Difference Between Church and Chapel


Main Difference

The main difference between Church and Chapel is that Church is the holy place where Christians worship their God and have a permanent monastic (religious people) community attached to it, whereas Chapel does not have a permanent monastic community attached to it.

Church vs. Chapel

A church is a place of worship having a permanent congregation and run by a priest; on the other hand, a chapel is a place of worship having no permanent congregation and priest. A church is a place of worship for Christians only, whereas a chapel is a public place of worship.

In the church, some rooms used as school classrooms and other casual activities that are not related to worship. On the other hand, a chapel reserved for religious activities only. These activities include prayers, singing hymns, and sermons.


A church also used to hold funerals and choirs sometimes, but inside a church, while a chapel is the solitary place of worship. The word church has mentioned many times, whereas the word chapel itself has never been mentioned in the Bible.

Comparison Chart

The church is a place of worship for Christians.A chapel is a religious place of worship of Christians which has an institution attached to it.
Smaller as compared to ChapelMore extensive as compared to Church
Used by worshipers of a single faithUsed by worshipers of different faiths
Reserved for religion onlyAttached to non-religious institutions
Staff/ Workers
Christian workers are requiredDoes not have specific staff
For Christian worshipers onlyFor worshipers of all religions
Biblical Reference
Word ‘church’ has been mentioned many times in the BibleWord ‘chapel’ has not been mentioned
Less sacred as other activities are also allowedA sacred room in the church reserved for prayer only

What is Church?

The word Church derived from the Greek word ‘ekklesia,’ which used to refer to the community of believers in Jesus Christ. The name means ‘assembly’ or ‘meeting.’ The term refers to both the local and overall community of Christians.

The word church also alludes to all the Christian communities in general. The purpose of the church is edification, evangelism, and the foundation of worship. The church is reserved for Christians only, no other member of a different religion can use the Church. According to the Bible, a church is something more than merely a building.

The church often considered an organization, but it is an “organism.” It is the united relationship of all Christians with their God and the union of the Holy Christ’s Spirit residing in the hearts of all true believers. To conclude, it said that the church is an individual congregation of all the Christians meeting in one building and the building itself.

There are two types of the church are the visible church and the invisible church. The difference between visible and invisible church is not defined by the Bible, but in general terms, visible church refers to the building of a church where Christians come for their worship and praise their God. They are taught about Christianity over there. Invisible church, on the other hand, refers to all the Christians living around the globe. It is their concept that God called all the Christians as a church. All the religion Christianity prevailing throughout the world is an invisible church.

What is Chapel?

A chapel is a religious place for worship and prayer. Mostly, It is attached to a larger, nonreligious institution, e.g., hospitals, colleges, prisons, and funeral homes. It can also be a part of a religious institution like a church or mosque. In short, a chapel alone cannot be called a church. It is always a place within some other body, i.e., religious or non-religious.

A chapel does not have a specific staff or members. People of different religions may come and pray in the chapel.”Chapel” is a broad term that refers to a larger church or cathedral or small buildings.

A chapel is reserved for activities such as sermons, prayers, and singing of hymns. However, the chapel is a room included in the church. There may be another reason that the chapels were formed in the later years of civilization when people felt the need for a place to pray.

A chapel provides space for worship, prayer or reflection. These are relatively small places of worship as compared to the church. The ‘non-conformist places of worship’ in Great Britain also denoted as chapels.

The word “chapel” is derived from the Latin word “chaplain.”The usage of the word “chapel” varies nowadays; it is not solely limited to Christian terminology. In Judaism, place of worship is also called a chapel. People belonging from other religions can also come and pray in the chapel.

Key Differences

  1. A Church is a public place of worship for Christians; on the other hand, a Chapel is a religious place of worship of Christians which has an institution attached to it.
  2. Worshipers of a single faith use a Church, i.e., Christians, whereas worshipers of different faiths also use a Chapel.
  3. A Church is less sacred because other activities like marriages, classrooms, etc. are also allowed; on the flip side, Chapel is a sacred room in the church which reserved for prayer only.
  4. A Church is reserved for religion only as it signifies all the religious actions, i.e., marriage, bible teachings, etc. on the contrary, Chapel is also attached to non-religious institutions like schools, hospitals, offices, etc.
  5. The word ‘Church’ has been mentioned many times in the Bible, but the word ‘Chapel’ has never been mentioned.


Church and Chapel both are Holy places. A Church can also be called a Chapel, whereas a Chapel can never be called a Church.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson