CLARKE’S BEACH UNITED CHURCH
A brief history of the congregation
by Max Hussey
The origins of the Clarke’s Beach congregation can be traced back to the late
1700s when missionaries from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel conducted
Wesleyan or Methodist services in villages along the coastline from their base at
Harbour Grace and later from Port de Grave and Bay Roberts. Lawrence Coughlan
arrived in Harbour Grace in 1765 to formally establish the Methodist movement in
Conception Bay. He continued to lead the Methodist Society until 1773 when ill health
caused him to return to England. In 1785 John McGreary and two traveling preachers
arrived from the United States to reorganize the Society in Conception Bay. By the mid
1780s the core of the Society was in Port de Grave. In 1791 Rev. William Black from
Huddersfield in Yorkshire, England and working out of Nova Scotia, preached in Port de
Grave which was by this time the head of the Methodist Mission Circuit. By 1797 Rev.
William Thorsby was in the area conducting services.
In 1803 Rev. John Percey of Brigus is recorded as the preacher serving the
Methodist followers then residing between “Turks Gut” (Marysvale) and Clarke’s Beach.
His parishioners also included those of the Church of England and Congregational faiths.
He was the first native Newfoundlander to be ordained as a Methodist Missionary.
Clarke’s Beach has had an historic association with Brigus and Cupids from the
beginning of Methodism in Conception Bay and for a short time with Bay Roberts,
however, Port de Grave, Bareneed and Clarke’s Beach have formed a Pastoral Charge in
more recent times.
The early records of Brigus church identifies Rev. Thomas Hickson as the first
appointed Methodist Circuit Missionary to reside in Brigus and to serve Clarke’s Beach,
having been assigned from 1819-22. Clarke’s Beach came under the direction of the
Brigus Circuit until 1852, when it became part of the Port de Grave, Bay Roberts and
Barneed circuit and continued up until 1873 when two new divisions were created
placing Clarke’s Beach as the headquarters of the southern division and Bay Roberts as
the headquarters of the northern division. Around this time the activities of the
Congregational Church at Clarke’s Beach were absorbed into the Methodist Church.
In 1877 the circuit was changed and Clarke’s Beach, Cupids and Port de Grave
formed a new circuit which continued until 1913 when Clarke’s Beach became the head
of a separate circuit. The existing church records of the Port de Grave mission began in
1836 where many of the Clarke’s Beach activities are recorded, although some records
are also to be found in Cupids. In 1915 Clarke’s Beach again joined with Cupids but
separated in 1916 remaining separate until 1920 when it was again joined with Cupids
but for only one year. In 1921 Clarke’s Beach became head of the circuit which
included Port de Grave and Bareneed. With the formation of the United Church of
Canada in 1925, the circuit became a Pastoral Charge of the new union. In 1971,
Whitbourne and Markland were added to this Charge, but were removed in 1979.
Withe the closure of the Bareneed (1992) and Port de Grave (2005) churches, Clarke’s
Beach remains the only preaching point on the Pastoral Charge.
There is no record of a church building in Clarke’s Beach prior to the construction
of the present church in 1874. However, information passed down verbally indicates
that the present church hall was erected on a site across the highway from the church
building on the ocean side, and was used as a school and possibly church services were
conducted there. It is a fact that before buildings were erected services were held in
the homes of congregational members or outdoors when conditions permitted. After
the construction of the new church in 1874 and the relocation of the church hall to the
present site, the hall continued to function as Methodist or United Church school until
the 1950s and still remains in use as a church hall, however, the true age of the
structure is unknown.
The ‘Methodist Monthly Greeting’ records that “in the winter of 1874-75 a neat
church was dedicated at Clarke’s Beach”. In 1890 it was recorded “that fine timber
close to the Methodist Church, means an extension”. The quotation undoubtably refers
to the addition of the wings and belfry of the present church building and occurred
around the same time the Reformed Episcopal Church closed and many of their
members became Methodist.
The annual report for he Cupids-Clarke’s Beach Mission for the year June 1889 to
June 1890 showed the following offerings were received from members:
W. A. G. $ 2.00
Wm. Noseworthy & wife 2.00
Rev. G. Paine and family 4.00
Mrs. A Smith 2.00
Small Sums $ 19.63
Total $ 29.63
F. Homewood $ 4.00
F. Noseworthy 2.40
Noah Snow & family 3.00
Small Sums $ 13.16
Minnie Butler $ 1.01
E. J. Snow 1.20
Small Sums 0.36
Total $ 25.13
Total income from both points $ 54.76
In February 1889 it is recorded, “they are going to enlarge the church here, the
cause is growing. A convention was held here. In the afternoon Rev. S. Sowden
preached a powerful sermon and many expressed their determination to seek a
deepening of the spiritual life. At night Rev. H. Lewis preached, a most blessed
influence prevailing. At the after meeting a large number came out for salvation. In
fact, the entire congregation was wonderfully moved. It was the very same power that
Jesus promised should come down”.
