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|The Duc d’Aumale actively encouraged Anglophone immigration to Chantilly, in recognition of the warm welcome that he had received whilst in exile in England. In 1860 he sold a piece of land to Messrs Antrobus and Marjoriebanks, British bankers, who then gifted it to the Colonial and Continental Church Society. These patrons supported the building of a new church built on the rue des Cascades for the British community living in Chantilly, and in time, financed the ministry of services and activities in English.|
The church was constructed in 1865 under the guidance of the architect Thomas Fraser Duff (1830-1877) in a neogothic style, typical of village churches in England. The new sanctuary was consecrated in 1883 during the pastoral visit of the Archbishop of Gibraltar. The first pastor’s home was added in 1890-92. The tradition continues today with a strong Anglican community worshipping at the church. Parishioners come not just from the surrounding towns and villages but from as far away as Beauvais and beyond.
|The need to keep our church in good repair for future generations.|
Everyone who entered the church before 2009 could clearly see the extent of the problems on the left side of the nave: cracked walls, peeling paint, rotting or missing floorboards, etc. The site of the church building, located at the edge of a slope, combined with poor drainage, had weakened the walls and consequently some of the walls sagged, joints opened up, the arch ceiling structure needed restoration, as did the floor of the nave. This serious seepage problem led to the deterioration of the walls and the wooden floorboards.
According to M. Étienne Poncelet, head architect at the Historical Monuments, urgent restoration was required in the near future.
To safeguard the historical heritage of Chantilly.
This project not only concerned our church community but also the larger community of Chantilly. St. Peter’s Church represents the historical and social links of the Anglophone community with the city of Chantilly and its inhabitants.
This project received messages of support from dignitaries such as His Royal Highness Jean de France, direct descendant of the Duc d’Aumale (son of the French King Louis Philippe), whose transaction led to the Colonial and Continental Society (now the Intercontinental Church Society, our patrons) building St Peter’s in 1860, the former British Ambassador, Sir Peter Westmacott, our ex Government Minister of the Budget / Mayor of Chantilly, M. Éric Woerth and M. Alain Decaux from the Académie française, former Minister, Chairman of the Board of the Domain of Chantilly.
Numerous religious and non religious benefactors have begun donating funds to the project.
|In 1973, the Intercontinental Church Society renewed their patronage of St. Peter’s Church. The Society appointed four full-time chaplains in succession to look after the English-speaking community. The numerous plaques on the interior walls of the church bear witness to generations of British and Irish families who have made their home in Chantilly.|
A new building, completed in December 1992, constructed next to the church, was financed by donations and serves as the chaplain’s home, a community hall and a library. Today there are some 350 Anglophone families of many different nationalities living in Chantilly and its neighbouring towns and villages.
Since 2009, thanks to various initiatives (golf tournaments, Twickenham/Chantilly Bike Ride, concerts) and donations, the first 3 phases of restoration have been carried out: a new drainage system, modernised heating to meet regulations, the roofing and interior of the church.
Now the restoration needs to be completed with, as a priority, phase 4 then phase 5.
Posted by: MORELLE on Monday March 06, 2017
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