Maxwelltown West and the Chalmers-Wesley Church in QuebecSeptember 4, 2014
How strange and small a world can it get? As you know, Bob has been researching the History of Maxwelltown West Church and discovered that the first Minister as a Free Church was the Rev. W. B. Clark, born in Biggar. After graduation, Mr. Clark served in several parishes, including Half-Morton where he married Jane Brown of Edmonston.
After the Disruption he became first Free Church Minister of Maxwelltown West where he, in his own words “lived in great happiness and comfort, in a good Manse and a large and beautiful garden planted with the choicest fruit trees in the midst of a satisfied and growing congregation!”
BUT, in Canada the presbytery of Montreal needed a Minister for the new Free Presbyterian Chalmers Church in Quebec and failed to attract one. One of the Elders, a Mr. Gibb, originally from Carluke, Lanarkshire (6 miles from where I was born!) offered to find one and repaired to Scotland and convinced Rev. W. B. Clark (so happily settled in Maxwelltown West) that he was really called to Chalmers in Quebec. So that very year, in autumn 1853, the Clark family set off for Canada, to become Minister of the Chalmers Church in Quebec.
Since my journey in Canada allowed 2 days in Quebec, I emailed Mrs. Shirley Nadeu, with whom Bob has been communicating about our mutual histories, and asked if we might meet.
Happily she was more than willing and I was given a warm welcome and the grand tour of their lovely Church, now united with the Methodist Church and re-named the Chalmers-Wesley Church. I did suggest that since they had snaffled the Max West Minister we might decently do the same with theirs. Sadly he had just returned to Switzerland. Like us they are now in a vacancy!!!
It is quite a remarkable story though and I was delighted to be able to go in person and strengthen our liaison. I took some pictures which are on the back cover of this magazine.
Mrs. Nadeu and me at the Communion Table (note she lit a candle specially!) Their impressive organ – the stained glass windows came from the Methodist Church and the view from outside.