In December 1890, it is stated “at Clarke’s Beach, an over crowed church and
scarcity of pews demands attention at once. The work is to commence forthwith”.
In January 1891 it is recorded “we held our missionary meetings at Cupids and
Clarke’s Beach on Nov. 25 & 26. Sermons in connection with the same were preached
the Sunday previous, Nov. 23. The speakers were Brethren Lewis, Curtis, Flemengton
and Rev. G. Goodchild (Reformed Church). These services were a success in every
way. Speaking was of high order, congregation good and attentive, collections in
advance, and a deep spiritual influence prevailed throughout, causing many to feel it
good to be there. Interest was given to the Clarke’s Beach meeting by the introduction
of an organ kindly lent by Mr. F. Noseworthy, Esq. and played with credit by his son,
Master W. Noseworthy. Instrumental music in this case did not mar congregational
singing, but helped to make it better than we have heard in there at any other time”.
In March 1891, it is recorded that “a very interesting tea meeting and
entertainment took place here, in aid of funds for enlargement of the church. The
seating capacity of the building will be nearly doubled and an excellent pipe organ will
be put up ere the contemplated changes are completed. Over $62 were netted at the
entertainment. Mr. Reuben Horwood deserves great credit fo the excellent program he
prepared for the occasion; and, as for the ladies, they surpass anything like reasonable
language in describing their zeal, energy and success”.
In April 1891 it is recorded, “a meeting at Clarke’s Beach on April 14 was well
attended. Bro. Lewis was the deputation, and dealt with and faithfully with the fruitful
subject of Methodism. If good attendance and attention at such a meeting betoken
interest in the Church of Methodism, then our Beach friends have it: and it is to be
hoped that our church will soon be able to give them more attention. Those who know
the place will say that $13 for college debt, in the month of March, is good. Amount of
the current debt is $26.70".
In May 1891, “at Clarke’s Beach, there has been a gradual but successful work
going on. A number have decided for the Lord, and the work generally is in a
In early 1892, it is noted, “the Xmas Tree and sale of work at Clarke’s Beach,
which was held last week of December cleared, after all expenses, $300. All goods
were disposed of by honest sales alone. After payment of all bills, including three
“Bailey’s” for light reflectors, there is a balance of nearly $50 to go towards painting”.
Further, in 1892 it is noted, “for a long time it has been apparent that a larger
church was needed for this growing community, and some two years ago steps were
taken in view of enlargement: but not until last winter did the work assume definite and
practical shape, when the people united in a scheme of enlargement which has been
brought almost to a successful completion.
How to add to the old and have a slightly and serviceable building was one of the
our chief difficulties. This, however, was overcome through the kindness of J. B Ayre,
Esq., who submitted a plan in letter T shape, with choir, gallery and vestry behind, and
spire in front. This plan was accepted, and F.W. Horwood, Esq., put in within
manageable grasp by taking the contract at a very moderate cost. Now we have a
handsome and commodious church with seating capacity for 700 people, and a neat
spire, 60 feet high, indicating its whereabouts. The work reflects credit upon all who
have co-operated in it – especially upon the generous architect and contractor, and
also upon the master builder, Mr. Thos. Roberts”
The Minister, Rev. James Pincock, wrote – “Sunday, Nov 22, 1892, was an
important day to the Methodists of Clarke’s Beach – the occasion being the re-opening
of the church and dedication of a part newly added, which makes it twice as large as
before. Providence favoured us with fine weather, and people gathered from far and
near, to show sympathy with the project. The dedicatory service was conducted in the
morning by the Rev. J. Dove, Chairman of District, who based a sound and instructive
discourse on 2 Chronicles, 6th and 41st verse. The Rev. W.T.D. Dunn preached an able
sermon, in the afternoon, to an appreciative congregation, which filled the church. His
subject was “Christian Development; text 1 John 1 chap. 13 verse”. The preacher at
the night service was the Rev. J. Pratt, who gave an appropriate and characteristically
earnest discourse on the “wise and foolish builders.” An extemporized choir, with Miss
M. Horwood presiding at her own organ, kindly loaned for the time, added interest and
profit to these services. Collections for the day amounted to upwards of $30. Of the 51
new pews added, 48 are already disposed of, and the prospect is that we shall realize
almost, if not fully enough money, at a bazaar shortly to be held, to meet all bills. To
God we give thanks for all.
Missionary services for this circuit are over, The Rev. A. C. Morton, M.A., our
deputation, rendered effective service in the pulpits of Cupids and Clarke’s Beach, on
Sunday, the 6th inst., and at meetings held in the former place on Monday, the 7th, and
at the latter on Wednesday, the 9th. In addition to Brother Morton, Brethren Prat, Dunn
and Flemington took part in these meetings. Good speaking, good singing, large
audiences, and collections in advance, have made these services memorable.”
