22 June 2023
Restoration – Sainte-Thérèse Church
Sainte Thérèse church gets its spire back!
Sainte-Thérèse church is located in Rennes, France. It is dedicated to Saint Therese of Lisieux, a famous 19th-century Catholic nun. Sainte-Thérèse church was built between 1924 and 1932, in a neo-Byzantine architectural style, under the direction of Rennes architect Arthur Regnault. It is located in the Sainte-Thérèse district, northwest of downtown Rennes.
The church’s exterior is characterized by golden domes and cupolas, typical elements of Byzantine architecture. The interior of the church is richly decorated with frescoes, stained glass and mosaics depicting biblical scenes and religious figures.
Sainte-Thérèse church suffered its first fire on the night of September 22/23, 2001, destroying the nave, choir and roof. The church was fully restored and reopened on December 12, 2004. A second fire occurred on the night of July 31-August 1, 2018, destroying the bell tower. Five years later, on Wednesday May 24, 2023, a new structure was installed at the top of the building.
Crézé’s mission: restoration of the Cross and Rooster that fell during the fire, as well as a few letters that fell when the roof frame fell.
The original cross, in forged steel, is now stored in the reserves of the Musée de Bretagne in Rennes. During an early restoration, it threatened to fall over due to its highly corroded fastening system, weakened by time, and was replaced by a welded tube cross decorated with four industrial scrolls. The latter fell during a fire in 2018. The Crézé craftsmen in charge of restoring the cross and cockerel from the original model made it in pure iron and identical to the original in their forge workshops.
The Rooster that fell during the fire of 2018 was restored in embossed copper by Crézé craftsmen, and a new lightning conductor attachment was installed before it was re-installed on the spire of Sainte-Thérèse church. Restoration of the Cross and Rooster in our workshop took almost a hundred hours.
The restoration of the spire of Sainte-Thérèse church has made it possible to preserve, renovate and enhance this historic and spiritual site, ensuring that it can continue to fulfill its cultural, religious and community functions for present and future generations.
The spire and lettering are not the only works Crézé created for Sainte-Thérèse church.