The strange new chapel

by UK Digital Team

Walter and Mary Kew

In August of 1959, a ground-breaking ceremony was held at the site of what was to become Hyde Park Chapel in London. One worker on the site was struck by the peculiarities of the chapel that he was helping to build. Walter Frederick Kew would return home to his wife Mary, and tell her about the lack of crucifixes and stained-glass windows. This was unlike any chapel either of them had seen.

On 26th February 1961, the Hyde Park Chapel was dedicated by Church President David O McKay. But to Walter Kew and his young family, this was just the end of a job. It would be a long time before the Latter-day Saints would again enter his mind.

The Hyde Park Chapel, London, as seen in 1961

Eleven years later, Mary received a knock at the door of their Hayes, West London home. It was two young missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Trying to put them off gently, she said they could return when Walter was home. Unexpectedly, that is exactly what they did! After a few more attempted visits, they knocked on the door during a downpour of rain. Feeling sorry for these young men, one of whom was limping, she immediately invited them inside.

The family was baptised in July 1972, in the very chapel that Walter had helped build all those years earlier.

Walter passed away peacefully in 2010, a member of the Milford Haven Branch, Merthyr Tydfil Stake.

50 years on, Walter and Mary’s family has grown to include grandchildren and great children, the majority of whom get to enjoy the blessings of the gospel and the promise of eternity together.