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Alderney

Adam Clarke was appointed to minister in Jersey in 1786, but having no French initially (he eventually became fluent), he crossed to Guernsey to help Jean de Quetteville. Clarke lived at Mon Plaisir. On hearing that the people could speak English on Alderney, Clarke arranged for some smugglers to take him to the island, landing him at Hannaine Bay - and so Methodism was brought to Alderney in March 1787. Later Jean de Quetteville ministered in Alderney.

In his mid 80s, in August 1787, John Wesley set out to preach the Gospel in the Channel Islands. He set sail for Guernsey, but "the wind turning contrary and blowing hard" according to his journal they turned towards Alderney, but were still nearly shipwrecked in the bay. With his companions, including Clarke, he slept at the Inn, which is now The Divers, and preached on the beach at Braye. 

The first church was built within three years. The French Church was opened in 1814 in Church Street and Butes Church opened in 1852 for English worship, with membership increased by construction workers building Napoleonic defences.

In June 1940 almost all the islanders were evacuated and the island was occupied by German forces. Post-war restoration proved costly and Butes Church nearly closed, but it has survived with a recently refurbished School hall. Eileen Mignot (the wife of a supernumerary minister in Alderney) has recently published an account of Alderney Methodism, The Adventure of Methodism in Alderney (Westcraft Enterprises, Alderney, 2011).



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