About

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and to pray in, where Nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.  – John Muir

Little Harbor Chapel, located at 335 Little Harbor Road in the heart of the Little Harbor woods and just minutes from downtown Portsmouth NH, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) and UN-denominational Chapel that was established in 1902. LHC offers Summer Sunday services led by visiting ministers in July and August. Open to all, the Chapel is a pristine setting for weddings, renewals, baptisms, and memorial ceremonies; and with private, off-road parking, is a unique venue for arts and cultural events. Event rentals are available year-round. Visit our Reservations page for more information about booking the Chapel.

Mission

Guided by the will of founder, Arthur Astor Carey, the Little Harbor Chapel sanctuary seeks to inspire visitors to foster and nurture their own spiritual practice through access to the sacred setting of the historic Chapel and the unsurpassed serenity of the surrounding woods. ALL ARE WELCOME.

History

The Chapel was built by lay minister, Arthur A. Carey. Carey founded the Chapel as a “Chapel of the New Jerusalem” where he preached at will. New Church Minister Reverend Frank Sewell led the first Summer Sunday Service in July of 1903, a now much anticipated tradition that brings families back to the Seacoast each summer. By 1910 Little Harbor Chapel was exclusively hosting “UN-denominational Services” and using some non-Swedenborgian Ministers.

Arthur A. Carey wrote about the concept of UN-denominational Religious Services:

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“The True spirit of religion is like sunshine. I will not try to argue with my brother, not to convert him, but as no one can live without warmth I will try to ‘sun him out’. Let us have Unity in endeavor, morals and action. Liberty in doctrine and Vital worth in Everything. If I value my own convictions I will gladly respect those of my neighbor. If I am trying to love him as myself, I will also love and protect his independence.”

Chapel Trails Sanctuary

Following Carey’s philosophy of unity, respect for the other, and his deep love of the Little Harbor woods, the Chapel strives to ensure that the land it stewards remains undeveloped and a safe home for the native flora and fauna that inhabit it. Chapel Trails Sanctuary welcomes walkers to enjoy a network of unmaintained trails through the Chapel’s private property, at their own risk. Chapel Trails Sanctuary is a revered place to immerse oneself in the serenity of nature just a few minutes escape from downtown Portsmouth. By making the property accessible, the Chapel welcomes the community to foster a spiritual connection with nature and to build a shared respect among all who frequent this sacred place. For the comfort of all who access our property, leashed dogs welcome. 

Hutchings-Votey Organ (Opus 1479, 1902) 

The Chapel is home to a one-of-a-kind Hutchings-Votey pipe organ that was last played in the 1980s. A full restoration is currently being explored. To learn more about our organ visit the Pipe Organ Database. Contributions to the restoration are gratefully welcome. To support the restoration fund, please email: info@LittleHarborChapel.com

                    

Creek Farm

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When Arthur A. Carey founded the Chapel in 1902 it was situated on his summer property, Creek Farm. Today, most of the grounds of Creek Farm are open to the public. Part of the Little Harbor Loop Trail, which begins on the private Chapel property and passes through city and state conservation land, takes walkers on a tour through the woods, inter-tidal zones and meadows of Carey’s historic seacoast retreat. After a reverential Sunday Service at the Chapel, take a step back in time and visit the natural beauty of Creek Farm’s mix of indigenous and imported flora and fauna.

Creek Farm is open from dawn to dusk and is located just a few hundred yards past Little Harbor Chapel on Little Harbor Road.