Methodists in Guernsey

There has been a very strong Methodist community in Guernsey since John Wesley visited in 1787. He nearly did not make it - his boat was forced to divert to Alderney where it was almost wrecked in the bay. His party successfully completed the voyage to Guernsey the following morning.

My Marquand ancestors were leading members of the Methodist movement in Guernsey - in the 1851 Census three members of one household gave their occupation as Methodist preacher in addition to their day jobs.

One of my De Putron ancestors became a Wesleyan Minister. Because he spoke French (as most people did in the Channel Islands in the 19th Century), he was sent to Canada as a missionary.

Brock Road Chapel, Guernsey,
built 1878
renamed Ebenezer Chapel in 1960.

Methodism in the Channel Islands

The leading source of information on the history of methodists in Guernsey are: Methodism in the Channel Islands written by R D Moore in 1952, although this was largely an English translation of Histoire du Methodisme dans les Isles de la Manche by Matthieu Le Lièvre in 1885.

There is an interesting article entitled Methodist Architectural Heritage on the Architecture of Methodist churches in Guernsey by Gillian Lenfesty at the BBC's Local History site.

A useful source of information for family historians is Magasin Methodiste which was published monthly in Guernsey during the 19th Century. Written entirely in French, it is the source of many articles of interest on members of the church and their lives (mainly the spiritual side). I have yet to find anywhere that has a complete set of them - but copies of some of them are available at the Priaulx Library.

The present-day Channel Islands Methodists have a web site with details of the churches currently open in the islands.

The Priaulx Library hold some of the registers of Methodist churches in Guernsey (see their site for more details), and the Island Archives hold some of the minute books of the church committees - which are useful for general historical background, but contain few references to individuals.

Other interesting articles (in print) include: The Ebenezer Methodist Chapel by Alex Glendinning (which appears in his book Eye on the Past in Guernsey) and Mon Plaisir and the Methodists by Rev A Mignot (which appears in the Transactions of La Société Guernesiaise, 2000).

Methodism in the UK

The main source for research in the UK is the Methodist Archives & Research Centre at John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester. See also A Brief History of Methodism at the The Methodist Church web site.

Last update: 1 Sep 2007
© Stephen Foote 1996-2007