St Columba's Church of Scotland -         Midvale Road, St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands
Our History   
Armies and Earthquakes
 
In 1850 there was a garrison at Fort Regent comprising members of the Cameron Regiment with many Presbyterians in their ranks.  They expressed a grievance that there was no church for them to worship in Jersey. This reached the ears of a retired soldier in the island, a Captain Ramsey, who shared their plight.
 
He asked a Rev. Guthrie in Edinburgh for help and this led to a young probation-minister arriving in the island. Rev. James Stewart began holding services in the Town Hall (then in Don Street) in November 1850 which attracted large numbers of soldiers and local islanders.
 
The Cameron Regiment left Jersey in the Spring of 1851 but the islanders refused to part with their young minister and applied to the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland for recognition as a congregation of the Church.  
 
The Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper were celebrated for the first time on 20 July 1851.
 
 The induction of the young Rev. James Stewart as the congregation’s first minister was held on the 17 October 1852.  However, the young Rev Stewart’s health deteriorated rapidly and he returned home to Scotland and died on 31 July 1853.  A marble tablet in memory of the man considered the Founder of the Jersey Congregation is to be found on the east wall inside the church.
 
 
In March 1853 the congregation was placed under the care of the Presbytery of Edinburgh.
 
 
The Rev. A. J. Murray was ordained as minister in June 1856 he instigated a search for a plot of land on which to build a church.  By the end of 1856 a suitable plot at the corner of Midvale and Clairvale Roads (“in a pleasant part of town”) was bought for £287 – and sworn at the Royal Court on 15 December 1856.
 
 
The foundation stone was laid by Lord Parmoor at the end of 1857 and the church was opened for worship on 3 April 1959.  The services that day were conducted by the Rev. Dr. McCrie (former Moderator of the Free Church Assembly) in the morning and evening and by the Rev. A.J. Murray (church minister) in the afternoon.  Total cost of the church, including the land, was £2,618 and this sum was finally paid off in full on the 6 anniversary of the building in 1866.
 
 
Past minister, the Rev. Murray presented the church with the beautiful baptismal font made of Caen stone and adorned with pieces of coloured marble brought by him from Jerusalem in 1860.
 
 
For travel and accessibility reasons the Free Church Presbytery of Edinburgh agreed to a transfer of responsibility for Jersey to England.  In 1868 Jersey became the first Scottish congregation to unite with the Presbyterian Church in England.
 
1869    “Clameur de Haro” raised by some members who had second thoughts about moving to the Presbyterian Church of England
 
 
To cater for some 130 regular Sunday School scholars a plot of land next to the church was purchased in order to build a church hall.  The new Hall was opened in January 1874, comprising a caretaker’s ground floor flat and a large room upstairs.
 
 
An organ fund was successful and a pipe organ was installed in August 1884.  It was first located in the middle of the gallery at the back of the church but was later moved to the present transept area.  This was still not satisfactory and a new eastern transept was built where the organ remains to this day.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The church received an unusual gift in 1903.  A member of the congregation donated two large brass panels engraved with the ten commandments.  These were fixed to the wall on either side of the pulpit where they remain to this day.
 
 
A warm summer’s day on 30 July 1926 saw a 5.5 (Richter scale) earthquake strike Jersey at 2. 20 pm.  Significant damage was caused, including to the church steeple whereby the top section shifted out of line.  The epicentre was said to be off Jersey’s east coast at a depth of 10 km.  Seven months later (17 February 1927) a second earthquake of equal force struck the island with the same epicentre but less damage.
 
 
In 1959 the congregation agreed that the church be renamed St. Columba’s instead of the Presbyterian Church.
 
 
Following a long period of debate and discussion the congregation faced a major decision in 1971.  There was a proposal from the presbytery of England that the church should join with the Congregational Church to become the new United Reformed Church.  The minister at the time, Rev. W.T.Y. Browne was strongly against this proposal and counteracted this (joined by the Scottish church of St. Andrews in Guernsey) by proposing St. Columba’s seek to rejoin the Church of Scotland.  Eventually, the congregation voted 121 – 17 not to join the new United Reformed Church but to seek admission to the Church of Scotland.  In May 1972 the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland approved St. Columba’s application.  So, 104 years after leaving the Free Church of Scotland in 1868 because of travelling difficulties between Jersey and Edinburgh, St. Columba’s was now back with the Church of Scotland.
  
The church steeple had been causing concern for many years – starting after the earthquake damage in 1926.  Deterioration over the years made its demolition inevitable and in 1986 it was brought down at a cost to the congregation of £15,000.
  
The large rose window above the pulpit was the next piece of church fabric to require attention when it started to show structural failure.  In 1988 it was repaired and re-instated at huge cost to the congregation – another £15,000.
 
