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MOBILE TOUR GUIDE

CHURCH HISTORY 

Gravure église saint quentin de Wirwignes .JPG

A monastic text from Thérouanne evokes the church of Wirwignes in 1119.

A first church would have existed between the current bell tower and choir. There would remain the basin of the baptismal font and some masonry.

Enlarged, the church has a bell tower. A dated stone 1617 was found, witness of the old bell tower. The church was undoubtedly a fortified church, able to protect the villagers from the troubles of the time the troubles created by the Spaniards and the multiple wars with England. 

During the Revolution, the churches were decommissioned and saw other uses. Father Cousin, parish priest of Wirwignes testifies, in 1861: “The church was, like many others, the target of many desecrations. It was devastated, stripped and then saltpetre was made there. »

As soon as the church returned to worship in 1802, its condition is problematic and requires a lot of work. 

Father Paul-Amédée Lecoutre was appointed to Wirwignes in1863 and after a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1867, began in 1869 "the realization of the plan of repair, construction and enlargement of the church". 

He first enlarged the nave by knocking down its walls and building eight side chapels until 1873. First on the south side before undertaking the construction of the chapels on the north side. He paves them, builds them and decorates the altars and decorates them entirely. It completes the marble paving of the nave which had been done before it.

He then enlarged the choir by moving and extending the communion bench. 

In 1874 he raises the nave to the height of the choir and the bell tower with a new frame, then he paints and decorates the walls and the ceiling.

In 1877, on the proposal of the abbot and according to his plans, the municipality called on an architect to rebuild a tower and a bell tower, the work of which was completed in 1880.

Abbé Lecoutre continued the interior work until his death in 1906 : installation of stained glass windows, new way of the Cross, new pulpit in marble, integral marble mosaic paving of the walls, sculpture of the exterior statues of the gables of the chapels, interior statues including those of the triumphal arch, capitals and painting of biblical words.

After its work, all that remains of the old church is the choir and part of the bell tower.

Lucie Caron, a young girl from Wirwignes is healed during a pilgrimage to Lourdes in 1923. One of the chapels of the Virgin was replaced in 1928 by the grotto of Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes.

Numerous consolidation and repair works will continue until 2022.

Two decrees in 1982 register several objects as Historic Monuments and on May 2 2006, the church is listed in full in the supplementary inventory of Historic Monuments.

The church today presents many degradations and a diagnosis was established in 2022 to define the necessary conservation and restoration works.

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