A chapel of ease (or 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.
Church architecture refers to the architecture of buildings of Christian churches. It has evolved over the two thousand years of the Christian religion, partly by innovation and partly by imitating other architectural styles as well as responding to changing beliefs, practices and local traditions. From the birth of Christianity to the present, the most significant objects of transformation for Christian architecture and design were the great churches of Byzantium, the Romanesque abbey churches, Gothic cathedrals and Renaissance basilicas with its emphasis on harmony. These large, often ornate and architecturally prestigious buildings were dominant features of the towns and countryside in which they stood. However, far more numerous were the parish churches in Christendom, the focus of Christian devotion in every town and village. While a few are counted as sublime works of architecture to equal the great cathedrals and churches, the majority developed along simpler lines, showing great regional diversity and often demonstrating local vernacular technology and decoration.
A parish church in Christianity is the church which acts as the religious centre of a parish. In many parts of the world, especially in rural areas, the parish church may play a significant role in community activities, often allowing its premises to be used for non-religious community events. The church building reflects this status, and there is considerable variety in the size and style of parish churches. Many villages in Europe have churches that date back to the Middle Ages, but all periods of architecture are represented.
Often a chapel of ease is deliberately built as such, being more accessible to some parishioners than the main church. Such a chapel may exist, for example, when a parish covers several dispersed villages, or a central village together with its satellite hamlet or hamlets. In such a case the parish church will be in the main settlement, with one or more chapels of ease in the subordinate village(s) and/or hamlet(s). An example is the chapel belonging to All Hallows' Parish in Maryland, USA; the chapel was built in Davidsonville from 1860 to 1865 because the parish's "Brick Church" in South River was too far away at 5 miles (8 km) distant. A more extreme example is the Chapel-of-Ease built in 1818 on St. David's Island in Bermuda to spare St. David's Islanders crossing St. George's Harbour to reach the parish church, St. Peter's, on St. George's Island.
A chapel is a Christian place of prayer and worship that is usually relatively small, and is distinguished from a church. The term has several senses. Firstly, smaller spaces inside a church that have their own altar are often called chapels; the Lady Chapel is a common type of these. Secondly, a chapel is a place of worship, sometimes non-denominational, that is part of a building or complex with some other main purpose, such as a school, college, hospital, palace or large aristocratic house, castle, barracks, prison, funeral home, cemetery, airport, or a military or commercial ship. Thirdly, chapels are small places of worship, built as satellite sites by a church or monastery, for example in remote areas; these are often called a chapel of ease. A feature of all these types is that often no clergy were permanently resident or specifically attached to the chapel. Finally, for historical reasons, chapel is also often the term used for independent or nonconformist places of worship in Great Britain—outside the established church, even where in practice they operate as a parish church.
A village is a part of a world clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet but smaller than a town, with a population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand. Though villages are often located in rural areas, the term urban village is also applied to certain urban neighborhoods. Villages are normally permanent, with fixed dwellings; however, transient villages can occur. Further, the dwellings of a village are fairly close to one another, not scattered broadly over the landscape, as a dispersed settlement.
A hamlet is a small human settlement. In different jurisdictions and geographies, hamlets may be the size of a town, village or parish, be considered a smaller settlement or subdivision or satellite entity to a larger settlement. The word and concept of a hamlet have roots in the Anglo-Norman settlement of England, where the old French hamlet came to apply to small human settlements. In British geography, a hamlet is considered smaller than a village and distinctly without a church or other place of worship.
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.
Norton is a small village in Hertfordshire, one of the three original villages which were absorbed into Letchworth Garden City, the other two being Willian and Old Letchworth. The village is known to have existed by 1007, with remains of the medieval settlement visible as earthworks in a field beside the church. However, the history of the village goes back even further than that.
Hertfordshire is one of the home counties in southern England. It is bordered by Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire to the north, Essex to the east, Greater London to the south, and Buckinghamshire to the west. For government statistical purposes, it is placed in the East of England region.
