St Matthew’s Glass Church

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Things to do


St Matthew's Glass Church

Date of travel

August, 2015

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Reasons for trip

A visit to the Channel Island of Jersey contains many locations of distinct beauty, historical and cultural lessons and the shopping centre of St. Helier, but amongst all these is one particular place that is probably unique in the world.

You may not be interested in looking at or investigating old churches at any time, let alone while on holiday, but if you are a fan of Rene Lalique or appreciate art glass of any description, this building is something you must visit and not miss. It will take your BREATH AWAY.

“The Glass Church”, St. Matthew’s in the parish of Millbrook, St. Lawrence, was originally consecrated in 1840 but the glass, for which it is famous was not installed until 1934. Lady Florence Trent, widow of Jesse Boot, founder of the well-known chemist store “Boots”, commissioned Monsieur Lalique of Paris to refurbish the interior of the church in memory of her late husband. It resulted in the unique interior seen and marvelled at by many today.

From entering the engraved glass doors you are met with the light and airy hallway and the signs of Lalique’s work all around you. Walking into the aisle of the church, the communion table ahead, made of frosted glass, greets you with the most stunning cross of glass dominating it, standing over four metres high. The cross is flanked by two pillars and contains concealed lighting that when lit displays it to the most beautiful advantage. All are decorated with Madonna lilies as are the glass in the windows being decorated with Jersey lilies. Going into the Lady Chapel to the left the sight there is equally eye-opening – it has beautiful reredos composed of four angels standing over everyone – again all in glass and complementing the designs in the main doors of the church and throughout the church.

The glass font is indescribable. It is actually signed “R LALIQUE” and is believed to be the only full-sized glass font in the world.

Easily found from St. Helier, if you visit the Island I urge to just go and LOOK and take it in for yourself. The parish and the islanders are rightly proud of this very precious gift.

Val Bucknole

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