Rev. Pincock wrote in Fe. 1893, “missionary meeting was held at Clarke’s Beach
and Brethren Cowperthwaite, Willey, Dunn and Roberts addressed the meeting, a good
and interested audience.”
In April 1893, Rev. T. E. Roberts wrote, “we too have a little news - 1. Our
Sunday School has been reorganized and promises well as a good nursery for the
church. 2. We have formed a chapter of the Epworth League. The meetings are
largely attended and the interest well sustained. High hopes are cherished for the
success of this branch of church work. 3. What we may call the annual tea meeting
was held on Feb. 16. There was a large attendance at the tea, but the ladies, led by
the energetic and noble wife of our Superintendent Minster, proved themselves equal to
the occasion, and the tea was enjoyed by all. The meeting too was a great success.
The several items on the agenda well merited applause. The spiritual outlook is good.
There is an awakening. Backsliders are returning. We are believing that sinners will be
converted. God will answer our prayers by bringing sinners unto Himself to rest on the
sure foundation - Christ.”
Rev. Roberts also wrote in 1894, “at Clarke’s Beach we are determined to go in
for a little improvement. The Rev. W.T.D. Dunn very kindly assisted us by giving his
lecture: “Tramps in the tracks of Israel” illustrated by the lantern. Despite the fear as
to what a “magic lantern” might be, we had a good audience, and needless to say, a
good lecture. Our people were highly pleased. Beside affording so much instruction
this lecture gave us a good start for our improvement fund. At Christmas we had a very
successful Tree. All honour to the ladies who worked so nobly. Great praise is due also
to the young people who just recently provided a really first class entertainment. They
acquitted themselves in good style to the great delight of an appreciative audience. We
have ordered a bell and matting for our church and hope to have an organ also before
Christmas. We heartily thank all those who have helped us, as well as, those who
meant to do so, but forgot. Still “tis better late than never.” “To tabulate spiritual
results is not so easy. Too deep for tabulations is the spiritual status of a people.
Down in the depths of the soul does the Great Spirit work and He performs His
sovereign will. The Holy Spirit is at work in our midst. Many people who for long years
have been under the terrible deathly stupor from the evil one, are being aroused. Let
us pray that the sorrow may be that Godly sorrow that worketh repentance to salvation,
and that all may be made new creatures in Christ Jesus.”
For many years after the church was constructed and enlarged the congregation
was not fortunate enough to have an organ. It appears that members brought their
own instruments for services. When the extension was dedicated music was provided
by Miss M. Horwood, on her own organ, for that occasion. Miss Horwood was the
daughter of the local lumber merchant who had donated materials for the extension of
the building. Mr. William Noseworthy, a local businessman, quite often brought his
family organ to the church and provided music for the services.
It was not until 1900 that a Forster and Andrews pipe organ, constructed in Hull,
England, was purchased and installed at a cost of over $600. In researching the history
of this purchase it was learned that the original order is on file at the Hull Central
Library in the Local Studies Section and was placed at the same time as the pipe organ
at Cupids United Church. An employee of Ayre’s was sent from St. John’s to Clarke’s
Beach to assemble the organ and familiarize the organist, Mr. William Noseworthy, with
it’s operation. It is interesting to note that the wooden crate in which the organ was
shipped form England was later used by a member of the congregation to build a front
porch on his house. Organ fund raising by the ladies under Mrs. F. Noseworthy raised
$311 and the Children’s Christmas Tree raised $29. “When they have raised $69 or
more the organ will be paid for.” (The pipe organ is no longer operational and requires
approximately $16,000 worth of repairs when assessed a number of years ago).
On Feb. 19, 1895 Rev. C. W. Follett wrote, “the Lord hath done and is doing
great things for us, whereof we are glad. During the past forthnight we have been
enjoying “Showers of Blessings.” The Lord is pouring out His Holy Spirit upon us in a
very special manner. Many souls have found pardon and peace through believing:
others have been led to a full consecration and realize that the Blood “cleanses”.
On April 22, 1895 Rev. C. W. Follett wrote “since our last report the good work
has been progressing favourably on this circuit. At Clarke’s Beach special services were
held up to the end of March with the result that many souls have been brought f rom
darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God. In addition to the regular
services, cottage meetings are now being held by the converts, and nearly every night
witnesses joy in the presence of the angles over sinners coming home. The change
which has been wrought in the lives of many of the young men and fathers of this place
amply demonstrates the fact that Christianity is not yet played out. The number
attending our Sabbath School has been greatly increased, and many of the scholars
have given their hearts of God. Several new Society Classes have been formed, and
the weaker ones strengthened”.
Many changes have taken place since the original building was constructed. Use
of the balcony at the back of the church has been discontinued and a wall has been
erected to close off this space. An oil furnace has replaced the two coal burning stoves,
the walls have been covered with panel board, the original pews have been replaced
and the bare wood floor has been covered with linoleum and carpet. A new pulpit
replaces the original one, which has been restored and is used as a greeter’s station at
the rear of the sanctuary. Vinyl siding has been added to the outside and two stained
glass windows were donated and installed as family memorials.
