Church Island is a non-denominational chapel located on Chocorua Island, Squam Lake, in the town of Holderness, NH. A beautiful and peaceful place for worship and meditation.
2020 – 117th Season
Church Island will be open for individual, family and small group visits and quiet reflection this summer to include Private Services. There will however, not be any Sunday Services.
The Executive Committee and I have thought long and hard about the decision to cancel Sunday Services. In light of the worldwide pandemic, our concern for the health of our visitors and staff and the guidance and limitations on group gatherings from the State of New Hampshire, we have made this difficult decision.
We recognize that in this time of great worldwide pain and anguish; our beautiful Church Island can continue to be a force for good. We believe this is needed more than any other time in our lifetime. Keeping Church Island open when visitors can relax, reflect and find peace will be a successful summer from our perspective.
While we know this is the correct decision, we also know that the elimination of Sunday Services will have a major adverse impact on out association’s financial health and its ability to support many other local organizations through our Outreach Program. We would ask that you continue to support the important work and operation of Church Island through contributions to Chocorua Chapel Association as you are able to do so.
We appreciate your understanding and support of Chocorua Chapel Association. This will be our 117th year of operation. While it will not be the year any of us could have anticipated, we will get through this together. We hope that you, your families and friends come through this period in good health. We hope that you are able to visit our beloved Church Island this summer and we look forward to welcoming you back to a joyous Sunday Service beginning in June 2021.
Robert C. Lamb, Jr.
Chocorua Chapel Association
Chocorua Island is the site of America’s first resident boys’ summer camp. Established in 1881 by Mr. Ernest Balch, it operated until 1889.
Religious services were a vital part of the camp’s activity. In 1903 a group of Mr. Balch’s relatives and former campers organized the Chocorua Chapel Association “for the purpose of religious services according to the form of the Protestant Episcopal Church.” Mr. Clinton Crane, the owner of the Island, made it available for worship services and in 1928 he generously donated it to the Association for that sole purpose.
For 38 years, Dr. Clifford Twombly, one of the founders of the Association, conducted services. Since 1941, they have been led by clergy of various denominations, many being summer residents of the Squam area. A list of preachers and pictures of the original boys’ summer camp are in the Memorial Book near the entrance to the chapel.
Chocorua Island Chapel is honored to have been nominated and approved to be in the National Register of Historic Places as of October, 2016.
The Chapel Association permits the quiet, limited use of Chocorua Island by visitors willing to respect it as a religious sanctuary.
Parties or alcoholic beverages are not allowed at any time. The Island docks are closed between sunset and sunrise.
The summer of 2020 marks the 117th year of the Chocorua Chapel Association. The number of people dedicated to its care and operation has grown and the desire for natural simplicity has endured. Necessary island upkeep is ongoing and will remain a priority for the Association. Gifts to Chocorua Island Chapel Association in support of Church Island are appreciated. Contributions can be mailed to: Chocorua Chapel Association, PO Box 356, Holderness, NH 03245-0356. We trust that our Chapel will outlive us all!