In addition to the new art barn and pottery studio, a small chapel will soon make its way to the Featherstone Campus. The chapel is a gift from Rev. Dr. John D. Schule, the retired pastor of the Federated Church in Edgartown.

In addition to serving the Federated Church congregation for 20 years (he retired in 1998), Reverend Schule was the co-founder of Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard.

At 86 years old, Reverend Schule’s health is declining. He has a rare form of cancer, but on Monday he was in good spirits at his home in Edgartown. In his backyard, not far from a writer’s cottage where he wrote his sermons for so many years, stood the small chapel, about 12 by 14 feet, with double red doors and a four-foot steeple.

“It started when I was at the University of Edinburgh doing graduate studies,” he remembered. “I had the chance to travel to different countries. The thing that stood out to me was all the little family chapels I saw, some big, some very small.”

He described how the extended family and surrounding community would gather in the chapels. On the Vineyard, he told a friend that he wanted to build his own. The friend handed him a check for $10,000 dollars and the next day the lumber was in his yard.

Reverend Schule hoisted the first set of rafters up himself.

“Being the stubborn Dutchman I am, I had to get the second one up too,” he said, of what should have been at least a two-person job. “It came down and almost took me out.”

The highlight of the year for him is the Christmas season, when up to 30 people crowd into the small space to sing carols, with others spilling out of the entryway and still more singing in the yard.

“It was wonderful to be in here,” said Steve Ewing who has attended the event for many years. Mr. Ewing is the owner of Aquamarine Dockbuilders, and has volunteered his services to move the chapel to the Featherstone campus. An endowment has been established for upkeep of the chapel.

The timing of the move is still up for debate. Mr. Ewing doesn’t want to remove the chapel before Christmas in case Reverend Schule will feel well enough to hold another round of carols.

“Don’t worry about me,” Reverend Schule said.

But when the time comes, he does have one wish.

“See if it can’t end up on the knoll,” Reverend Schule said.