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Interior of St Nicholas, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, founded in 1146,[1] the largest chapel of ease in England.[2]
Wikimedia Commons

A chapel of ease is a church building subordinate to the parish church, built for the convenience or ease of those parishioners who because of distance or natural obstacles would otherwise find it difficult to attend church services. Many such chapels were founded from the 12th century onwards, often in the new medieval towns, or in association with local manor houses for the convenience of the family and their staff.[3]

Chapels of ease were served by curates. Although initially burials and baptisms were often reserved for the parish church, over time many chapels were granted the rights to conduct those services, and most became parish churches during the 19th century.[4]

References



Bibliography


Churches Conservation Trust. St Nicholas’ Chapel, King’s Lynn. https://www.visitchurches.org.uk/visit/church-listing/st-nicholas-chapel-kings-lynn.html.
Hey, David. “Chapel-of-Ease.” Oxford Dictionary of Local and Family History, Online, Oxford University Press, 2003, https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780198600800.001.0001/acref-9780198600800-e-251.
Historic England. Chapel of St Nicholas. https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1210545.
Westhaver, George. “Chapel of Ease.” The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, edited by Andrew, Online, 2022, https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780199642465.001.0001/acref-9780199642465-e-1391.