Saint-Pierre Church – Parvis Saint-Pierre



The Saint Peter parish is the oldest parish in our municipality. Its origin goes back to the Middle Ages (the cartulary of the abbey of Forest contains a charter from 1164, documenting that the Saint Peter Church and its outbuildings were a gift from the bishop of Cambrai to the Benedictine abbey of Forest, at a request of its incumbent Gérard).

In brief, the original church was constructed in a Roman style and its humble nave was surmounted by a small steeple. Nothing is left of this building, except for the old foundations that have served as the foundations of the reconstructed church in 1755. Up until 1935, the characteristics of a small church in a rural parish were evident in the old building’s architecture: red brick walls built on a white stone base, soberly accentuated by angel harps and cordons of white stone. The church was built in the precinct of the town’s graveyard. It had a very simple design, consisting of a single nave with two rows, flanked by a polygonal choir in the South-West that was two steps up, and by a square tower in the North-West. The church, having become too cramped, was enlarged in 1936 according to plans by the architect J. de Ridder. He chose to change the orientation relative to the old church, of which he kept the choir and the tower which nowadays are perpendicular to the axis of the sanctuary with its higher tower. The presbytery facing the church was reconstructed in 1724, as it was destroyed by a fire in 1570. It is a good example of the classical French architecture as it was interpreted in our provinces. It was changed in 1784. Two of the presbytery’s wings were demolished in 1907 during the construction of the rue J. Deraeck. The entrance is crowned by a sculpted blazon of the Abbess of Forest (Vorst). The whole, presbytery and church, has been classified as a monument since 2004.