2nd Mercian has a proud history

Lce Cpl Hardy, from Chesterfield, second left, with Fr Smith, centre, and other soldiers who built the log cabin chapel at Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand.

Lce Cpl 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, 32, of Brimington, was among a team of soldiers who built the log cabin chapel at Forward Operating Base Ouellette, in the Nahr-e Saraj district, of Helmand Province.

His proud partner Lisa Nunn, 32, said: “Christopher helped build this chapel to provide place of worship for soldiers serving in Afghanistan. He’s such a nice bloke and he will never refuse to do anything for anyone.”

The place of worship has been nicknamed the Chapel of St Martin of Tours and it has been admired by soldiers at British bases across Helmand.

It will provide 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.

“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.”

The British Army is preparing to hand over control to the newly formed democratic Afghan Government in 2015 after it initially joined US forces in the country to stamp out the Taliban which were linked to Al Qaeda and terrorism following the Twin Towers attack, in 2001.

Lce Cpl Hardy, of the Second Battalion The Mercian Regiment, is now serving in Northern Ireland.