Thursday, 7th January, 2021
This sounds like an Alice in Wonderland riddle, but as in normal times Christmas is for many people the only time they go inside a church, I though it would be interesting to discover when a Church isn't a Church, and the answer to the riddle is, when it is a Chapel of Ease, and when is a Chapel of Ease not a Chapel of Ease ? When it is a school room licienced for services. Who knew that in the South Huish Parish,there is no parish church nor ever has been, just as there is no parish church in Salcombe. Now that times are particularly hard for the Church, with congregation numbers falling and older buildings needing repair, it is not surprising these interesting facts have been revealed so that future uses can be examined.
The root of the lack of parish churches is that this parish along with other local parished has always been linked with another bigger one, Initially it was linked with West Alvington and was therefore subject to the wishes of that parish, hence St Andrews Church was not rebuilt, in the 1860's despite local wishes.
St Andrew's Chapel of Ease
I wondered if the donors for St Clements the Chapel of Ease knew it was not to be a Chapel of Ease. Surely they had not understood, or why would the lane be called chapel lane, and not school lane? Clerics have also written regarding Holy Trinity calling it the parish church. Would the architect Richard Coad or those installing memorial tablets, and paying for the windows in memory of Sir George Turner have understood that the only parish Churches were Malborough, or West Alvington.
The newly built Holy Trinity "Chapel of Ease" 1870's
When changes were introduced and South Huish joined with Malborough, South Milton left West Alvinton and became an independant parish with a parish church.
There is a saying, if it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck it is a duck, but if it looks like a Parish Church and sounds like a Parish Church, it could be a Chapel of Ease, and if a Chapel of Ease looks like a Chapel of Ease, and sounds like a Chapel of Ease, it could, at least for the time being, be a school room with a licience for services.
When is a Church not a Church?
This post is intended to share local history information, to promote discussion and inform research. The information included is to the best of my knowledge and belief accurate, and obtained from reliable sources. If you find inaccuracies or omissions it would be really helpful to know, so that we can update our information. Maz.
To contact me, please use the contact form here.