Saint Martin's Church

This ancient parish church is dedicated to St Martin le Vieux. A church existed on the site as early as 1042 and is older than its neighbour St Martin de Grouville. St Martin’s used to be considered as the leading church in the Island, its endowments were larger than any of the others and many of its Rectors were the Island’s Dean.

The church contains three Bosdet windows.

The Annunciation

A double window.

In the left-hand panel, the Virgin Mary sits in profile, her joined hands resting on a book on her lap. She is wearing a deep blue cloak, a colour which was often, and still is, associated with the Virgin Mary. Mary sits in a garden, with cobbles beneath her feet. An arcaded wall, revealing blue sky, forms the background. Lilies and climbing roses grow beside her. The Holy Ghost, in the traditional form of a dove, faces Mary in profile.

The right panel shows the Archangel Gabriel in profile, wearing a deep red cloak and a sage green gown. He stands on a cloud, with right hand raised in greeting and a lily in his left hand. Both figures are beneath canopies of Gothic architecture.

Above is a smaller, central light showing Sarah, Abraham’s wife, holding a scroll with the promise which God made to Abraham: “She shall be the Mother of Nations” (Genesis 17, v.16).”

  • Position: North wall by the pulpit
  • Biblical ref: Luke 1, vv. 26-38
  • Signature: H.T. Bosdet Chiswick June 1907
  • Memorial inscription: "To the Glory of God this window is erected by Jane Aubin in memory of George Aubin her husband".

The Nativity

A window composed of three lights, and nine smaller panels.

In the left-hand light, against a background of a wooden stable and decorated architectural borders, the Three Kings present their gifts, one standing and two kneeling.

The centre light shows Joseph leaning on his lily staff, looking straight out of the picture. To his left, the bright star of the East shines over the cattle. Mary, seated on a stool, looks down at her baby, her hands clasped in wonderment. The child lies on straw and holds his hands up to his mother.

In the right-hand light, three shepherds worship the Christ Child, one standing with a crook and the others kneeling.

Above the main panels, there are six small decorative panels and three larger panels showing the heads of bearded prophets, identified respectively as Daniel, Isaiah and Jeremiah. The composition of this window is particularly beautiful. All the figures combine to form a circle around the central figure of the Virgin Mary looking down at her new-born child.

  • Position: East wall, in the south chancel
  • Biblical ref: Luke 2, vv. 1-20
  • Signature: H.T. Bosdet 1899
  • Memorial inscription: "To the Glory of God and in affectionate memory of Eleanore Mary Emily Nicolle, wife of Charles Godfray Le Bas. This window is erected by her loving husband".

Abraham’s Sacrifice

A double window.

In the left-hand light, Abraham, in profile, raises a dagger in his right hand, in obedience to God’s command to sacrifice his son Isaac. In the thicket at his feet, a ram is caught in the brambles.

In the right hand panel, Isaac lies on a sacrificial pyre, hands and feet bound. Above him, an angel stays Abraham’s hand and places a protecting hand on Isaac’s head.

Above a smaller panel shows an angel holding the text: “Thou hast not withheld thine only son from Me” (Genesis 22, v.12).

As with so many Old Testament stories which are precursors of events in the New Testament, Abraham’s sacrifice of his son Isaac in the Old Testament foreshadows God’s sacrifice of his son Jesus in the New Testament. Isaac bound to the pyre brings to mind Christ nailed to the cross.

Interesting footnote. A receipt, signed by Henry Thomas Bosdet and dated 1st April 1908, shows that the cost of this window, including packing, insurance, installation in the church and external wire guards was £90.

  • Position: Middle of the south wall
  • Biblical ref: Genesis 22, vv. 1-19
  • Signature: H.T. Bosdet, Inglewood, Grove Park Terrace, Chiswick
  • Memorial inscription: "To the Glory of God, this window is dedicated by Jane Aubin, widow of the late George Aubin Esq., of George St, Hanover Sq., London and St.Mark’s Road, Jersey, March 1908"

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Photo Album

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