Benjamin Chappell, the founder of Methodism on P.E.I., arrived on St. John’s Island from England in 1774. Imbued with the evangelical fervour of his friend John Wesley he could be seen ministering to his small flock of pioneers on a “projecting rock in a sheltered cove under the headland at New London Harbour.” The rock became known as Chappell’s Chair. In 1778 Chappell moved to Charlottetown from New London and established a Methodist meeting place in his modest Water St. home.
On 1 August 1807, Chappell noted in his diary that Rev. Bulpitt, who became the first resident Methodist minister, arrived in the colony. He was only allowed to preach his first sermon when he assured Lt. Gov. Des Barres that his Methodist followers would fight for the King.
In the spirit of outreach and the promotion of education, hallmarks of the Methodists, Hannah (Butterfield) Bulpitt, Rev. Bulpitt’s wife, the “white-haired, mop- capped” lady teacher with the “large spectacles and the heavy ruler” established the first infant school on the Island on Richmond St. between Queen and Pownal. Beside her school another kind of education was given by Benny Bray, an old soldier, who lived next door, and regaled the youth with his fairy tales. He had the moniker of “reprobate” probably because he refused to attend church.
From 1816- 1835 the first Methodist church was located on the North side of Richmond between Queen and Pownal. As the years progressed and membership grew, a new and larger church was built on the corner of Richmond and Prince. It was replaced in 1864 by the present “Brick” Church.
References: Islandnewspapers.com, article in the Dalhousie Review by Ada MacLeod and the Day Books of Benjamin Chappell.
One hundred and fifty-one years ago Thomas Alley and Mark Butcher built the First Methodist Church on the corner of Prince and Sydney Streets. It was a great preaching hall brightly lluminated with nineteen tall windows. According to the Methodist liturgy of the day there was no question of installing stained glass windows nor providing an instrument such as an organ to accompany the Liturgy of the Word. As the Nineteenth Century drew to a close stained glass windows became acceptable and an organ was installed. Thus came into being the beautiful church interior the congregation enjoys to this day.
(Excerpt from the Foreword by Reg Porter)
The full book can be read below, or downloaded to your computer.
The first organ in this United Church was a hand-pumped instrument installed in 1885 which was subsequently replaced by a Karn Morris tracker organ in 1909. As a memorial to Trinity United Church members who were killed in WW 2 and in the Korean conflict, this Casavant Frères organ, with 3 manuals and full pedals, was constructed and installed in 1955. It is actually 4 organs in one, the Great, Swell, Choir, and Pedal organs (Divisions). The Choir and the Swell divisions are enclosed in chambers which have louvers that can be opened and closed by the organist via foot pedals.
This “King of Instruments” is an English Romantic organ with baroque adaptations. It has 2978 speaking pipes and 48 stops capable of producing the softest of music and the most thunderous full organ sounds. Since its dedication on February 18, 1955, it has combined music and voice to the glory and praise of God.
Vierne Organ Symphony No 1 Finale
Organist Donald Fraser
Original Stop List
Sw, Gt, Ch. to Ped
Sw, Gt, Ch. Super to Ped Sw., Ch. to Gt
4 Choral Bass
Sw, Ch. Super and Sub to Gt. Sw. to Ch.
8 Stopped Flute
Sw. Super and Sub to Ch.
2 2/3 Twelfth
24 Presets 6 per manual
4 Wald Flute
6 General Toe Pistons
1 3/5 Tierce
1 Full Organ Piston
16 Double Trumpet
1 1/3 Larigot
2 2/3 Nasard
8 Sec. Open Diap.
16 Open Diap.
8 First Open Diap.
2 2/3 Quint
16 Open Diapason
4 Wald Flute
4 Flauto Traverso
8 Viol de Orchestra
8 Voix Celeste
8 Doppel Flute
8 Viola Da Gamba
8 Violin Diapason
8 Stopped Diap.
8 Open Diapason
The information for this pamphlet was prepared by Paul Vandergaag, an interested member of the congregation, to help mark the 150th Anniversary of the church building in 2014. This work is much appreciated by the 2014 Trinity Clifton Celebration Planning Committee and the pamphlet was produced with support from that Committee.
Welcome everyone to our new Trinity-Clifton United Church web site. Our site will describe and share information about both Trinity and Clifton churches. We are working hard to design and organize this information to help you get to know about our Church, our beliefs, our activities and our plans. We want you to find out more about us, and understand that you are always welcome here.
We are still ‘under construction’ with lots more information to come. Please let us know what you think. And please share your thoughts and ideas for making our new ‘virtual’ home a special one.