Saint Léger Church

Saint Léger, the patron saint of the parish, was bishop of Autun. He was captured by Esbroïn, the mayor of the palace of Neustrie (one of the Franks’ palaces) during the siege of the city in 670, tortured and beheaded in a forest near Arras.

The church which is dedicated to him was built before 720. It was burnt down when the Normans invaded the territory, and partly rebuilt in the 9th or 1àth century. The inscription above the door is dated 1780, when the building was consolidated.

It was originally designed like the old Christian basilicas with a flat ceiling nave and a four-sided apse with and apsidiole on either side ; in the south the present baptistery ; in the north the storeroom containing objects needed for the church services. Wit hits 2 undoubtedly the oldest part of the church that you can see today. Of the original south apsidiole only a little remains visible on the outside wall. The apse and the south wall were rebuilt after the fire following the Norman invasion.

In 1965, l’abbé Jovignot, who was the priest of Alise from 1939 to 1984, had the church restored – that was made possible by the generosity of two benefactors. The stones of the walls were jointed, the wooden chair was replaced by a small rostrum, the choir woodwork and the railing between them and the nave laid down. A new altar was built and electric heating installed.

Finally, the church tower was renovated and raised, thus ending a long span of 130 years during which the church had two towers. Indeed, in 1866 a “modern” church-tower had been built above the porch, but its high spire, which was covered with slate, turned out to be less solid than its older - now rejuvenated – neighbour. A bust of canon Kir, the benefactor of the church, can be see in the left wall (see his birthplace, rue de l’Hôpital).