The YVR Chapel Team is staffed by a Lead Chaplain appointed by the VAC Board, associate chaplains representing local faith communities, and a team of volunteers.
Rev. Dennis Kirkley (left) accepted the role of VAC Lead Chaplain in October 2013. Dennis has extensive international experience and enjoys the multi-cultural environment of Vancouver International Airport.
Our 35 volunteer hosts are essential to the daily operation of the Chapel. They come from many walks of life and share in their desire to be a friendly face and helping hand to everyone at the airport.
Currently there are thirteen associate chaplains who work alongside the Lead Chaplain at YVR and represent a number of faith communities. They spend their time assisting passengers and connecting with airport employees.
What's the Chapel story? The Chapel at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) has been in operation since 1983. Rev. Layne Daggett founded the YVR Chapel ministry and continues to serve in many ways, including Chaplain Emeritus. Dr. Frank McLeod and Rev. Ian Easter also served significant terms at the YVR Chapel, and Rev. Dennis Kirkley has been building on the foundation of these fine gentlemen since 2013.
Why is there a Chapel? Everyone seems to ask, “Why in the world is there a Chapel at the Airport?” Great question! I wondered the same thing when I began, but I soon learned that Layne, Frank, Ian and their Chapel Volunteers built a wonderful connection to many hundreds of airport employees and assisted thousands of passengers, including many refugees, over the years. And I discovered that nowadays over 1100 people step into the YVR Chapel every month! Wow! Each of these contacts affords an opportunity for the Chapel Team to show the grace of God in word and deed, and many times we are asked to pray for people's spiritual and emotional well-being, which gives us great satisfaction and joy.
What brings people to the Chapel? Well, people come to the Chapel for a wide variety of reasons …. and no two persons or days are alike! Basically, employees come to chat, make friends, rest, and most of all to pray and prepare for their day of work (or to recover from it!). Passengers come when they are delayed, stranded, bereaved, friendless or penniless... or just when they want to pray and de-stress before their flights.
What do the Chapel Volunteers do? Greeting and assisting employees and passengers is the main job of our 30 volunteer hosts, who serve 4 hour shifts mornings, afternoons and evenings seven days a week. Our 12 volunteer chaplains and myself are always ready to talk with and pray for anyone that seeks assistance, both in the Chapel and around the terminal. And all of us are supported by very capable board members who give vision and guidance to our work.
Drop by and visit us! If you, your family or your friends are ever at the Vancouver International Airport, please drop by the Chapel for a visit. We're located in International Arrivals, across from Tim Horton's - you can't miss us! By the way, we'd be happy to give a tour of the Chapel and the YVR Terminal to any group from your church or community.... and families and kids are welcome! Just give me a call at 778-241-4122.
God bless you, and thanks for your interest in the YVR Chapel!
Dennis Kirkley, Lead Chaplain