Vail Chapel Serves More Than Spiritual Needs in Community

Vail Daily – January 3, 2021 | by Scott Miller

Chapels and churches almost everywhere serve purposes beyond ministering to the faithful. That’s particularly true in Vail, where one chapel serves many congregations.

Almost since the doors opened in 1969, the chapel has served as a community center for meetings and events, from concerts to weddings to meetings of various 12-step groups. The chapel also serves as a haven for travelers stranded when Interstate 70 is closed over Vail Pass.

When work starts in April of 2021 on putting a new roof on the chapel and repaving the parking lot — the first part of a $10 million capital campaign — that work will be done around the myriad community groups that use the chapel.

“We have more community events than religious events,” said the Rev. Tim Wilbanks, the president of the Vail Religious Foundation Board of Directors and the pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church, which uses the chapel. Wilbanks said the religious foundation has already been in talks with Beck Building Company to ensure that work is done without disturbing the many groups that use the chapel.

Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the biggest chapel users, with between 14 and 18 meetings every week, Wilbanks said. The chapel also hosts bridge and mahjong players. The Vail Symposium hosts several sessions per year at the chapel.

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