Saturday, 23 March 2013

The Parish Church of St. Martin Le Vieux, Jersey, Channel Islands

There has been a church on this site for 1,000 years or more. The first record is a charter of 1042 in which William, Duke of Normandy, granted to Cerisy Abbey in France, "the (Parish) Church of St. Martin the Old in Jersey, its lands and a third of its corn-tithe"

Slowly the original tiny chapel, on the site of the present chancel, grew into the current structure. First the nave was added and a century later a transept- making the building the shape of a cross. The tower (without the spire) was built. The 14th century saw the south  wall of the chancel opened up and the South Chapel (now the Lady Chapel) added. A century later the south nave was added and the present building was almost complete. An uncompleted chapel to the north of the chancel was started early in the 16th century and eventually finished to a reduced plan 200 years later; and finally the spire- first heard of in 1582- gave us the present church building.

Prior to 1550 and the Reformation, the Church in Jersey, was part of the Roman Catholic Church, and part of the French Diocese of Coutanche. In Febuary 1499 the Pope attached the Church in Jersey to the Diocese of Winchester which remains so today. After 1550 the living became an English Crown Appointment. The English prayer book was translated into French for Jersey. The Church was at one stage was a Huguenot Temple and many of its features destroyed. The chancel was boarded-off and used as the parish school until 1842.

The Beautiful "Ecce Homo" Window at the bottom of the South Nave

The Magnificent East Window depicting the Ascension was restored in 2000 by public donation

The Lady Chapel

The Saint Martin Statue. This wooden statue, presented in 1936 by Lady Trent, wife of Jesse Boot the founder of Boots Chemist.

Beautiful brass lectern

The standards in glass cases on the west wall by the door are those of the St. Martin,s Jersey Mitilia which was disbanded in 1946. A different motif is carved on the end of every pew in the Church.
The Pulpit 

Mosaic panels in the reredos represent the four Evangelists.

The Chancel was boarded off in 1550 and used as the parish school. It was restored 1842.

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