On November 20, 1983 a new organ, which is in use today, was dedicated
having been purchased for the sum of $15,000. At the dedication service, conducted
by Rev. Jeffro Bursey, a number of past organists were recognized. These included
Phyllis Coppin, Muriel Marshall, Jean Gosse, Mabel Wells, Doris Pike, Doris Howse, Ruby
Russell, Daisy Littlejohn, Lois Boone, Genevieve Pretty, Shirley Snow, Dianne Russell
and Muriel Dawe. A piano, donated by the family of the late Rev. Thomas R. Mills, adds
to the music and is regularly used for choir and other accompaniment.
In 1992 further renovations to the interior of the church were made. This
included lowering the choir gallery, pulpit and pipe organ and constructing a choir room
and vestry near the entrance to the church. In 2007 the roof shingles were replaced
and 2008 the electrical wiring was upgraded and electric heaters were install in the
wings to provide supplementary heat. In 2009, the interior wood panel board was
painted and pew cushions were made by congregational members and installed in all
In 2010 renovations were undertaken and a new wheelchair accessible
washroom was installed just off the entrance area to the church, thus eliminating the
need to cross the church yard to the church hall to access a washroom.
Some interesting or humourous fact or stories about Clarke’s Beach church and
school are recorded in past minutes of meetings or were obtained by researching the
annual reports of the Methodist Missionary Society, the Monthly Methodist Greeting and
Government School Reports and are a follow:
1869 Government Report of Schools – Attendance smaller than usual. The premises
in fair condition, excepting that the school room is not finished yet. The teacher
is competent and attentive.
1872 School closed since death of former master in April, re-opened in October: have
42 entered, they are very backward owing to former irregular attendance, and
now getting on fairly in simple learning to read. Room comfortable. Teacher
dismissed by the Board of Education on July 1, but he refused to give up
possession of premises or books.
1873 Teacher William Newell. 43 students, 17 boys and 26 girls. Reading and writing
fair. Oldest children not present
1874 Teacher’s salary 50 pound and 19 pounds collected in fees. 20 boys and 24 girls.
Teacher- William Newell.
1901 A new barn, for the Minister’s horse, bought and partly paid for and he can run
horse and carriage in and out without unharnessing; this is important to the
1902 A branch of Women’s Missionary Society was formed.
1908 (December) The members of the Trustee and Educational Boards have also
made some important improvements on our ecclesiastical and educational
properties in this place. The church has been shingled and the roof tarred and
the building painted. The school hall has also been painted, together with the
long fence in front of both buildings. Messrs G. Ralph and C. Bishop were the
artisans employed. The Clarke’s Beach Ladies Aid held an “At Home” on the 18th.
inst. for raising funds towards their new hall.
1909 (May) Another sister called away was Mrs. Mary Mugford of Clarke’s Beach. (The
wife of our devoted sexton who recently gave up his duties in connection with
the church that he might minister to his beloved wife during her illness) Sister
Mugford was brought up in the Episcopal Church at Bareneed, and was
converted to God in a cottage prayer meeting at Clarke’s Beach. She united with
the Methodist Church at Clarke’s Beach and became a devoted member. Her
class leader, Mrs. Hussey, bearing testimony that she had a bright and happy
experience of the Grace of God. She was found trusting in her Saviour to the
close of her life. Her funeral was well attended, and we improved the occasion
preaching a sermon from the inspired words of Paul, “I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” etc.
1910 (March) Our missionary meetings were held the latter part of the month at
Cupids, Clarke’s Beach, Bareneed and Port de Grave. Abel, earnest and
instructive addresses were delivered by the deputation consisting of Rev.
Frederick R. Matthews, B.A., from St. John’s and Rev. R. Hampton Mercer of
Sound Island. From whatever view point the subject of Missions was
approached, whether historically, statistically or commercially, the speakers
succeeded in getting to the marrow of the subject viz: the duty of the hour to
“go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.”
1910 (May) Thomas Snow of Clarke’s Beach we talked and prayed with in his sick
room and heard his testimony that God, for Christ’s sake, had pardoned his sins.
One of his sons, we believe, is striving to walk in his steps. He died at fifty
seven. Emma Butler was the wife of W. H. Butler, a resident of Clarke’s Beach.
He took a wife from Salmon Cove and raised up a respectable family at the
Broads. Her death was almost sudden when she was about sixty seven years of
age. She showed her family a good example.
1911 (November) The reports from this place are few and far between, not because
we have nothing to report, but there is a modesty which makes the people
hesitate before giving their doings to the world. Even now the respect will be of
people more than doings. In common with our brethren elsewhere, we have had
a change in pastors, that is of the junior minister who makes Clarke’s Beach his
place of residence. The Rev. C. W. Legge left us in June and the Rev. S. Sargent
has succeeded him. Brother Legge was a thoughtful preacher, his successor,
while of different style, has won his place also. Brother Sargent is a hard
worker, a thorough Pastor and he has won his way into the hearts of the people.
