Les Ollivier du Coin des Ecailles

From the Magasin Methodiste, LIV, 1880, pp. 28-9.

The English residents of Alderney used to call a room in a house belonging to Mr Thomas Ollivier at the Coin des Ecailles, the 'English Church'. The Alderney people called it le meeting. Here they celebrated Anglican services in English, when they could find someone to officiate, or at the least to read the prayers, which happened often enough. This could never have been the Anglican parish priest, however, because at this time the incumbent could not speak English. It was undoubtedly here that Mr Clarke preached, and later Mr de Quetteville whenever he officiated in English.

It seems that the driving force behind this English service was one William Rogers, who lived with his brother, Captain John Rogers RN (who patriotically refused the offer of the post of Admiral in the American fleet). This William Rogers read the prayers in the room at the Coin des Ecailles, as well as Tillotson's sermons. He had the religious and moral interests of the other English residents in Alderney very much at heart, as they were at that time like sheep without a shepherd. He died on the 27th March 1807, aged 66.

The meetings at the Coin des Ecailles premises ended around the end of 1789 or beginning of 1790, and here is why: the Reverend P-S Barbenson's mother told him this story, which she herself witnessed. One Sunday morning during the service at St Anne's church, a rumour spread that the Meeting was on fire. Everyone ran to see what turned out to be not a fire but a flood; the room was on the first floor and the ceiling had suddenly given way and the congregation had fallen through—unharmed—to the ground floor below. They transferred the English service to the Methodist Chapel, which had just been built,1 and people remember that that Sunday afternoon the liturgical prayers were read by Mr Rogers, Mr Thomas Hocart, Mr Thomas Williams, Mr Amice Ollivier and others. [From the French.]

1 Opened 9th March 1790 in the rue des Roquettes, now Victoria Street. See Moore, RD, Methodism in the Channel Islands, London, 1952, p. 51.