Cathedral of the Pines: A Spiritual Sanctuary in Rindge, New Hampshire

Altar of the Nation

Cathedral of the Pines


If you are seeking serenity or are in search of an interdenominational place of worship or reflection, the Cathedral of the Pines is an outdoor venue for peace and soul-searching. The Cathedral of the Pines is located on a secluded hilltop in Rindge, New Hampshire amidst spindly, fragrant pines with the glorious Grand Monadnock Mountain as its backdrop.

Open free to the public daily from May through October, the Cathedral of the Pines was created to honor the life of World War II pilot, Sandy Sloane, who didn't return alive to his parents following the war. This open-air chapel in bucolic New Hampshire now welcomes visitors of all faiths and beliefs.

The Cathedral of the Pines has become a national memorial to patriotic service, particularly women's wartime sacrifices.

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A Chapel in the Woods

A Chapel in the Woods and a Tribute to a Lost Son - Cathedral of the Pines

Kim Knox Beckius

This ecumenical sanctuary is a place to reflect, give thanks for nature's beauty, honor those who have served America and worship in whatever way suits you. There are a number of worship areas including the outdoor Cathedral, the Mother's Chapel, the St. Francis Chapel, and the Hilltop House.

A visit to this open-air spiritual retreat can stimulate your senses and stir your soul. Whether you attend a service or simply stroll the grounds, you can leave with a sense of gratitude for nature's wonders.

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Altar of the Nation

Altar of the Nation at Cathedral of the Pines - Photo

Kim Knox Beckius

The outdoor Cathedral has several special features that have great significance like the altar, pulpit, lectern, and baptismal font. 

The Altar of the Nation, at the front of the outdoor cathedral where the rock pews face, was dedicated in 1946 as a memorial to the World War II dead of New Hampshire and a shrine to the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. In 1947, it was rededicated as a memorial to all war dead. The altar was hewn from rocks dedicated from the Sons of the American Revolution from every state in the U.S. and U.S. Presidents since Harry S. Truman.

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Women's Memorial Bell Tower

Women's Memorial Bell Tower - Cathedral of the Pines Pictures

Kim Knox Beckius

The Women's Memorial Bell Tower is a 55-foot stone bell tower dedicated to American women, both civilian and military. It was dedicated in 1966 and was the first memorial to recognize the patriotic American women who had served the nation. Norman Rockwell and his son, Peter, designed the plaques featured on the tower to commemorate the hallowed role of women.

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Bell Tower Bronze Plaques

Cathedral of the Pines in New Hampshire - Norman Rockwell and the Women's Memorial Bell Tower

Kim Knox Beckius

There are four bronze plaques, located on the Women's Memorial Bell Tower, one each side, that each represents a different contribution that American women have made to the nation. One side features the "Women of the Combat Forces," including the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Corps, and Coast Guard.

Another plaque features the specific roles women took on during wartime: the nuns serving the wounded on the battlefield, the women working in the canteens, the entertainers who worked to boost morale, war correspondents who reported the news and women who worked in the factories, shops and shipyards so the men could go out and fight.

The remaining plaques feature famous nurse, Clara Barton, and the "pioneering woman."

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Mother's Chapel

Mother's Chapel at Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge New Hampshire - Photo

Kim Knox Beckius

The Mothers' Chapel was built in 1961. The chapel and Garden of Remembrance above it are a tribute to all mothers. It was dedicated to Peg Brummer, the sister of Sandy Sloane, and is maintained by the Rindge Woman’s Club. The chapel can provide accommodations for small groups to hold services and for private meditation. 

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Cathedral House

Picture of View from Cathedral of the Pines in New Hampshire

Kim Knox Beckius

The Cathedral House was purchased by the parents of Sandy Sloane, Douglas and Sibyl Sloane of Newtonville, Massachusetts, in 1937 as a summer vacation home. The Sloanes founded the Cathedral of the Pines in 1945 as a memorial to those men and women, including their son Sandy, who had sacrificed their lives in World War II. They envisioned that their cathedral without walls would welcome people of every faith in a spirit of unity and mutual respect. It was their hope that interfaith understanding would help bring world peace.