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Helen Hills Hills Chapel

Helen Hills Hills Chapel exterior view

The Center for Religious & Spiritual Life has offices at the Helen Hills Hills Chapel, located on Elm Street across from the Office of Admission. The chapel has a large space on the main floor for formal gatherings, concerts and quiet contemplation. You will find staff offices on the lower level, along with social spaces and a kitchen. In addition to the spaces in Helen Hills Hills Chapel, there is a prayer space in Wright Hall and a Kosher Kitchen in the Quad (see Spaces).

Please note: Art exhibits, banners, and other projects are occasionally displayed throughout the building. These displays cannot be changed or removed for any reason, including wedding rehearsals or ceremonies.

Reservations

Some spaces in the chapel require reservations, and others can be reserved if necessary. Reservations can be made by calling 413-585-2750 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by email: Kim Alston or Maureen Raucher.

History

The construction of the chapel was funded with a gift from Helen Hills Hills, class of 1908. The chapel was completed and dedicated in 1955. In 2009, a renovation project on the chapel uncovered a time capsule that had been buried during the building’s construction. In 2014, the pews were removed from the sanctuary and replaced with oak chairs to allow more flexibility in the layout of the space. To learn more about the building's history, visit our blog.


Sanctuary

The main sanctuary, simple in its beauty, has outstanding acoustics and is the perfect place to hold religious services, lectures, concerts, performances, and other similar events.

Bodman Lounge

Bodman Lounge, located in the chapel’s lower level, provides the comforts of home. It has couches, wifi, a library of religious texts, and an adjacent full kitchen. We encourage informal use of the space without a reservation, but students and groups can reserve the space for events.

Kitchen

The kitchen is located in the lower level of the chapel. It is conveniently connected to Bodman Lounge, but can also be used separately without disturbing ongoing programs in Bodman. The kitchen is fully stocked with appliances, dishes, and utensils—bring your own ingredients.  If you wish to use this space, you must contact Kim Alston or Maureen Raucher to reserve it.  Be sure not to remove anything from the kitchen and clean up afterwards!

Blue Room

The Blue Room is a quiet space in the basement of Helen Hills Hills Chapel intended for contemplative practice, prayer or meditation where one can be alone and uninterrupted.  Resources in the Blue Room include religious texts, Muslim prayer rugs, meditation pillows, chimes, and candles (please use responsibly!) and the cardinal directions are marked on the walls. 

The Blue Room is a sacred space: anyone using the space is asked to please remove their shoes and only use it for activities that align with the space’s purpose.  No food or drink is permitted in this space.  Groups may reserve the room, but louder or larger group meetings are asked to please reserve a different space, such as the Bodman Lounge.

Reading Room

The Reading Room was created to house a collection of contemporary writing: personal stories about loss, mistakes, dreams, and hopes that are intended to offer learning about the spiritual journey through the guidance and experience of others.  You can find Mother Teresa’s biography, the sayings of Thich Nhat Hanh, and anything in between.  The collection in the Reading Room is not stagnant; the Center continues to collect books from the most unlikely places: from Raven, the used bookstore downtown, to the Director's town dump!  Come in to find a new favorite or to rediscover an old friend.

The reading room is meant to be an intimate and comforting space.  While the space can be reserved for small group meetings, please respect the idea of the space and any others who may be using it.  If you wish to reserve this space, contact Kim Alston or Maureen Raucher.

Hindu Mandir

The chapel houses a Hindu prayer space located on the west side of the balcony level of the chapel. Equipped with images, incense, and religious texts, it is a place for Hindu worship and prayer.

Organ

The organ is located on the top floor of the chapel. This Aeolian-Skinner organ is the original one installed at the dedication of the chapel in honor of James Mandley Hills, husband of Helen Hills Hills, after whom the chapel is named.

The organ is available to students at Smith College and any services that take place in the sanctuary. Please contact the College Organist, Grant Moss, to obtain permission to use it or for lessons, or for his services in programs taking place in the sanctuary.