The Parish of Jagršče

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The view of picturesque Jagršče village opens up from many sides, from the valley, neighboring hills, and even slightly more distant places of the Cerkno region and partially also the Idrija region. Apart from a few houses, which are squeezed into both hills, the Church of St. Ursula has the most space on top of the hill.

The Church of St. Ursula in Jagršče

The parish Church of St. Ursula in Jagršče was consecrated in 1787, replacing the church, which was located in the valley below the village before that.

At the entrance to the church we are greeted by the inscription above the main altar, “St. Ursula, intercede for us.” The villagers of Jagršče celebrate their parish holiday on 21 October, when the regular Sunday visitors are usually joined by many fellow residents, who moved far and wide during the years. St. Ursula is the patron saint of women’s educational establishments, young people, school and pre-school teachers, and sick children, and is the intercessor for a good wedding and a good marriage. The saint is depicted with a spear in her hand, a palm, a flag with a cross, a crown, a coat spread over her companions and with a ship next to her.

The church from 1787 is composed of a presbytery with a rectangular shape at the end, a broad rectangular nave, and a bell tower. The interior is barrel vaulted, the equipment is from the 19th century. The interior of the Church of St. Ursula is simple and understandable to a common man. On the main altar in the presbytery there is a statue of the martyr St. Ursula, who is holding an arrow and a palm leaf in her hand and is wrapped in a coat. There is a statue of St. Joseph on her right and a statue of the Heart of Mary on her left. A characteristic feature of the church is the main altar, which is placed a bit to the side and not precisely in the middle in relation to the nave. There have been many guesses as to why this is so, but no reliable information has been found.

On the left side, in front of the left part of church benches, there is a pulpit with the Ten Commandments depicted in the foreground. In front of the right section of benches, there is a side altar with a statue of Mary with twelve stars and a rosary.

The frames of the Stations of Cross were made by Franc Peternelj from Cerkno, but the paintings in the frames are older and were made by an unknown artist. The paintings in the church were renovated by Franc Peternelj and Ivan Pagon from Cerkno. The ceiling is richly painted along the entire nave and so are the presbytery and partially also the walls at the church choir. The paintings are simple, but they speak to us. Their message and colorfulness attract the eye and everyone can compose their own image looking at them.

Narrow winding stairs right behind the main church door lead to the choir and the organ. The organ has been in the existing church since 1936 and still serves well as accompaniment to the church choir.

Although it seems that there are few firm pieces of historical information about the current church in Jagršče, the life inside and outside its walls is so much richer. Not so much the church in numbers and images, but the congregation is what we should be looking at. The congregation is gathered from Idrijske Krnice down the ridge to Jagršče and partly also towards the valley of the Idrijca river. It persists courageously in the sunny, but demanding hills and gathers every Sunday under the cloak of St. Ursula.