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Channel Islands St Matthew’s Church, Jersey - The Glass Church


St Matthew's Church was built in 1840 as a chapel of ease to save parishioners the long uphill walk to the parish church of St Lawrence ,well over a mile away. From the outside is is a rather uninspiring box like white church.


It would still be an unremarkable church if it hadn’t been for Florence, Lady Trent, widow of Jesse Boot who had founded the Boots the Chemist shops. In 1934, she commissioned the French glass designer, Rene Lalique, to refurbish the church in memory of her husband. Not only is the glass work stunning, it is also unique as the moulds were destroyed and there is nowhere else like this.

The first experience of Lalique's remarkable work is on the two glass panels of the main door, of an angel with crossed arms.


Displayed in two niches of the vestibule are examples of the Madonna Lilies from the top of the pillars, which were originally displayed in the Paris Exhibition of 1933.


Inside the church, the first impression is a contrast of light and dark with thje only colour coming from the blue carpet and curtains. Not only is it stunning, it also gives the church a very modern look. The glass in the windows is decorated with Jersey lilies.



Across the back of the church is a glass fronted balcony.


The font inside the door is believed to be the only full sized glass font in the world.


The communion rails are also made from glass decorated with more Jersey Lilies. The communion table is made from frosted glass and above is a massive glass cross. This is flanked by two pillars containing concealed lighting that when lit display the galss to full advantage.


The Lady Chapel on the left has a glass screen. The reredos above the altar has four angels, similar to those on the entrance doors.


The small area opposite the Lady Chapel with a decorative glass screen with more lilies, and was the sacristy.


The Glass Chapel is popular with coach tours of the island, but they tend not to stop very long. It is open everyday except Saturdays and is free to enter. Do leave a donation.


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