Thursday, September 30, 2010

St Brelade's Church and Fishermen's Chapel

This lovely old church sits at the western end of St Brelade's Bay, Jersey. Originally founded in the 6th century as a small monastic church it has been a centre of Christian worship for 1400 years. The main building began life in the 11th century under the guidance of the Bishop of Coutances and the original wooden chapel was rebuilt in stone.
In the 14th century the original tiny chapel (to the left of the main church) was appropriated as a burial place for a prominent family and the east wall decorated with a painting of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, flanked by 14 kneeling figures.
Elsewhere on the ceiling are further paintings, these are thought to date from the 1350 to 1450 period. Near to the east wall is a scene depicting Christ riding on a donkey. (above)

Further down the chapel, on the opposite side, are more scenes including another Annunciation from which the Angel Gabriel is best preserved. (right)
In the days when the vast majority of the congregation were illiterate these paintings would have helped to tell the story of the gospels.
The chapel became associated with the fishing guilds in the late medieval period and has continued to be known as the Fishermen's Chapel.

No comments: