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17 Sep 2020

St Michael's, Beaulieu sur Mer

 

Fiona Ingham, Chaplaincy Council Secretary, St Michael's, Beaulieu sur Mer, has kindly sent us this wonderful story, which appeared on French national TV news!

 

“Drove to Beaulieu. Alas! my last charming drive in this paradise of nature, which I grieve to leave, as I get more attached to it every year.”

Queen Victoria’s diary entry for May 1st, 1899 expresses what anyone who ever visits Beaulieu sur Mer feels! For those of us lucky enough to live in Beaulieu all year round, St Michael’s is at the heart of our spiritual life here.  We welcome Christians of all denominations and nationalities who wish to worship in English.  Our congregation comprises residents of Beaulieu and the towns along the coast from as far as Bordighera in Italy and Monaco to the east and Nice and Cannes to the west, and it is not just those of us who are resident here that benefit from the presence of a worshipping Christian community, we also have many regular seasonal visitors and holidaymakers from all around the world.

The church building, grounds and the chaplaincy are entirely funded by members of the church, which is in keeping with the spirit of its original founders and benefactors. Donations and the work of volunteers ensure that the church is well maintained and fit for its purpose of public worship.

Last year we recognised 125 years since St Michael’s Church was founded by launching an appeal for funds to restore and renovate the interior of the church building.  Such was the generosity of our congregation, that we have been able to restore and repair the parquet flooring and redecorating the side aisles and sanctuary.  Just as this work was completed, we received a message from a representative of the Ministry of Culture, who was conducting a project looking at the churches on the Riviera; he visited several times along with some of his colleagues to inspect the building and they were impressed at what they saw, also becoming rather excited about some of the artifacts within the church.  Protected status was granted, and St Michael’s Church was declared an Historic Monument in the summer this year.

The church really is incredibly beautiful and clearly of some architectural significance. It was built using funds raised from a group of its founding members and building work commenced in April 1893. Despite being designed by the then rising English architect, Temple Moore, the church was built in the Baroque style.  Whilst St Michael’s is of historic merit through its architecture and association with the English settlement of the Riviera, it also contains several fine examples of church furnishings dating from the 15th to 17th centuries.

For many though, the greater value derives from its regular liturgy of the Word and Sacrament and that St Michael’s provides a tranquil spiritual space and a welcoming place for Christian prayer and fellowship.

The award of Monument Historique status is a credit to those, past and present, who make the constant effort to keep the church in good repair, presentation and preservation for the sake of future generations. 

St Michael’s Church, 11 Chemin des Myrtes, 06310, Beaulieu sur Mer

www.stmichaelsbeaulieusurmer.org

 

You can click below to view the story on French national TV news: