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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