The Church of St Nicholas in Norton in Hertfordshire is the parish church for what was originally the village of Norton but which today has become a suburb of Letchworth Garden City. The present building dates from about 1109 to 1119, with additions in the 15th century including the tower. Before the Reformation it was a stopping point on the pilgrim route to the Abbey of St Albans and the shrine there.
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.
A manor house was historically the main residence of the lord of the manor. The house formed the administrative centre of a manor in the European feudal system; within its great hall were held the lord's manorial courts, communal meals with manorial tenants and great banquets. The term is today loosely applied to various country houses, frequently dating from the late medieval era, which formerly housed the gentry.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
Pedlinge is a hamlet on the edge of the village of Saltwood in Kent. It has its own church, though this is officially classified as a District Chapel-of-Ease since Pedlinge is part of the parish of Saltwood, and not a parish in its own right.
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.
Wiston is a scattered village and civil parish in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England. It lies on the A283 road 2.8 miles (4.5 km) northwest of Steyning.
All Saints Church is an Anglican church in the hamlet of Buncton in the district of Horsham, one of seven local government districts in the English county of West Sussex. Built in the 11th or 12th century as a small chapel of ease to a nearby parish church, and hardly changed or restored since, the stone chapel stands behind a "delightful ... wooded ravine" beneath the South Downs and has been called "a real piece of hidden Sussex". The chancel arch, between the nave and chancel which made up the simple two-room building, had a bizarre 12th-century carving of a person of indeterminate sex exposing their genitalia—until 2004, when an unknown vandal destroyed it with a chisel. The church is still used for Christian worship, and English Heritage has listed it at Grade I for its architectural and historical importance.
Buncton is a small village in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England, part of the civil parish of Wiston 0.5 miles (0.80 km) north. It lies to the east of the A24 road, 11 miles (18 km) as the crow flies, about 18 miles (29 km) by road south of Horsham and 6 miles (9.7 km) north west of Shoreham by Sea.
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. For example, the six Roman Catholic parishes in Palo Alto, California, were combined into a single parish, St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in 1987.Since then, 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.
Palo Alto is a charter city located in the northwest corner of Santa Clara County, California, United States, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Palo Alto means tall stick in Spanish; the city is named after a coastal redwood tree called El Palo Alto.
When a parish is split because of expanding population a chapel of ease may be promoted to a full parish church. An example of this is St. Margaret's Church, Rochester which started as a chapel of ease for the parish of St Nicholas in 1108, became a parish church in 1488 then reverted to a chapel of ease when the parish was recombined with St Peter's in 1953.
Għarb is a village located at the westernmost point of the island of Gozo, Malta, with a population of 1,539 people.
St Nicholas-at-Wade is both a village and a civil parish in the Thanet District of Kent, England. The parish had a recorded population of 782 at the 2001 Census, increasing to 852 at the 2011 census. The village of Sarre is part of the civil parish.
St. George's, located on the island and within the parish of the same names, settled in 1612, was the first permanent English settlement on the islands of Bermuda. It is often described as the third successful English settlement in the Americas, after St. John's, Newfoundland, and Jamestown, Virginia and the oldest continuously-inhabited English town in the New World, since the other two settlements were seasonal for a number of years.
Nayland is a village and former civil parish in the Stour Valley on the Suffolk side of the border between Suffolk and Essex in England. In 2011 the built up area had a population of 938. In 188 the civil parish had a population of 901.
Siġġiewi, also called by its title Città Ferdinand, is a city and a local council in the Southern Region of Malta. It is the third largest council in Malta by surface area, after Rabat and Mellieħa respectively. It is situated on a plateau, a few kilometres away from Mdina, the ancient capital city of Malta, and 10 kilometres away from Valletta, the contemporary capital. It is the home of 8367 inhabitants as of March 2014.
