18th February 1786

Guernsey’s first Methodist minister arrives

Methodist minister Jean de Quetteville was born in St Martin’s, Jersey, in May 1761. His protestant parents sent him to school on the mainland where, away from their influence, he first encountered Methodism. It was an experience that set the course of the rest of his life.

He returned to Jersey, and joined the Methodist church in 1784 following his conversion by Robert Carr-Brackenbury, the first Methodist missionary sent to Jersey by John Wesley.

Carr-Brackenbury sent Quetteville to Guernsey to spread the faith. He arrived in St Peter Port on this day in 1786 and founded the Methodist movement on Guernsey.

A man of great influence

His influence was enormous. He became a preacher in 1791, wrote hymns, and travelled throughout the islands, first on Sark, then Alderney, and finally France. He deserves much of the credit for the fact that there are still 14 Methodist churches in the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

His contribution may be unknown to those outside of the religion. The year after de Quetteville landed in Guernsey, John Wesley set out to pay a visit. He stopped at Alderney on the way, to wait out rough conditions, eventually reaching Guernsey in August. By then, aged 84, Wesley was an old man, and he would have been keen to see the religion he founded flourishing before his death four years later.

Jean de Quetteville died in Guernsey on 1 February 1843. His remains were interred in St Peter Port cemetery, opposite the Priaulx Library.

A continuing legacy

His influence lives on, though. He is well remembered by the Methodist Church in Guernsey and beyond, and he’s been given the title Apostle to the Channel Islands.

In 2009, Methodist Homes for the Aged purchased a plot and built Maison de Quetteville, which opened on 17 October 2009. It provides care for people in Guernsey living with dementia.

 

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Other events that occured in February

Mail ship wrecked on Black Rock 1st
Oil rig stranded at Grandes Rocques
Birth of Generaloberst Friedrich Dollmann 2nd
Death of Sir Charles Hayward 3rd
St Martin’s parish church consecrated 4th
Guernsey suffers its worst storm in 35 years 5th
Guernsey watchmaker helps Stone of Scone manhunt 6th
Guernsey Language Commission formed 7th
Queen Mary executed while wearing Guernsey stockings 8th
Guernsey gets its first postbox
Guernsey Society celebrates its 70th anniversary 9th
Guernsey’s last execution didn’t go according to plan 10th
The last issue of GUNS was distributed 11th
Alderney gets its first full-time radio station 12th
Guernsey’s last duel 13th
Specsavers’ Mary Perkins was born 14th
Blue Islands takes to the skies
Guernsey gets its own flag 15th
Birth of concrete poet Dom Sylvester Houedard 16th
HMS Guernsey launched in Aberdeen 17th
Guernsey’s first Methodist minister arrives 18th
Aurigny Air Services founded 19th
Guernsey Railway Company runs its first services 20th
The Channel Islands were cut off from the outside world 21st
St Sampson was ordained a bishop 22nd
Death of Thomas Fiott de Havilland 23rd
Murder inquiry ends with suicide 24th
Death of occupation resister Marie Ozanne 25th
Guernsey’s first banker dies 26th
Release of Reverend Harry Samuel 27th
Plans for St Sampson power station approved 28th
Second World War bomb detonated 29th