Francois Perrot

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Francois Perrot (1782—1848) was Jersey’s first noncomformist minister.

The eldest son of Francois Perrot and Elizabeth Hooper, he was the brother of Clement and Pierre.

Evangelical grandmother

His parents died in 1800, leaving their seven children to be brought up by their grandmother. She was an ardent evangelist, who used to conduct cottage meetings in various parts of the island, and took the boys with her.

Francois sometimes preached at these meetings, and in 1802 went to Dr Bogue's Theological Academy at Gosport to be trained for the Independent ministry. Here he had as fellow-students Angell James, the Birmingham preacher, and Robert Morrison, the famous missionary to China.

He returned to Jersey, and held meetings in the Long Room in the Square. A religious revival began, and a number of his converts decided to form an independent church (the name then used by those who later called themselves Congregationalists).

In 1807 he bought some plots of meadowland in Halkett Place, and built a red brick chapel, which opened the following year as the first noncomformist place of warship in the island.

More chapels

His brother Clement came to share his work and a second chapel was built at St John. In 1811 Francois married Susanna Maria Sharp of Ramsey, Hampshire. She introduced Sunday schools into the island, and had established six when she died in 1819 as the result of a fall at a Sunday School prize distribution.

In the next few years chapels were built at St Aubin, St Clement, St Peter, St Saviour, and in Guernsey, and all these remained under the supervision of Perrot.

For 40 years he continued his work, and his influence extended beyond the circle of his own congregations, for, like many Independents in those days, he was a keen politician, and took an active part on the reform side in the municipal life of the town.

He died on 7 October 1848. His only son, Clement, died in 1832 at the age of 18.

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