returning home to Lyttelton". Anglican Taonga. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "St Saviour's Anglican Church (Former)". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Chapel of the Snows at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 77°51′S 166°40′E / 77.850°S 166.667°E / -77.850; 166.667