Project Description

Meristem: A Prayer Chapel in Memory of Rob and Rachael Des Cotes

Meristem (definition): the tissue in plants containing undifferentiated cells, making new growth possible.

The scientific understanding of meristem is a beautiful parallel to prayer in the spiritual life. The relationship to God in prayer is what is responsible for growth, complex structure, and differentiation in each unique person’s soul. Prayer is what leads us into the discovery of our own true self!

Many, Many Thanks

We want to recognize Dylon Nofzinger and his crew for their stellar and dedicated work in building this unique space with such care and thoughtfulness.

Thanks also to Phil Hurell, whose original design became the foundational work for the build. And to Asher de Groot, who offered his time and expertise to help move plans from model into practice.

Great thanks particularly to David Anderson, Brooksdale Centre Director, who made sure that Rob’s vision actually made it into reality. Without him, this would still be just a lovely idea.

And finally, there are many helpers who contributed to this creation – from financially supporting this vision, to taking apart the old pump house, to hours of sanding and then varnishing the wood surfaces, to building the window benches, and creating the lovely fused glass window. Still others have greatly helped in the many little points of decision-making along the way.

Give Now


Your tax-deductible gift in memory of Rob and Rachael will continue to support the growth and flourishing of Meristem Chapel.

Give Now

The Vision of Meristem Chapel

Rob, Ruth and Rachael Des Cotes have been wise and faithful friends of A Rocha Canada. Ruth is one of the longest serving staff as Children’s Environmental Educator. Rob served as a mentor and spiritual director to the burgeoning staff team in BC for many years. Rob and Ruth’s roles grew to include worship leaders and hosts at Brooksdale’s guest house where they lived, and where Ruth continues to live. Rachael, beloved daughter of Rob and Ruth, was a volunteer, staff and promoter of all things A Rocha.

When Rob passed away in 2016 he left a legacy of spiritual wisdom and joy rooted in Christ. In his last weeks, he communicated a desire for a chapel to be built at the A Rocha Centre to cultivate prayer and solitude. When asked what this chapel should be called, he responded without hesitation, “Meristem.” Prayer, he went on to explain, is the meristem for the transformational experience of God’s love in our lives.

Rachael brought a sense of fun and love into this life. She came alongside young and old with care and a humor-filled zest for life. Before Rachael passed on February 9, 2019, she requested that donations be made to A Rocha in her memory and in honour of her dad who she missed so much, and with whom she is now present.

With your participation, A Rocha will fulfill Rob’s vision for a prayer chapel — a space in which an outward life working to show God’s love for all creation is rooted in an inner life connected to God in prayer.


My Donation   (It's Secure) 

3 digit number on the back of the card. 4 digit code on the front of AmEx.
My Details   (It's Secure) 

  • A minimum donation of $10 is required to be issued a tax receipt. 
  • All recurring credit card donations are processed the 15th of the month.

For more information or an opportunity to talk in person about the project, please contact us here.