About the area

Our twin parish is the Parish of St Francis of Assisi in Douai, a substantial town in the middle of an ex-coal mining area, now spawning new industries such as the Renault factory where Scenics are built. Another major industry is agriculture. The church of St Therese (where Mass is celebrated together on our visits to France) is in fact one of four that make up the parish of St Francis, served by two priests. Not far from Douai is Arras, which was a major objective for both sides in the First World War.  Many of the towns and cities in this area have tall bell towers, dating from the time of the Duchy of Flanders.  These towers were erected at the instruction of the Duke to allow early warning of trouble and to allow communication between parts of his fiefdom.