Support for the Forest Chapel

The Borkener Zeitung, January 22, 2005

Promotional association founded in 1998 / Donations needed

Groß Reken (mge).   Maybe it's not the organization with the largest membership in the community, but the work of the forest chapel promotional association is visible to all who come to this place of worship in the forest. And that's not just a few, as Bernadette Nieland-Felgenhauer determines every year.

Photo caption: Bernadette Nieland-Felgenhauer and Engelbert Roters are active for the forest chapel.  Click image to enlarge

More than 18,000 votive candles are lit annually, she says. And there are even more people who come to pray or meditate in the historic place without lighting a candle. Of course, the appointment calendar for Masses and devotions is particularly full for May. Then the church songs carry especially far through the forest.

The members of the group, which was created in 1998 under the direction of Pastor Michael Schönherr, ensure that the site is well maintained. In addition to Bernadette Nieland-Felgenhauer, other board of directors members are cashier Theo Illerhues, deputy Bernhard Korte and secretary Anneliese Schulte-Tenbohlen.. The latter name is also connected closely with the chapel, for it stands on the former grounds of the Tenbohlen farm (Borkener Zeitung reported). Hubert Tenbohlen recently put out a chronicle of the farm that also includes a history of the chapel and the Eremitage.

In 1686 the first place of worship was erected at the site of a spring known for its curative powers. Five people found a roof over their head there. In 1742 the chapel was enlarged and living quarters were built. Over the course of several changes and renovations through the years the current chapel with the Eremitage evolved. "We first got electricity in 1981," says Engelbert Roters, who grew up here with his family, which has lived here and cared for the outside facilities for four generations.

The Borkener Zeitung has regularly reported on the larger work around the chapel, for example, erection of the altar in the front of the chapel with the Christ figure and seating. A procession path was started; however, at present there isn't enough money to complete the work. Renovation of the outside door is urgently needed. They have permission from the Lower Monument Authority and a craftsman is also ready to begin — in March the new door should be installed. The old one will go to the Reken local history society.

Nieland-Felgenhauer has a another desire: The windows are multicolored and lead-glass in the lower part. For cost reasons only the upper part will probably be of simple structure glass. That would, in her opinion, have to be modified. Anyone who would like to support the association or wants more information can contact the chairman of the promotional association, who can be reached at Tel. 02864/5335. Donation account: Spadaka Reken 1035,767,900 or Westmünsterland Savings Bank. 9,661 158.


A Perfect Copy

The Borkener Zeitung, March 16, 2005

Heini Schöttler and Berni Rathmann build new entrance for the forest chapel

Groß Reken (rpl). The heavy entry door of the Reken forest chapel has been on the stoop for around 170 years — and with barely a trace of the ravages of time. But re-varnishing it over and over had left it a weathered dark brown, the individual panels of the door had separated and had been temporarily repaired with wood filler, and the boards were bolted to protect them against falling out.

Caption: The old door has seen about 170 years of faithful service. Yesterday the forest chapel got a new door. The old one will find a new place in the local history museum. On Saturday at 8:30 a.m. the new entrance will be consecrated. Click image to enlarge.

So it was time for a change, thought the leaders of the "forest chapel promotion association." As part of the bigger renovation planned in the preceding year, the little church in the forest received a sparkling brand-new door this week. Together Berni Rathmann and Heini Schoettler constructed a new oak door for the entrance of the chapel — to the great joy of Bernadette Nieland-Felgenhauer and Theo Illerhues of the forest chapel promotion association, who enthusiastically examined the successful work right on the spot.

Exactly modeled after the old door understood Heini Schöttler, who had already also done the carvings for the benches inside the chapel, before making the new door — gratis. In addition, the necessary oak wood had been donated to a large extent by a Reken farmer. And the door got its handle from its predecessor because the small bronze statue, "The Condemnation of Jesus," should remind future visitors to the chapel that it is a hallowed place.

As for the old door, its days are not over. According to Bernd Hensel and Hermann Eiling of the Reken local history society, for the time being the historic piece will find a worthy home in the museum at the old mill.


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