"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Chapel of Ease

I am reading a book about Devon villages and many of the churches are described, at some stage in their history, as chapels of ease.

A chapel of ease (sometimes 'chapel-of-ease') is a church building other than the main church (the parish church) of a parish.

A place of Christian worship, subordinate to or dependent on and distant from a parish church, provided for the convenience of parishioners who might not otherwise be able, by reason of distance, to attend divine service. Another use of such chapels was to provide ease to the church authorities, rather than to the parishioners, by providing a place in which to rusticate overly liberal clergymen without the scandal or strife of expelling them from communion with the wider church, and the consequent risk of them forming splinter sects.

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