Wayfarers Chapel

A Unique Sacred Space and Beliefs That Interconnect With All Of Life

The mission of the Wayfarers Chapel is to nurture the spiritual journey of wayfarers. Wayfarers Chapel is a Swedenborgian church that welcomes people of all faiths to our worship services and to celebrate other important passages of life, including memorial services, baptisms, and weddings.

Wayfarers Chapel is an open and affirming Christian ministry of the Swedenborgian Church of North America, offering equal blessing and support to all people regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, national origin, religious background, or chosen spiritual path. (Click to read our denomination’s statement on discrimination)

The Chapel and Grounds

Nestled in a grove of towering redwood trees, the natural sanctuary made of Palos Verdes stone, redwood, and glass was designed by architect Lloyd Wright. The Chapel’s organic architecture gives unique expression to the sanctuary as a sacred space that welcomes all wayfarers along life’s path. With its breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island, the 3.5 acres of the Chapel grounds feature beautifully landscaped gardens, trees forming arbored walkways, a reflection pool with a memorial fountain, a colonnade, a rose garden with walkways of engraved pavers, a hillside stream, and a visitors center.

The beautiful, terraced hills of Palos Verdes have experienced shifting land for Millenia. In 2023 there has been an increase of land movement in the Abalone Cove area surrounding Wayfarers Chapel. In February 2024, the chapel and grounds were closed due to worsening landslide issues. A few months later, plans to disassemble the chapel to save it from destruction were announced.

The Chapel is a living parable. The harmony of glass, wood, and stone, combined with the beauty of the natural surroundings, symbolizes the integral relationship of our inner world of mind and spirit with God’s universe.

In the Chapel, the stone beneath our feet and the rock at our side, ancient building materials, represent God’s truth on which faith is built. The walls shelter us from the everyday world, drawing our focus to the altar, opening our inner world to God’s presence. The glass enclosure lets us see the world of nature, and at the same time, allows us to experience the inner world of spirit. The open Bible on the altar signifies God’s continuing presence with us. The candles, lighted for all services, symbolize the light of truth shining forth to guide our spiritual journey. The circle reminds us of the oneness of God, the ongoingness of life and our striving toward wholeness. The triangle represents the threefold essence of God: creating, saving, and sustaining us on our life’s journey. The trees surrounding us represent our lives as we strive to live and grow Godward. Just as trees need water, sunshine, and soil to grow, so do we need truth, love, and knowledge to nurture and sustain our growth.

Our Denomination

An open-minded, forward-looking Christian denomination, the Swedenborgian Church of North America was founded to help people be more open to the Lord’s presence and leading, to facilitate the spiritual well-being of people, and to increase awareness of the new age in which we live. The Swedenborgian Church of North America is member of the National Council of Churches.

Our denomination was instrumental in organizing the first Congress of World Religions, held in Chicago in 1893, and was one of the first churches in the western world teaching that salvation is an inner experience rather than acceptance of a particular doctrine.

Wayfarers Chapel is a Nation Memorial to Emanuel Swedenborg

A haven for seekers who share Emanuel Swedenborg’s quest for a religion that interconnects with all of life, and for a system that allows reasoned questioning of life’s deepest religious issues, the Swedenborgian Church encourages inquiry, respect for differences, and acceptance of other traditions of life and religion. Swedenborg shared in his theological writings a view of God as infinitely loving and at the very center of our being, a view of human life as a continual rebirthing as we participate in our own creation, a view of the Bible as a story of inner-life stages as we learn and grow, a conviction that life continues-following the transition we call death-to an eternity of growing fulfillment, and a central commitment to live so as to help other people.

We have Sunday worship at 10am and a prayer service on Wednesdays at 12noon at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Palos Verdes Estates.

All are welcome.