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Chapel of ease

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Title: Chapel of ease  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: List of places of worship in Brighton and Hove, St Enodoc's Church, Trebetherick, Friends of Friendless Churches, Arthur Wagner, Astley, Greater Manchester
Collection: Types of Chapels
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Chapel of ease

A chapel of ease (sometimes chapel-of-ease) is a church building other than the parish church, built within the bounds of a parish for the attendance of those who cannot reach the parish church conveniently.[1]

St Nicholas' Chapel in King's Lynn, England's largest chapel of ease

Often such a chapel of ease is deliberately built as such, being more accessible to some parishioners than the main church. Such a

  1. ^ Wooster, Lyman. "Chapels of Ease". Heritage Library Foundation, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina,  
  2. ^ Enright, Gail. "The History of All Hallows Parish". Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  3. ^ Anglican Church of Bermuda. Where to Worship. OUR CHURCHES: St. George's Parish
  4. ^ The Onion Patch: Chapel of Ease, St.David's Island, Parish of St. George, Bermuda
  5. ^ Bermuda's St. David's Island. In St. George's Parish but with a unique flavor and character: St. David's Chapel of EaseBermuda Online:
  6. ^ Grimmer, E. Muriel (1 August 2000), History of Saint John's Chapel of Ease, Chamcook, New Brunswick,, an community, retrieved 8 February 2012 
  7. ^ "About St. Thomas Aquinas Parish". Retrieved 6 February 2012. 


See also

When two or more existing parishes are combined into a single parish, one or more of the old church buildings may be kept as a chapel of ease. An example can be seen in Palo Alto, California, where, in 1987, the six parishes of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Jose in California in the city were combined into a single parish, St. Thomas Aquinas Parish.[7] As of 2007, St. Thomas Aquinas Church serves as the parish church, with Our Lady of the Rosary Church and St. Albert the Great Church as chapels of ease.

Sometimes an ancient parish church is reduced in status to a chapel of ease due to a shift of population. An example is the churches of St Mary Wiston and All Saints at Buncton in West Sussex. For centuries St Mary's was the parish church (located near to Wiston House and therefore the centre of population), whilst All Saints served the nearby hamlet of Buncton, as a chapel of ease. Today, however, the resident population of Wiston is tiny, whilst Buncton has grown, so that in 2007 the status of the buildings was reversed, with All Saints becoming the parish church, and St Mary's reduced to a chapel of ease.

All Saints Church at Buncton dates from the 11th or 12th century.

Chapels of ease are sometimes associated with large manor houses, where they provide a convenient place of worship for the family of the manor, and for the domestic and rural staff of the house and the estate. There are many such chapels in England, for example that at Pedlinge in Kent. An example in the New World is Saint John's Chapel of Ease in Chamcook, New Brunswick, Canada, which was built in the 1840s to support a gentleman's house and the small settlement of shipbuilders, farmers, and grist-mill nearby.[6]

Some chapels of ease are buildings which used to be the main parish church until a larger building was constructed for that purpose. For example, the small village of Norton, Hertfordshire, contains the mediaeval church of St Nicholas, which served it adequately for centuries; but when the large new town of Letchworth was built, partly within the parish, St Nicholas's became too small to serve the increased population. This led to the building of a new main church building for the parish, and St Nicholas's became a chapel of ease.


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