The Old Jersey Church

Saint Paul’s Anglican Church at Point Cross

In the late 19th century, Saint Paul’s Anglican Church was erected in Point Cross to meet the spiritual needs of young men from the Isle of Jersey. These men were brought to Chéticamp to work for the Philip Robin Company.

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The history of Chéticamp, Nova Scotia, is tied to the Philip Robin Company (later the Charles Robin Company), a firm from the Isle of Jersey in the English Channel that came to Chéticamp in the late 1760’s to exploit the fisheries. Following the Deportation of 1755, ancestors of the Acadians from Chéticamp returned from exile to work for the Robins, eventually establishing a permanent community in 1785.

The Robins were in the practice of bringing young men over from the Isle of Jersey to work short contracts. These workers were Protestant, being descendants of the French Huguenots who settled in Jersey to escape religious persecution.

To meet the workers' spiritual needs, Saint Paul's Anglican Church was erected in Point Cross on land belonging to the Robins. The funds to finance its construction were raised by residents of the Isle of Jersey, much like money would be collected for mission work today.

There is no consensus on the exact date the church was built but all existing evidence points to 1884 as the year of construction. One of the planks on the inside of the belfry bore the signatures of three Jersey carpenters who worked on the church and the date 1884.

There is no evidence that the church ever had a resident minister; rather, over the years, ministers of various Protestant denominations came to preside over religious services. In the late 1900s, with Jersey's population dwindling, the church's maintenance became too much of a financial burden, and the "old Jersey church," as it came to be known, was left to the mercy of the elements. The unavoidable result was that the structure weakened and eventually collapsed in a vicious gale on December 6, 1984. The ruins of the fallen church were removed in the Spring the following year.