June 1654: a new minister for the Catel

Guille manuscript No. 465, transcribed in Handbook of Guernsey Churches (MSS in the Library.) The petition of the parishioners of the Castel to have Mr Nicolas Nicols as resident Minister, 1654. This demonstrates the continuance of the Colloque as Church leadership, although the minutes for that period no longer exist.

To the Honorable Captain John Clarke, Lt-Governor of the Isle of Guernsey,


The humble petition of the Elders, Deacons, Constables, Douzeniers, and other inhabitants of the Parish of the Castel,
Humbly sheweth:

That the said Parish havinge been at present destitute of an ordinary or resident Minister and Rector for the space of a yeare and a halfe, by reason of which their want, the people of the parish hath been in a manner bereaved of their spiritual goode, the poore having greatly suffered, being deprived of the ordinary almes, and profanation of the Lord’s day, disorder and deboistnesse hath daily increased there, to the dishonour of God’s name and sorrow of his people, the said parish havinge beene for the said tyme obliged to rely upon the courtesie and good affection of suche godly minister as could spare them a sermon once a weeke, it hath therefore pleased the Lord to put in your petitioners’ hearts to make choice of an ordinary minister according to the right which the Word of God gives them in the same, and the discipline of the Churches of this Island, and to that ende to make their humble addresse to your honour for your approbation and comment in it, namely Mr Nicolas Nicols whom as they are informed by very honest and able Ministers is a young man very capable and endowed with gifts fitting for that calling and is at present student in the University of Saumur in France.

Your petitioners’ therefore most humbl[e] request to your honour is that you be pleased to give your approbation and consent to the said election; and that a Colloque may be called by your authority; to this end the said young man may be sent for and examined whether he be fitting in that function; and with your honest good li[c]king received into the Ministery in case he be found capable of it; so that your petitioners’ long and great want mey be supplied and the young man not be put in expense of tyme and money in vayne, and as your petitioners make these humble addresses to your honour from their conscience to God, the sense of their present want and duty to your honour; for they beseech you that this their humble request may be by your honour granted to them; and they shall praye &c.
Jacques Guille. Pierre Girard. James [Jeames] Ozanne. Pierre Henry. P. Le Marchant. J. Girard. Hellier De Jerze. Jacques Quertier. Jean Breton. Thomas De Jersey. Jean Ozanne. Pierre Mas[s]ey.

Having perused this petition of ye Inhabitants of ye Castel Parish considering that they have been a long time destitute of a preaching ministry that their wants may be supplyed for ye future, and that they may have an able Minister resident amongst them, I doe referre the petitioners to ye judgment and approbation of ye Colloque, touching the suffitiency of Mr Nicholas Nichols, and desire that a Colloque bee assembled on Friday next for ye purpose who are to send for ye said Mr. Nichols, and upon the trial of his abilities and fitnesse, in case the Colloque and Parrish finde him able and fitt for that employment, I doe hereby approve of ye choice, and desire he may be setted Minister there.

Dated this XXVjth day of June 1654
John Clarke Dept. Governor.

According to Lee in 'Home Words', 1875 (same source), Charles de la Marche was minister from 1655, having been appointed in March 1654, but this does not accord with the above document. The Colloque is also in evidence in the Proceedings of the Consistory of St Martin's until at least 1655, when the minute-book ends.