Sunday, 23 July 2017

Church on Sunday - Saint Pierre de Rest, Montsoreau

The church of Saint Pierre de Rest in Montsoreau  takes its name (Rest or Retz) from a former Gallo-Roman villa that once occupied the site and is dedicated,appropriately enough to Saint Peter the patron saint of fishermen. Its situation which was actually outside the walls of the village,on a flood plain,meant that it was lost to the river many times over its history and also has to compete for favour with four other churches actually in the village. 

Despite this,from its 12th century origins survive it did. Survival meant raising the ground level around the building to hold back the river and blocking up some of the windows. To gain access you have to press a switch by the right of the door under the porch.

Inside a long narrow nave, restored in the 18th century, leads through the chancel to a beautiful apse with detailed columns and sculpted capitals plus three stained glass windows.

The church features two narrow side chapels.

The ceiling of the nave did not instil you with a great deal of confidence with regards to its construction but one assumes it has been there a long time and doesn't intend going anywhere soon.

The church appears to have two baptismal fonts plus a third 'bowl' described as 'monolithic'.

There is a plethora of art work with copies of major works  plus a modern interpretation of Jesus and his twelve apostles,on which the jury is still out on!

Other features include a simple pulpit,

an interesting set of 'stations of the cross'

plus some 15th century choir stalls which were originally in the nearby abbey at Fontevraud.

It has a fine collection of stained glass windows...

including this intriguing one which features a saintly figure of a shepherdess 'Jeanne', (could this be our 'Joan'?) which has been dedicated to a lost niece. 

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