With the zeal of an evangelist he is looking for good times ahead and signs of
the coming shower are seen. But the changes have not been in the persons of
the Pastors alone. They have been seen in the homes of our people, and some
have been called away.
(December) After great suffering, Rachael Snow was called from her family,
leaving several children orphaned indeed. Her husband had predeceased her
some years before. She was a great sufferer, but had a faith that stood the
(April) We lost three of our people. Keziah Morgan went first. She had
past her 70th birthday and for years had been a devoted follower of her Master.
She was a mother to Israel and we miss her very much. The next to go was John
Bartlett, aged 69. He was a native of Bareneed but lived at Clarke’s Beach for
over a quarter of a century. A man of quiet life, with simple trust, greatly
respected by all who knew him. The third that month who we committed to the
dust was Elizabeth Ralph. She had reached the age of 84 and gradually faded
away at last, “crossing the bar’ on April28th. Before Conference we had to say
good-by to another in the person of Henry T. Hussey. (Note; the writer’s great-grandfather)
A fine man, he was beloved by all who knew him. He followed the Labrador
Fishery until the last few years, when a subtle disease overtook him, some
trouble of the brain, which slowly took away his faculties until he fell asleep. He
was in his 63rd. year. His wife is one of our class leaders and has had the burden
of that sickness for the last two years.
Our people pass away, but we see the quiet trust, the faith they have in
Him who passed this way before them. We see a real meaning in the words,
“they that sleep in Jesus will God also bring with Him”.
1918 The appropriation for the salary of a married minister shall be not less than
$1,200 per annum: for an ordained single minister, the appropriation shall not be
less than $1,000 per annum: for a probationer for the ministry the appropriation
shall be not less than $800 per annum.
1922 (May) The inspection of Methodist Schools report for the St. John’s East District
recorded the following information. CLARKE’S BEACH SUPERIOR – nine passes
were obtained in last C.H. E. Examinations, one in intermediate, four in
preliminary and four in primary. The attendance was small at the time of the
visit owing to stormy weather; but work shown in both departments indicated
progress. THE MOTION – of those present for inspection, three in the highest
class made a good showing in primary grade work, and those in Standard 1 were
progressing favourably. Others were backward.
1923 Methodist School Report. – CLARKE’S BEACH SUPERIOR. The Superior Room
had an average attendance or 27. In the C.H.E. Examination in June, 8 won
passes, with 5 distinctions, – 3 in intermediate, 4 in preliminary and 1 in
primary. When visited, the different classes seemed to be making good progress
under capable management. The Primary Room, the 31 on register were doing
quite nicely and showed some pleasing examples of writing and drawing. The
room in it’s new coat of paint looked bright and pleasant for the little ones to
1929 (September) Statistics form Annual Report. Number of families - 160; Number
under pastoral oversight - 800; Baptisms - 12; Marriages - 5; Deaths - 8; Number
of Sunday Schools - 3; Members of Sunday School including officers, scholars -
156; Number of Ladies Aid Associations - 3; Number of lady members - 30;
Value of all church property - $25,4000; Debt - $800; Salary - $2,243.
1930 (January) Clarke’s Beach circuit lost its’ best man, in the death of Frank
Noseworthy. No one knows just what his counsel has meant to the church
through the years. Many probationers have put in a year or two’s service on the
circuit and to all of them he was a father, and his home was their home. When
his death is known in Canada many a successful pastor, student and professor in
college will regret the passing and treasure the experience of free grace which
he received about forty years ago and yet withal, his life was sane and balanced.
The end came suddenly in his eightieth year, and left a sorrowing community.
The funeral was conducted by Rev. Harry Coppin, Pastor; Rev. H. Batten of the
Anglican Church and Rev. Dr. Clark of Gower Street Church. The widow and
children were very much comforted by the hundreds of telegrams from far and
near. The late Frank Noseworthy was a type of Christian much needed in our
1931 (February) an announcement to be made in church re: shortage of funds for
Minister’s salary. Request to Home Missions for $700 towards Minister’s salary.
1936 New Parsonage built at a cost of $3,704.33. First Board of Stewards established.
On Sunday June 28th, a very impressive and inspiring service was held in the
U.C. Church. It was mainly a young people’s service. The officiating pastor for
the evening was Rev. G. L. Morgan, B.A., B.D. and special speaker was Miss. May
Field, leader of the N.G.I.T. in Newfoundland. The center seats of the church
were occupied by the organized young people’s groups of the church, mainly
Trail Ranger, Bible Study Group and N.G.I.T. Group which during the year had
been under the direction of the pastor Rev. L.A.E. Curtis, B.A., B.D. and Mrs.
