Explore The Church
St Clement’s Church possesses a fine collection of silver plate, which can be seen in the treasury in the north transept.
Carey Curtis, A.R.I.B.A., an architect writing about Jersey church silver in 1917, considered that Communion cups (or chalices) were generally of a very simple design, consisting of a bowl, a cast stem which had been turned on a lathe, and a plain base, the three pieces being soldered together. He said that any ornamentation was rare, and if there was any, they were probably not made locally.
St Clement, in common with many other Jersey parish churches, has a large number of Communion cups. Curtis thought there were two reasons for this: the richer families often had their own, in order to avoid contagion from infectious diseases. They had them marked with their name and often left them in the custody of their parish church. Another reason is that Holy Communion only used to be celebrated around three or four times a year – much less frequently than it is today – and it was necessary to allow for so many people to take Communion together. All St Clement’s Communion cups are of a secular pattern and none of them appear to be purely ecclesiastical in origin.
St Clement has three different types of dish: Baptismal Dishes (or fonds de baptême), Alms Dishes, and Patens — the Paten is a dish, or plate, upon which the bread in the Communion Service is consecrated. There are many Baptismal Dishes in the Island because the fonts were destroyed at the Reformation and there was nothing left to hold the water for baptism. They are deep vessels, and nowadays are often used as Alms dishes, although St Clement’s has been used for its original purpose in recent times, especially when the font has been decorated for Christmas and Easter.
The Dumaresq Baptismal Dish of 1702
Helier Dumaresq presented the church with a silver Baptismal Dish in 1702. It is 16 inches in diameter, has no maker’s mark, and may well have been made in Jersey where a number of silversmiths plied their trade. Along the rim is engraved to the following inscription:
Fond pour le Baptesme donné à l’église de St Clément
par Helier Dumaresq Gentil. 1702. 10 ème avril
Helier Dumaresq belonged to the Samarès and Grouville branch of the Dumaresq family and was the son of Helier Dumaresq and Jane, daughter of Helier Jambart. He was twice Connétable of St. Clement from 1685-1694, and 1697-1702.