Saint Brelade's Church

First mentioned in 1035, and believed to be the oldest church in Jersey, (certainly the most photographed,) the church is built on the seashore of St Brelade’s Bay. The neighbouring Fishermen’s Chapel probably predates the church and was rededicated as a chapel in 1933, its murals painted in the 14th & 15th centuries are still visible. The church, restored and reordered in the 1890s, has the largest number of Bosdet windows in the Island.

The church contains eight Bosdet windows (and the Fishermen’s Chapel a further three).

Christ after the Temptation

A single panel. Christ is shown kneeling and in profile, after his temptation and forty days in the desert. Angels in priestly robes are ministering to him… Above, there is a crown of thorns with the biblical quotation: “And angels came and ministered unto him”. Below the memorial inscription appear the symbols of Christ’s temptation: a bag of gold coins, a sceptre and a crown

  • Position: First window in south wall, on the right as you enter
  • Biblical ref: Matthew 4, v.11
  • Signature: H.T. Bosdet, Grove Park Terrace, Chiswick 1900
  • Memorial inscription: "To the Glory of God and in loving memory of Amelia Le Quesne, wife of Alfred Le Gallais, born Nov 5th 1842, died Feb 10th 1894. This window is erected by her three daughters, Mary Hargraves, Maud Davis, Evelyn Goddard."

The Crucifixion

A single panel. Christ hangs dying on the cross. His mother Mary stands on the left and John the Beloved Disciple on the right, representing the moment when Christ entrusted his mother and St John to each other’s care. Mary Magdalen is at the foot of the cross, wrapping her hair around Christ’s feet, recalling the earlier incident when she washed the feet of Christ and dried them with her hair…..To the right of Christ a Roman soldier holds a banner with the words: “Véritablement, cet homme était le fils de Dieu”.

  • Position: South wall, second window as you enter
  • Biblical ref: Mark 15, vv. 33-41 and John 19, vv. 25-37
  • Signature: H.T. Bosdet, Inglewood, Grove Park, Chiswick, London
  • Memorial inscription: "Cette fenêtre est présentée par Elizabeth Mary Norman, en mémoire de son père, John Norman, fils Jacques 1901."

The Sower · The Leavened Bread

A window with two lights.

In the right-hand panel a sower strides out, holding a basket of seed in his left hand and scattering with his right. He wears a red tunic with a pattern of oak leaves and acorns and on his feet he has Roman calf boots. Foxgloves and thistles grow on either side of him.

In the left-hand panel, a woman,wearing a deep indigo dress and richly embroidered cloak, carries a loaf of leavened dough on a small wooden platter.

Three small panels above show an angel bearing a book entitled “The Word of God” and two scrolls with quotations from the Scriptures: “A sower went out to sow” and “Till the whole was leavened”. The two figures are profoundly spiritual, the sower striding out with resolution, symbolising the spreading of God’s word, and the woman, bearing the bread as an offering, a token of her wifely and maternal devotion.

  • Position: South wall, third window as you enter
  • Biblical ref: Matthew 13, vv. 4-23 and v.33
  • Signature: H.T. Bosdet 1901
  • Memorial inscription: "To the Glory of God and in Memory of Edward Falle MA, Rector of the Parish from 1829 to 1882, died 1899, and of Carterette Le Couteur, his wife, died 1890, our Father and Mother."

The Good Shepherd

A double window. On the left, Christ stands in profile, holding a shepherd’s crook, with the quotation from Psalm 23 “He leadeth me beside the still waters”. On the right, a very striking Christ, in a deep magenta robe, releases the sheep caught in the brambles, with the quotation “He seeketh that which is gone astray” (Matthew 18, v.12).

The panels are surmounted by two angels, one bearing a crown of thorns and the other a royal crown of life. They are surrounded by stylised blackberry blossom and fruit, mostly in white and gold. Higher still, there are three small panels of briar roses, with flowers and hips.

  • Position: South wall, in the chancel
  • Biblical ref: John 10, vv.1-18, Psalm 23
  • Signature: H.T. Bosdet 1900
  • Memorial inscription: None in the window design, but a brass plaque beneath it bears the name of William Braithwaite Clerk MA, Vicar of Alne, Yorkshire

The Resurrection

A double window. In the left panel, Christ rises from the tomb, with three Roman soldiers sleeping nearby. In the right panel, an angel bearing a palm of victory, addresses the three Marys.

Mary Magdalen kneels with an amphora of oil which she had brought to anoint Christ's dead body. She is often identified by the amphora of oil, which recalls the earlier occasion when she washed and anointed Christ's feet.

Above, a window shows a bust of Christ, crowned and holding a sceptre, with the text: ”Bienheureux les morts qui meurent au Seigneur”.

