Durell's 1847 guidebook
Churches - 2
- Burial grounds of St Helier
- New rectory
- Church of England chapels
- St Paul's
- St James'
- St Mark's
- All Saints
- Roman Catholic chapels
- Dissenting chapels
- Sir Colin Halkett's road
After having left the church and its more immediate precincts, we are naturally led to inquire for the burying grounds substituted to the ancient churchyard. There are two, both of which are sufficiently spacious; the former at the eastern end of the town for the parishioners principally, and the latter at its western extremity, where the greater part of indigent strangers, and other poor persons are generally buried.
The Rectory house was formerly adjoining to the Churchyard wall, but the situation having been found confined and disagreeable, it was sold a few years ago by the competent authorities, and another good substantial modern dwelling has been built on ground belonging to the living near St Mark's Chapel. The changes which have resulted from those causes are understood to have been highly advantageous to the benefice.
The mother church having, through the increase of population, become insufficient to accommodate its congregation, several Church of England chapels have arisen in different parts of the town. Most of these have been built by shares, and subscriptions, the holders of which cannot fail to have been influenced by a becoming regard to the perctentage to be derived for their money, as in any other trading concern. It is supposed that those chapels make in the first place a competent allowance for their ministers, and for other incidental expenses. The remainder is then left as a disposable fund, to be distributed in their proportions among the shareholders.
St Paul's, in New Street, is the oldest of those chapels, having been built in 1816. It occasioned an opposition of some years from the ecclesiastical authorities, but the chapel trustees finally triumphed, or at least tired out their adversaries. The service of the Church of England has always been regularly performed in that chapel, but to this day it remains unconsecrated. The proprietors present their minister, who is now understood to be for life.
St James', at the east, and most fashionable end of the town, was built in 1827, the property of which was also invested among shareholders, with this exception however, that matters were amicably arranged with the rector, and that no interruptions were given to counteract the good work intended to be effected by that holy edifice. The chapel is at this moment highly flourishing, and is the largest and the handsomest place of worship belonging to the Church of England in Jersey.
St Mark's Church has not been built more than two or three years, and is almost contiguous to the new rectory. It has also been built on the shareholding system, which strangely connects the letting of pews with the prosperity of a chapel, and ludicrously enough introduces the daily puposes of trade into the sacred and disinterested concerns of religion. The rector of St Helier nominates the minister.
All Saints, so called from having been erected on an ancient burying ground, is by far the smallest of those chapels. It is a chapel of ease to the Church of St Helier, whose rector also nominates the minister. It is a neat and elegant little building. It differs from the other chapels in that it was entirely built by private subscription, except a grant of £200, which it received from the States. Its erection cost about £1,000. After deducting the necessary expenses, the rent of the pews belongs to the minister. The late Dr Hue, Dean of Jersey, gave £500 about 12 years ago to accumulate in trust, till it would amount at compound interest to £50 a year, towards forming an endowment for the minister. He is appointed by the Rector.
There are other chapels belonging to several sects of dissenters, as well as two belonging to the Catholics. Some of these have numerous congregations, especially the Wesleyans, and the Catholics. It is only of late years that there have been any Roman Catholic chapels in Jersey. The first stone of the English one was not laid till the autumn of 1841. It is a large and beautiful chapel, in point of architecture, and its external and internal decorations may compete with any other place of worship in the island. It is supported almost entirely by the Catholic English and Irish residents, the lower class of the latter of whom are very numerous. It has been dedicated to St Mary, and as well as the French Catholic chapel, is under the spiritual administration of the Catholic Bishop of London. The Rev Mr Cuningbarn is the officiating priest.
About the same time an unsuccessful Anabaptist chapel in New Street having been offered for sale, it was purchased by the French Catholics who, having fitted it up according to their views, gave it the name of St Thomas'. There are but few resident French Catholics, either of note or property, the greater part of them consisting principally of the humble and laborious class employed in procuring supplies of provisions for the markets. Be it said to their credit that they are a quiet, sober, and parcimonious people, and seldom implicated in any of those offences which so often bring the stranger from other countries in trouble.
This chapel from the general poverty of its congregation is supposed not to be in affluent circumstances, and it is probable that the funds required about £1,000 for its purchase, and for its adaptation to the Roman Catholic worship. These were supplied by the liberality of some unknown private benefactors.
There is a chapel in lower Halkett Place, belonging to the independents. It is the property of the Rev Francis Perrot, who for some time has retired from ill health, and is now replaced by his brother the Rev Clement Perrot, an elegant writer, and a most eloquent preacher. There are several other chapels in St Helier as well as others scattered over the island, but of too little importance to attract the notice of the stranger.
The last thing that we shall notice about St Helier is the military road of communication, which Lieut-Governor Sir Colin Halkett, caused to be made about twenty years ago. That able officer planned this road for marching troops, and conveying artillery between the eastern and western divisions, of the island, without being obliged to march through the town. Another use was also intended, that in case the enemy should effect a landing, the retreating army might occupy that road, and form a cordon round St Helier which would effectually preserve it from being taken by surprise.
This road begins at the eastern extremity of the town, near Plaisance, a gentleman's seat, then joins near St James' Chapel, the St Saviour's Road, which it follows till Quatre Bras, where it strikes into the Trinity Road, after which keeping a westerly direction, and passing the village of Rouge Bouillon, it is carried across to meet the St John's Road. It then descends rapidly into the suburbs of the town, and terminates where it joins the St Aubin's Road, at a place commonly called Cheapside.
Sir Colin Halkett had left this road unfinished from Plaisance to the sea in the Greve d'Azette. The completion of that road has just been ordered by the States at a considerable expense, and will most likely be thrown open to the public in the course of the present year.
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