The Church of Our Lady and Saint Nicholas is the Anglican parish church of Liverpool. The site is said to have been a place of worship since at least 1257. The church is situated close to the River Mersey near the Pier Head. The Chapel of St Nicholas was built on the site of St Mary del Quay, which in 1355 was determined to be too small for the growing borough of Liverpool. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II listed building, and is an active parish church in the diocese of Liverpool, the archdeaconry of Liverpool and the deanery of Liverpool North. It is part of the Greater Churches Group. The church was once the tallest building in Liverpool at 53 metres from 1813–1868 when surpassed by the Welsh Presbyterian Church in Toxteth.
Whitchurch Canonicorum or Whitechurch Canonicorum is a village and civil parish in southwest Dorset, England, situated in the Marshwood Vale 5 miles (8.0 km) west-northwest of Bridport. In the 2011 census the parish—which includes the settlements of Morcombelake, Ryall and Fishpond Bottom—had a population of 684.
Dingli is a village in the Northern Region of Malta, with a population of 3,608 as of March 2014. It is 13 kilometres from the capital Valletta and two kilometers from the nearest town, Rabat. The village lies on a plateau some 250 metres above sea level, which is one of the highest points of Malta. The area provides not only open sea views over the tiny, uninhabited isle of Filfla, but is also a good vantage point over Malta. From the cliffs there are also views of the nearby Buskett Gardens and Verdala Palace.
Għargħur is a village in the Northern Region of Malta. It is situated on a hilltop between two valleys, and it has a population of 2,768 as of March 2014.
Wargrave is a large, historic village and civil parish in Berkshire, England. The village is primarily on the River Thames but also along the confluence of the River Loddon. Wargrave is situated in the A321 road 7 miles (11 km) from both Maidenhead and Reading and 3 miles (4.8 km) from Henley-on-Thames. The village is larger than the county average, having a railway station on the Henley Branch Line, off the Great Western main line from London Paddington; the village is quickly accessible to nearby parts of the M4 corridor, particularly Berkshire and Heathrow Airport and local major centres of employment include Reading and Maidenhead, with smaller businesses and additional commercial facilities in nearby Henley-on-Thames and Wokingham. The village has many old listed buildings, two marinas with chandlery services for boats, a rowing club and rises steeply to the northwest in the direction of Bowsey Hill, with higher parts of the village generally known as Upper Wargrave. In Upper Wargrave is a Recreation Ground with a cricket club, bowls club, football pitch and tennis club.
Dunham-on-the-Hill is a village and former civil parish, now in the parish of Dunham-on-the-Hill and Hapsford, in the Cheshire West and Chester district, and the ceremonial county of Cheshire in England. It is located on the A56 main road, near Helsby.
Sevenoaks Weald is a village and civil parish in the Sevenoaks District of Kent, England. The parish is located on the Low Weald, immediately south of Sevenoaks town, with the village of Sevenoaks Weald at its centre. It was formed in 1894 from part of the ancient parish of Sevenoaks.
Started in 1901 and completed in 1902, St. Thomas Aquinas Church is the oldest church in Palo Alto, California and is a registered historic landmark. Its distinctive Carpenter Gothic Victorian style makes it a signature building for the downtown area.
The Chapel Royal is an 18th-century place of worship in the centre of Brighton, part of the English city of Brighton and Hove. Built as a chapel of ease, it became one of Brighton's most important churches, gaining its own parish and becoming closely associated with the Prince Regent and fashionable Regency-era society. It remains an active church.
Hallow is a village and civil parish beside the River Severn, about 2 miles (3.2 km) north-west of Worcester in Worcestershire. The village is on the A443 road that links Worcester with Holt Heath.
Swaby is a civil parish and village in the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England, situated about 8 miles (13 km) north from Spilsby, and 6 miles (9.7 km) north-west from Alford. Whitepit is a hamlet situated 0.5 miles (0.8 km) west of the village.
Eglwysilan is an ecclesiastical parish and hamlet in Wales, within the community of Aber Valley in the unitary authority of Caerphilly County Borough.