“Demographically, the practicing Catholic population is gray haired, as anyone could see who walks into a French church. Many churches are so ill-attended that they are abandoned, or sold to the commune (often turned into private homes, restaurants or even cafes).”
Source : International Business Times
Still, the 2016 terrorist murder of a rural Catholic Priest in a church near Rouen caused a profound shudder throughout France.
The prime minister, Manuel Valls, said the “barbaric” attack was a blow to the Catholic community and the whole of France. Source :the Guardian 26 July 2016
Normandy and the Plains of Caen and Falaise certainly embrace their rural identity, even in the places you may not expect. On the outskirts of town painted cattle chew the cud with an up close and personal view of the traffic hurtling the wrong way round the roundabouts to the local Lidl and low rise modern apartment blocks overlook fields of livestock. Roadside, house side and in the middle of road junctions, every available patch of earth is planted with crops or supports a hobby orchard of apple trees with small collections of sheep, cattle and chickens grazing in the shade of the spreading branches.