The Story of The Chapel

The Chapel was the inspiration and vision of creator Rounvenne Geijl. His vision was critical that The Chapel was a dedication to the animals in harmony with Saint Francis of the Franciscan orders. Saint Francis is also the patron saint of ecology and of animals. As such it was important that the finished chapel fit with the environment in such a way that each enhanced the other.

Selecting the finest of local trades and craftsmen, work progressed at a methodical and steady pace to ensure each part of the journey was rewarding and mutually satisfying to all involved.

Passed down from Medieval times, age old methods of hammer and chisel were used by the stone masons over a nine-month period to assemble the stone structure alone.

Helidon sandstone was used to build The Chapel walls. At a finished thickness of 450mm, each stone was hand crafted some taking upwards of five hours work to fashion into suitable blocks for use; And the bluestone quarried from the Glasshouse Mountains used for the steps leading to the entrance of The Chapel is a great contrast to the Helidon sandstone.   

Natural light floods the interior by use of floor-to-ceiling leadlight windows thus creating a warm and welcoming glow throughout The Chapel. Reflection of light in the building highlights the flecks of gold in the polished white onyx floor which originated in ancient Persian quarries and sent to Italy to be fashioned into finer pieces for their arrival and final resting on the floor of The Chapel Montville. Interestingly the same stone is also crafted for jewellery.

To compliment the warmth and uniqueness of naturalness, master timber craftsman skilfully and lovingly carved Queensland red cedar features throughout. These features include intricately carved cedar chapel doors representing the Tree of Life, individually carved cedar pews with Australian native animals featured along with the cedar alter shaped into the form of a whale tail and fine tree branches which creep onto the high ceiling in keeping with the virtues of Saint Francis.

In keeping with the tradition and vision of such a building, the roof of the chapel is made from copper. The completed structure captivates the ratios and proportions of ancient Cathedrals which provides for magnificent acoustics that enhance the free flow of music and its melodious sounds.  

Although building The Chapel Montville was a time-consuming job for those involved, it was an opportunity for all to be a part of creating such a one-of-a-kind Masterpiece. Upon completion, the Master Stone Mason performed a ‘final traditional stone’ ceremony to show respect to the earth and stone, recognising those that came before us, and honouring the path we walk on the earth. And in keeping with those traditions, the creators name and date using Roman numerals are carved into the last stone block so laid.

With the small details gone into every corner of the masterpiece, The Chapel Montville is simply a magnificent work of art lovingly created by all involved for all of you who choose to benefit from the warmth and love it provides.

You will find The Chapel Montville Located in Montville on the edge of the Blackall Range escarpment, overlooking the Coral Sea and the Sunshine Coast.

If you would like further information, please feel welcome to contact us at The Chapel Montville by email to