Curtis respectively. During the opening exercises of the service the N.G.I.T.
Group occupied the choir gallery, accompanied by their leader, Mrs. Curtis, and
dressed in proper uniform the Group presented a pleasing appearance. After
singing of the chant the Group withdrew from the choir gallery and took their
places in the center of the church which had been reserved especially for them.
Immediately behind them in the same row sat the T.R.G. It was a splendid
showing of young people and indeed an excellent indication of the activities that
have been carried on within the bounds of the church during the past year. After
the officiating minister had introduced the special speaker for the evening and
informed address to the N.G.I.T. Group, and to the congregation as a whole.
After the address Rev. Mr. Morgan presented diplomas to those people of the
Bible Study Group who had been successful in the examination of the Leadership
Training Course. The service was brought to a close by the singing of and
benediction from the officiating minister. (written by Harold Stevens)
1940 The church received two or three coats of paint and a new stove costing $18.
Clarke’s Beach congregation had 103 families. Ladies have $369.15 on hand for
1951 Board of Session established.
1952 There were 120 contributors in Clarke’s Beach, 36 in Bareneed; and 30 in Port de
Grave. The total income was $2,428.48 and expenses were $2,359.41 for a
balance on hand at the end of the year of $69.07.
1955 The Minister’s salary was $2,800 annually.
1964 January 30. Sunday School Superintendent - Curtis West; Secretary - R.
Downey; Assistant Superintendent - Harold Mugford; Treasurer - Cecil J. Snow.
Muriel Williams and Daisy Bartlett are the organists. Teachers - Mrs. Douglas
Williams, Mrs. Wesley Bartlett, Mrs. Eric Jerrett, Mrs. R. Downey, James Ralph,
Eric Dale, Mr. Littlejohn. U.C.W. President - Mrs. R. Downey; Vice President -
Mrs. W. Bartlett; Treasurer - Mrs. H. Mugford; Literature Secretary - Mrs. E.
Jerrett; Secretary - Mrs. E. Dale; Devotional Leader - Mrs H. Boone; Convener for
Visiting Sick Committee - Mrs. F. Snow; Convener of Parsonage Committee - Mrs.
J. Boone; Press Secretary - Mrs. A. Clarke; Representative of the Official Board -
Mrs. R. Downey.
Dec. 8. As published in the Evening Telegram newspaper. The annual
meeting and election officers of the U. C. W. Mrs R. Downey - President; Mrs.
Wesley Bartlett - Vice-President; Mrs. E. Dale - Secretary; Mrs. Harold Mugford -
Treasurer; Mrs. A Clarke - Spiritual Convener; Mrs. Marie French - Press and
Publicity Correspondent; Mrs Herbert Boone and Mrs. Fred Snow - Sick Visitation
and Friendship Officers; Mrs. Douglas Williams - Parsonage Convener; Mrs. C.
Fillier and Mrs. W. Bartlett - Auditors; Rev. Mrs. R. Downey - Representative of
the Official Board. Following the meeting a social hour was held during which a
gift was presented by members to Mrs. Jackson Hussey on the occasion of her
25th wedding anniversary. (Mother of the author) th
1976 The Minister’s salary was $8,200 + 15%.
1994 Rededication of the restored pulpit bible, believed to be the first one used in the
church. Restoration courtesy of Mr. Allan Jerrett.
1995 The old pulpit that had been removed from use and had been stored for may
years was refurbished by the Men’s Group and rededicated on June 18th. The
pulpit is now the greeters station from which visitors are welcomed into the
2005 With the closure of Bareneed and Port de Grave churches Clarke’s Beach became
a half time pastoral charge. Use of the Manse was discontinued as a minister’s
residence and the building rented.
2008 The church was shingled at a cost of $20,340 and rewired electrically. Auxiliary
electrical heaters were installed in the wings.
2009 The church was completely painted inside and through donations the pews were
covered with cushions made by congregational members. Extensive work was
carried out on the old cemetery. On Nov. 8, Rev. Joseph G. Burton was installed
as Minister Emeritus. There were 95 envelope holders in the congregation
representing approximately 150 persons under pastoral care. The congregation
celebrated 135 years of the existence of the present church building with a
banquet featuring various clergy, municipal and district representatives. The
guest speaker was a former member of the church, Mr. Stewart Ralph. This
celebration was followed the next day by a special worship service with another
former member, Rev. Sharon Earle-Marshall, as guest preacher.
2010 A wheelchair accessible washroom was installed in the church thus eliminating
the need to cross the parking lot to the church hall to access facilities.