  • Position: North wall
  • Biblical ref: Matthew 28, vv.1-7
  • Signature: H.T. Bosdet
  • Memorial inscription: "A la Gloire de Dieu et en Mémoire de nos Parents John Balleine et Adelaide, née Arthur, et d’Adelina, notre soeur. Cette fenêtre est érigée par le Revd. John Arthur Balleine, Recteur de cette Paroisse, et par ses frères et soeur, Arthur Edwin, Ernest Orange and Florence Elizabeth, 1911."

The Annunciation

A double window. On the left, the Archangel Gabriel, holding a lily, symbol of purity and virginity, addresses Mary. Five smaller angels look on, holding a scroll with the words: ”Hail thou that art highly favoured”. On the right, Mary sits before a lectern bearing an open book showing the text: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given”. The lectern is surmounted by four angels bearing a gold crown and the text: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord”.

Above, a small panel with armorial bearings of a star, four wolves’ heads and the motto of the Seale family: “In caelo salus” (Salvation in Heaven).

  • Position: Middle of north wall
  • Biblical ref: Luke 1, vv. 26-38
  • Signature: H.T. Bosdet 1900
  • Memorial inscription: "Cette fenêtre est présentée par John Alfred Seale, Connétable lors de la restauration de cette église, 1900."

The Nativity

A single panel. Mary presents her baby to the world. Joseph stands behind, leaning on his lily staff, accompanied by three angels. To the left, three shepherds look on, one of them playing a pipe. Nearby, a large star announces the arrival of the Wise Men. Three cows stand on the right and doves perch on the roof of the stable. The whole composition is surrounded by a frame of stylised vegetation.

  • Position: North wall, near the rear of the church
  • Biblical ref: Luke 2, vv.1-20
  • Signature: H.T. Bosdet 1899
  • Memorial inscription: "To the Glory of God and in loving memory of James Remon, died August 19th 1859 and of Anne Marett, his wife, died November 25th 1869. Erected by their son James Marett and their daughters Sophia and Susan Pipon."

The Presentation in the Temple · The Baptism of Christ

A window with two lights.

The left panel represents the Presentation of Child Jesus in the Temple. Simeon cradles the child in his arms with Mary and Joseph kneeling in front of him. Joseph is holding a small cage containing two doves, a thanksgiving offering to the Temple. An angel stands behind Simeon, with outstretched wings.

The right panel portrays the Baptism of Christ by John the Baptist. Jesus, in a deep red garment, stands in the waters of the Jordan and John, from the bank, pours water on Jesus’ head. John holds a staff crowned with a long scroll, inscribed with the words “Ecce Agnus Dei” (Behold the Lamb of God). An angel stands near John and a fruiting orange tree grows in the background.

Both lights are surmounted by fully blown pink roses and the whole is capped by a red heraldic shield bearing three gilt hammers, the arms of the Martell family.

  • Position: High in the west wall
  • Biblical ref: Luke 2, vv. 22-38 & Matthew 3, vv.13-17
  • Memorial inscription: "Ces vitraux sont offerts par Edouard Martell de Cognac en souvenir du berceau de sa famille, mai 1900"

Fishermen's Chapel

The Fishermen’s Chapel contains three small Bosdet windows, all without his signature, the designs for which were approved by the Ecclesiastical Court in 1915. Two further windows, "St Brelade Preaching" and "Christ with St Peter and St Andrew", were removed from the Fishermen’s Chapel in 1987 when the chapel was excavated and restored, and are now displayed at the Jersey Museum.

St Brelade en Voyage

St Brelade stands in prayer in the prow of a vessel, sailing out of the frame towards the spectator. The figure-head of the ship is a large crucifix. The saint is surrounded by six companions, one holding an oar as a tiller and another hanging on to the rigging. The ship ploughs through turbulent aquamarine seas. The picture is bordered by a decorated stone Norman arch.

The composition is animated, the faces expressive and the colours rich and harmonious. The legend of St Brelade has much in common with the story of St Brendan the Voyager (circa 486 - 578AD)

  • Position: North wall
  • Memorial inscription: "Don de Walter Francis Hamon de St Aubin, en mémoire de ses ancêtres, Branche Weary, A.D.1930"

St Brelade Saying Mass

St Brelade, in a bright red cloak, saying Mass. Five elderly men kneel in prayer. Above the group and also at the feet of the worshippers there are numerous birds, painted in grisaille (grey monochrome). The whole is bordered by a Norman arch.

  • Position: South wall by the altar
  • Memorial inscription: "Don d’Edward Le Bas de Londres en mémoire du berceau de sa famille A.D.1930"

La Jeunesse de St Brelade

St Brelade is seated in profile with a big volume on the desk before him….In front of St Brelade an elderly saint blesses and instructs him. This person is wearing a pallium, a white woollen stole embroidered with black crosses, which usually denotes an archbishop. The picture is framed by a Norman arch.

  • Position: Middle of south wall
  • Memorial inscription: "Don de John Edward Le Boutillier, Juré Justicier, en mémoire des membres décédés de sa famille A.D. 1930"

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Photo Album

See our collection of photos from this location at the photo-sharing website Flickr.