Latvian services have been held at Rowfant since 1953, when the London
Latvian Lutheran Church first started to lease Rowfant House. Later the
church purchased Rowfant House from the Locker-Lampson family, and
subsequently Rowfant House Ltd was set up as a registered charity to
own and run Rowfant House on behalf of the Latvian Lutheran Church in
Jane Locker-Lampson, a particularly religious
family member of an earlier generation, had converted one of the rooms
of Rowfant House into a chapel, and the Latvians continued to use it as
such. Pastor Roberts Slokenbergs held the first Latvian service there
on 29th November, 1953. Since then, changes have been made to the
chapel which have enhanced its Latvian identity. The pulpit, the great
wooden cross behind the altar, the font, and the chandeliers are the
work of a Latvian sculptor, Zigfrīds Sapiets.
stained glass windows, installed in 2003-4, are the work of Ilga Dripe.
On one side are four windows that symbolize four seasons and festivals
of the church year: Christmas, Easter, Whitsun and the Harvest
Festival. On the other side, above a cupboard that contains cremation
caskets, are two windows with the first and last letters of the Greek
alphabet, alpha and omega. The accompanying texts are Latvian versions
of “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will
live, even though he dies” (Jn 11:25) and “I am the Alpha and the
Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Rev 22:13).
addition to its regular monthly Latvian services, the chapel is
sometimes used by other congregations for their services. It is also
available for baptisms and Christian weddings and funerals, with
facilities for receptions at Rowfant House.