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Mary and St Felix, Babingley
(St Felix chapel)
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and St Felix, Babingley (St Felix chapel)
The chapel of St Felix is unique in East Anglia, and perhaps in England, as a thatched, cruciform 'tin tabernacle', a corrugated iron building constructed from a kit, probably made by Boulton and Paul of Norwich.
The retrenchment of the Church of England in recent decades has led to redundancy for this disarmingly pretty building - ironically, it is probably the placement of the church on the main road that has made it a candidate, because parking is almost impossible. However, St Felix has not been lost to us, and is now in the care of the British Orthodox church, that curious amalgam of Orthodox traditions that was filled with energy by the decision of the Church of England to ordain women as Priests. A minority of those who left Anglicanism over the issue could not bring themselves to become Catholics, and found a home in this eastern tradition. The community here dedicate themselves as St Mary and St Felix. The denomination has half a dozen churches in East Anglia, all fiercely independent of each other. It is said that the current Prince of Wales takes an interest.
Simon Knott, July 2006
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