Soldiers build chapel with a difference

afghanram'LCpl Hardy, from Chesterfield, second left, with Fr Smith, centre, and other soldiers who built the log cabin chapel at Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand
afghanram'LCpl Hardy, from Chesterfield, second left, with Fr Smith, centre, and other soldiers who built the log cabin chapel at Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand
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A CHESTERFIELD soldier has helped to create an unusual church in the Afghan desert – in the style of a Swiss log cabin.

Lance Corporal Christopher Hardy, of Second Battalion The Mercian Regiment, was among a team of soldiers who built the log cabin chapel at Forward Operating Base Ouellette, in the Nahr-e Saraj district.

It has been nicknamed the Chapel of St Martin of Tours, a young Roman Christian soldier.

And the chapel has been admired by soldiers at British bases across Helmand.

The new building provides a private setting in which soldiers can attend religious services or simply talk with the Padre in a confidential environment.

Father David Smith, Padre at the base, said: “The new chapel is a worthwhile investment for the soldiers and is a haven of peace and quiet away from the busy operational environment.”

Fr Smith added: “It is a huge privilege to be with my soldiers on the ground and I hope to be of some support to them during what can be a very testing time for them.”