2011 The roof of the Manse was re-shingled.
2013 The congregation entered into an agreement with the Bay Roberts Pastoral
Charge to appoint Rev. Stephen Barbour to a shared ministry, 50/50 time in each
2014 On Saturday, October 25, celebrated 140 years of the existence of the present
church with a banquet where the special guest was the Moderator of the United
Church of Canada, the Right Reverend Gary Patterson. Representatives of
Pastoral Charges throughout Trinity Conception area also attended. The Banquet
was followed by a special worship service with Rev. Patterson as the guest
Various population census have revealed the following numbers of adherents
living in Clarke’s Beach who gave their denomination as affiliated with Clarke’s Beach
Wesleyan 1857......................................................... 76
United Church 1935.........................................................252
The names of clergy who were settled or served the congregation at Clarke’s
Beach since 1803 are on record. Some interesting facts about these Wesleyan,
Methodists and United Church ministers are as follows.
1804- 1819 Rev. John Percey. Ministered to the Methodist flock then residing
between “Turk’s Gut (Marysvale) and Clarke’s Beach before 1803. He also attended
Church of England and Congregationalist adherents as well. In that year he went to
England for ordination by Rev. Dr. Thomas Coke and became the first native
Newfoundlander to be ordained as a Methodist Minister.
1819 - 1822 Thomas Hickson. Sent to Newfoundland from England in 1815. Married
Jane, daughter of William Garland of Lower Island Cove. Jane died and he had two
additional marriages after returning to England. He died in England in 1864. One of his
sons, John Bell Hickson became a Methodist Missionary and served in Newfoundland.
1822 - 1824 John Haigh. In 1816 it is recorded he was the first resident preacher at
1824 - 1827 Richard Knight. Born 1788 in Devon, England. Married Mary Hosier in
Bonavista between 1818 and 1820. They had 11 children. Spent 16 years at various
appointments in Newfoundland during his 44 years in ministry. He died in New
Brunswick in Sackville on May 23, 1860.
1827 - 1829 William Ellis. Was the first permanent Methodist Missionary in
Newfoundland and the first to die here. He was buried in Harbour Grace in 1837. The
Town of Elliston in Bonavista Bay is named after him.
1829 - 1831 John Boyd.
1831 - 1832 John Haigh.
1832 - 1834 George Ellidge.
1834 - 1837 John Picavant. Born in Lancashire, England in 1792. He arrived in
Newfoundland around 1813 in the accompaniment of another missionary, John Lewis.
After ministering in Newfoundland for 25 years he returned to England. He was
instrumental in establishing Gower St. United Church in St. John’s. He married Virtue
Vey of Port de Grave and introduced in the Methodist church the practice of clergy
wearing gowns in the pulpit.
1837 - 1838 Ingham Sutcliff. Was Chairman of the Methodist District in 1858-59: in
1864-65 and 1870-71. He died in 1883 at the age of 71 years
1838 - 1839 James Hennigar.
1839 - 1842 John McMurray.
1842 - 1843 John Picavant.
1843- 1846 William Faulkner.
1846 - 1849 John S. Addy. Was Chairman of the Methodist District in 1867-69 and
1876-77. He died in 1884.
1849 - 1852 John Snowball. Was Chairman of the Methodist District in 1861-62. He
died in 1871 at the age of 87 years.
1852 - 1853 William E. Shenstone.
1853 - 1857 Adam Nightingale. Spent 50 years ministering to various congregations
in the area but eventually returned to England.
1857 - 1858 Thomas Fox.
1858 - 1859 James Dove. Born Dec. 3, 1827 in Darlington, England. Arrived in
Newfoundland Nov. 30, 1855 and next day preached his first sermon at Gower Street
Church in St. John’s. The following day he celebrated his 28th birthday. In 1859 he
married Mary White in St. John’s. They had four daughters and five sons. Five of their
children survived their parents. Died in St. John’s Jan. 2, 1908.
1859 - 1864 William E. Shenstone/Joseph Pascoe. Rev. Joseph Pascoe was
Secretary of the Methodist Conference from 1877 to 1879 and he moved to New
Brunswick Methodist Conference in 1883.
1864 - 1865 Supply.
1865 - 1867 John Reay. Was Chairman of the Methodist District in 1878.
1867 - 1868 John M. Pike.
1868 - 1870 Isaac Howie.
1870 - 1872 Thomas Fox. Died in Topsail in 1889 at the age of 77 years.
1872 - 1873 George Boyd.
1873 - 1876 Jesse Heyfield. Was Minister in Clarke’s Beach when the church was
opened in 1874. Not much is known about his early life in the ministry, however, we do
know that he served in Topsial, Trinity, Morton’s Harbour, Channel and Portugal Cove.
His final appointment was Heart’s Content where he died in 1910 and is buried there
along with his wife. The Heart’s Content church is named after him, Heyfield Memorial
1876 - 1878 George Boyd.
1878 - 1881 John Reay.
1881 - 1884 James Dove, D.D. Was a delegate to the Ecumenical Congress in London
in 1881 and President of that Congress in 1883. He did supply ministry between 1888
and 1907. He died at the age of 81 years.
