American Cathedral in Paris

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Not to be confused with the American Church in Paris.

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Consecrated on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1886, the American Cathedral in Paris (Template:Lang-fr) (formally known as the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity) is the gathering church for the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe. The American Cathedral is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church is located in central Paris between the Champs-Elysées and the River Seine on avenue George V in the 8th arrondissement.

History

Template:Copypaste The American Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, America's Episcopal/Anglican church in Paris, has served the American community since the 1830s when services were organized in the garden pavilion of the Hôtel Matignon, the home of Colonel Herman Thorn, (now the official residence of the French Prime Minister). A parish was formally established in 1859 and the first church building consecrated in 1864 on Rue Bayard.

The cathedral appears in the painting Après l'Office à l'Église de la Sainte-Trinité, Noël 1890 ("After the Service at Holy Trinity Church, Christmas 1890") by Jean Béraud. The original painting is on loan to the Musée Carnavalet in the 3d arrondissement of Paris.

In the 1870s, Dr. John B. Morgan, a cousin of J. P. Morgan, became Rector of Holy Trinity Parish and began a successful fund raising campaign for a new and larger church. The present site was purchased on Avenue George V (then called Avenue d'Alma) from the estate of the Duc de Morny, half-brother of Emperor Napoléon III, and the church was built in less than four years; the plans submitted by the English architect George Edmund Street were approved by the vestry in October, 1882 and the first services held in September, 1886.

The church was consecrated on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1886, coinciding with the dedication of the Statue of Liberty in New York, thus reinforcing both the French and American alliances. In 1922, Holy Trinity became a cathedral, technically a pro-cathedral, in that it continues as a parish church and also serves as the seat for the Bishop in charge of Episcopal churches in Europe.

During the German occupation of France during World War II (1940–44), the cathedral was taken over by the German military chaplaincy.

The American Cathedral is a large urban parish with an active, committed and diverse congregation. The ministries of the church include Parish Life, Christian Education, Development, Finance, Mission & Outreach, Community Outreach, Stewardship, 20s and 30s group and Music. The building hosts a bilingual Montessori school, recovery groups such as AA, weekly free concert series at noon sponsored by Les Arts George V, and many more community-based services.

Architecture

Template:Copypaste The architecture of the American Cathedral is based on drawings done by George Edmund Street, a leading architect of the English Gothic Revival style, whose work includes the London Law Courts, the Church of St. James the Less in Westminster and the American Church in Rome. When George Edmund Street died in December 1881, before plans had been finalized, the vestry voted to award the work to his son, Arthur E. Street and to Arthur W. Bloom. The work of construction was contracted to Henry Lovatt of Wolverhampton, and building was begun in late 1882. The cathedral is 146 feet in length and 70 feet wide; the nave is 58 feet high, the chancel, 54 feet; the spire is 280 feet. The materials are St. Maximin and Savonniere stone and Ancy-le-Franc marble. The floor is Belgian and Italian marble. The chancel and aisles are vaulted in stone; the nave is vaulted in oak perhaps because in a constricted city area without the possibility of flying buttresses, stone vaulting would have been too heavy to sustain without independent supports.

Gallery

See also

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  • Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe

References

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External links

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