Aviva Directory » Local & Global » Europe » Channel Islands » Bailiwick of Guernsey » Guernsey » St. Pierre du Bois

Also known as St. Peter's or Saint Peter in the Wood, the parish is known officially as St. Pierre du Bois. It is located in the western part of the island, bordering the parishes of Torteval, St. Saviour, Forest, and St. Andrew. A small village is situated near the centre of the mostly rural parish. The small island of Lihou lies off the coast of the parish, so near that one can walk to it at low tide.

The parish church is named St. Pierre du Bois, and it doubles as a war memorial. The south aisle is the oldest part of the existing church, having been built around 1375. The rest of the church was built in the 14th and 15th centuries. Today, it is furnished in the style of the Victorian Era, and an old seating chart from 1710 shows that the men and women entered through separate doors and sat in different parts of the church.

There is a large slab in the porch which is underneath the tower which appears to be the original altar stone. The church has records of baptisms, marriages, and funerals dating back to 1628.

Members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France, or French Calvinists, were also known as the Huguenots. They were inspired by John Calvin's writings circa 1530, and they would soon be persecuted. In 1572, the Massacre of St. Bartholomew created one wave of refugees, and the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 created a second wave.

By 1699, more than 200,000 Huguenots had been run out of France. They settled all around Europe as well as North America and South Africa. And several thousand came to the Channel Islands due to the facts that the islanders were sympathetic to the plight of the refugees, and they spoke French.

Although many of the refugees settled in St. Pierre du Bois and other parts of Guernsey, most used it as a stopping place for a time, before moving on to the New World or elsewhere.

 

 

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