1884 - 1887 John Pratt. (b.1839-d.1901) Came to Newfoundland in 1873 as a
Wesleyan itinerant preached and served in various places. Married Fannie Knight in
1877. She died in 1926. They were the parents of E. J. Pratt.
1887 - 1889 George Paine.
1889 - 1890 James Pincock.
1890 - 1892 George Paine.
1892 - 1894 T. E. Roberts.
1894 - 1895 C. W. Follett.
1895 - 1895 W. A. Palmer.
1896 - 1898 W. A. Palmer/William Swan.
1898 - 1901 Alexander Hudson/Thomas W. Atkinson.
1901 - 1902 Thomas W. Atkinson/H. G. Bandey.
1902 - 1904 William Harris.
1904 - 1905 Edwin J. Pratt. Rev. Dr. E. J. Pratt was born in Western Bay (b.1882-
d.1964) the son of Rev. John and Fannie Pratt. He married Viola Whitney in 1913 and
they had one daughter, Mildred Claire in 1921. He was ordained in 1913 as a Methodist
Minister and served in a number of churches in Newfoundland and Ontario. He became
a professor and lectured in the English Departments at a number of institutions
including the University of Toronto, Dalhousie, Queen’s and the University of British
Columbia. He became one of Canada’s most well known and distinguished literary
figures of his day. His published works earned him numerous awards and recognitions,
including three Governor’s General medals. He also received numerous honorary
doctorates across the country and published 13 volumes of poems along with other
1905 - 1906 William Harris.
1906 - 1908 Thomas H. James.
1908 - 1909 Thomas H. James/E. J. Ley.
1909 - 1910 Thomas H. James.
1910 - 1911 Charles Haskett/C. W. Legge.
1911 - 1912 S. Sargent/A. V. Robb.
1912 - 1915 Oliver Jackson. (b.1887-d.1937) Came to Newfoundland from Wales as
a lay Methodist Minister and later received additional theological training in Montreal
followed by ordination. He served in a number of ministerial appointments but is best
known for his “social ministry” in his attempts to improve the lives of those who were
subject to difficult living standards in the isolated regions of the Colony. He was
appointed Superintendent of Methodist Missions and Field Secretary traveling constantly
along the Newfoundland cost and was editor of the Methodist Monthly Greeting
newsletter. He was accidently knocked overboard from a mission boat while traveling
along the south coast and drowned. His student minister accompanying him also
drowned trying to save him. He and Rev. H. G. Bandy married Noseworthy sisters from
1915 - 1916 Clement Gaukrogers.
1916 - 1919 Richard Gosse.
1919 - 1920 W. J. Moores.
1920 - 1921 J. T. Clarke.
1922 - 1923 T. W. Tyson.
1923 - 1924 Ernest Howse.
1925 - 1926 R. E. Belbin.
1926 - 1927 William Gargbutt.
1927 - 1933 Harry G. Coppin. Became the first President to the Newfoundland
Conference of the United Church of Canada in 1925.
1933 - 1934 Norman Burns.
1934 - 1936 L. A. D. Curtis.
1936 - 1940 J. W. Winsor.
1940 - 1941 J. Sherrin.
1941 - 1943 S. W. Williams.
1943 - 1949 J. A. Wilkinson.
1949 - 1952 Selby Manuel.
1952 - 1956 Isaac Davis.
1956 - 1959 Lester L. Burry. Rev. Dr. Lester L. Burry was born at Safe Harbour,
Bonavista Bay in 1898. He graduated from Mount Allison University and was ordained
in 1924. Many years of his ministry were spent in Labrador where he worked tirelessly
to improve living conditions along the coast. He was elected to the National Convention
representing Labrador and helped negotiate the terms of union for Confederation with
Canada. He held many positions of leadership within the church.
1959 - 1961 John Howse.
1961 - 1965 Rufus Downey.
1965 - 1971 Ambrose Murley.
1971 - 1977 William A. Butt.
1977 - 1978 Broyce Martin.
1978 - 1980 Frank D. Curtis.
1980 - 1982 Clarence Standford.
1982 - 1987 Jeffro Bursey.
1987 - 1991 Victor Fields.
1991 - 1996 Lee E. Michelin.
1996 - 2002 Raymond Case.
2002 - 2005 Donna Lawrence. Was the first female minister to serve the Clarke’s
Beach Pastoral Charge.
2005 - 2007 Lee E. Michelin.
2007 - 2011 Bernice Spracklin.
2009 Joseph G. Burton. The honorary title of Minister Emeritus was bestowed upon
Rev. Burton at the morning service on November 8.
2011 - 2013 Lorraine E. Moores.
2013 - 2016 Stephen Barbour.
2016 - ???? Glenn G. Jarvis
During the time the congregation has been in existence it has produced six
persons who have entered the ministry as Methodist or United Church Ministers. These
include Rev. Levi Hussey who was a military chaplain during the first world war; Rev.
Harold Stevens; Rev. John Butler; Rev. Ebbie Snow; Mr. Stewart Ralph and Rev. Sharon