Monday, November 21, 2011

Gerberoy's Collegiale St. Pierre

As the medieval village of Gerberoy grew during the vibrant 11th and 12th centuries, it finally officially became a 'ville' in 1202.  Its strategic location, however, caused Gerberoy to be the scene for numerous armed conflicts, particularly during the Hundred Years War.  The present structure needed to be rebuilt in the 15th century after being burned by the English.  The church's nave and wooden ceiling are now in the Norman style.

The congregants sat in their box pews while the Collégiale's Premonstratensian canons led worship from the altar and their choir stalls.  There was 26 Premonstratensians in Gerberoy (an order founded in Northern France by St Norbert in 1120), and this number briefly grew to about 50 in subsequent centuries.  The duties of these canons included saying daily Mass (for they were both priests and clerics), the eight daily Offices, and serving as clerics for the church at large, each having his own jurisdiction.

Box pews

Baptismal font and spiral stairs to the balcony in the back of the church.

Box pews

The Choir and altar.

Choir stalls for the Premonstratensian canons