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Sarreyer Chapel

Historic site and monument, Religious heritage, Chapel in Sarreyer 

  • This chapel can be seen from afar, and certainly from Le Châble. It is silhouetted against the landscape, particularly at night thanks to the cruciform light from its bell tower.

  • The chapel was built on the southern flank of the village, on the insistence of the people of Sarreyer, and with the agreement of parish priest Carron and of Canon Boitzy. It replaced the former Banderey Chapel on 8 September 1935, and was built in 1646 by two lucky survivors of the plague of 1639, brothers André and Pierre Besse.

    In honour of these founders, the chapel’s patron saints are: St Andrew (the upper stained-glass window in the choir and the statue by Mme Jacquemin), who is...
    The chapel was built on the southern flank of the village, on the insistence of the people of Sarreyer, and with the agreement of parish priest Carron and of Canon Boitzy. It replaced the former Banderey Chapel on 8 September 1935, and was built in 1646 by two lucky survivors of the plague of 1639, brothers André and Pierre Besse.

    In honour of these founders, the chapel’s patron saints are: St Andrew (the upper stained-glass window in the choir and the statue by Mme Jacquemin), who is celebrated each year on the closest Saturday to 30th November, a tradition embraced by the whole village; and St Peter (the lower stained-glass window), who is celebrated on 29 June but has ceased to be a patron saint of the village over the centuries.

    The chapel is also dedicated to Our Lady of Joy, celebrated on the day of the Nativity of Mary, of whom there is an old wooden statue from the former chapel. The bell tower from the old chapel has been kept, and appears almost grafted on, since it is much older and of a different style., Then entrance colonnade, made from local serpentine stone, has also been retained.

    Inside, the chapel is perfectly proportioned and harmonious. The light, ever-changing and mysterious, is filtered through stained-glass windows depicting the 14 Stations of the Cross. These stained-glass windows, requested by Canon Boitzy and produced by Canon Voirol, resonate strongly with the mountain people who are used to hard labour, sacrifice and rocky paths.

    On an architectural level, this chapel is the harmonious culmination of Alberto Sartoris’s original plans from 1932, whose innovative creativity was “tempered” by pressure from local residents over the course of five consecutive projects. The plans used were gifted by architect Mr Fischer.

    The simple choir houses an altar sculpted from local wood local wood (3 May 1895). The modern tabernacle and cross sit next to a polychrome Pietà from Les Luys Oratory, which was brought over together with two “episcopal” statues in the nave – of St Théodule and Cardinal Mathieu Schiner. Canons Michellod and Putallaz initiated the restoration and relocation of these practically disintegrated statues in 1949.

    The wooden ceiling was made by volunteers. This chapel was recently restored and “re-consecrated” on 8 September 1985, thanks to the many donations from residents and worshippers within the parish, ever loyal to their holy chapel, where there is a weekly Mass and a monthly Sunday Mass. This chapel’s choir was restored recently in January 2009.
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