Extracts taken from The Story of the Presbyterian Church In Jersey By Rev. James Adamson, M.A, B.Sc, Jersey 1937 & George Sinclair, Jersey 2004
 
 
 
 
Recent Dates and Services 
2016
January
3   Communion Sunday
10 Revd. Philip Osborn
17
24
31
February
7
14

Saturday 20 Talk and Tea 2 for 2.30
Linda Lowseck will tell us about MissionRabies and her forthcoming trip to Malawi to vaccinate dogs against rabies. £5 minimum donation 

21 11a.m.Service to be led by Revd. Philip Osborn
The Stated Annual Meeting of the congregation will take place immediately following worship NEXT SUNDAY on Sunday 28 February

Tuesday 23 2-4 pm
First meeting of the Afternoon Fellowship Group in the transept...All welcome. 

28 11 am Service, immediately followed by Stated Annual Meeting
March

Easter Services 2016

Revd D Logan

Palm Sunday        20 March               11 am

Maundy Thursday Communion         7.30 pm

Good Friday          25 March               10 am

Easter Sunday      27 March

Dawn 
at St Catherine’s Breakwater              6.45 am


St Columba’s Church, Midvale Road   11 am

April
3
Tuesday 5 April - Walking Group meet 10am at the bus stop by the War Tunnels. Lunch at Vic in the Valley after!
10
17
24
Saturday 30 April -Talk and Tea, 2 for 2.30 -
£5 Tea and Cake.
Talk by Maggie Esson "My Conservation Heroes - great and small"

May
1 Preacher Michael Sheldrake
3 Tue. Walking Group meet at Grosnez 10.30 am
8 Preacher Revd Philip Osborn
15 Preacher Mrs Rena Menzies, Pentecost Sunday.
17 Tue. Fellowship & Craft Group            
meet in the Transept at 2pm 
22 Preacher Revd Philip Osborn
29 Preacher Revd Alistair Cumming

June
  5 Preacher Mrs Rena Menzies
  7 Walking Group Meet at Le Hurel Farm
12 Preacher Revd Philip Osborn
19 Preacher Revd Philip Osborn
21 Tues-Fellowship & Craft Group            
meet in the Transept at 2pm 
26 Revd Philip Majcher, Interim Moderator.
After this service the Nominating Committee will be elected by the Congregation. All members are urged to attend to participate in this.

July
  3 Revd Alistair Cumming,
        Locum Minister
10 Revd Alistair Cumming
17 Revd Alistair Cumming
24Revd Alistair Cumming
31Revd Alistair Cumming

August
 7  Revd Alistair Cumming
14 Revd Alistair Cumming
21 Mrs Rena Menzies
28 Revd Alistair Cumming
September
 4  Revd Alistair Cumming
11 Revd Alistair Cumming
18 Revd Alistair Cumming
25 Revd Alistair Cumming
October
2  Revd. Jim Mackenzie
         Locum Minister
9  Holy Communion Service
          Revd. Jim Mackenzie
16 Harvest Thanksgiving
          Revd. Jim Mackenzie
23 Revd. Jim Mackenzie
30 Revd. Jim Mackenzie
November
6  Revd. Jim Mackenzie
13 Remembrance Sunday Service starts at 10.45
20 Revd. Jim Mackenzie
27 St Andrew's Day - Revd. Jim Mackenzie 
27 After the service, a Congregational lunch at the Hotel Ambassadeur, St Clement....Sign up sheet in church.
December
4 Revd. Jim Mackenzie
11 Revd. Jim Mackenzie
17 The Saturday  Christmas Fayre & Coffee morning was a huge success. Thank you ALL.
18 Revd. Jim Mackenzie
Wednesday 21 at 6pm 
Family Service Mrs R Menzies
Sat 24  - 11.15pm Watch-night Service with carol singing at the start
Sun 25 Christmas Day  11am  Short Service    Revd. Jim Mackenzie
 
 Recent Dates and Services 
2015
May 
08/11 Visit of the Moderator of the General Assembly
09 Liberation Day
10 Liberation Sunday service
16/22 The General Assembly
31 Short Communion after service

June
28 Come along to our fun all age service for children of all ages. Please note there will be no after service Communion this month.

July
05 Communion Sunday
11 Church BBQ at St Andrews Church and Park
18 Saturday Church Walking Group 10.30 
at St Lawrence
26 at 11 am 45 minute Service with Holy Communion at the end of the service 

August
02   Voting slips for our songs of praise available
04  Tuesday-Walking Group meet 10 am at Bouley Bay
09  45 min.  Service 
16 11 am 45 min. Service 
23 11 am 45 min. Service 
30 Songs of Praise 

September
06 The Preacher today is Mrs Rena Menzies
13 The Preacher today is Revd. David Logan
20 The Preacher today is Revd. David Logan
27The Preacher today is Revd. Philip Osborn

October
04 Communion & Ordination of new Elders
06 Walking Group at St Martin 10.30
11 Harvest Service and Lunch at the Red Rose
17 Elders Meet 10 am
18 The preacher is Revd. James Dowswell
25 The Preacher today is Rev P Osborn
 
 
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