The Miscou Mission Field covers the Islands of Miscou and Shippegan (also spelled Shippagan) in Gloucester County, New Brunswick. Churches making up the Pastoral Charge are Miscou Harbour (St. Mark’s), and Miscou Lighthouse (St. John’s). The field also included St. John’s United Church in Shippagan until 2007. These churches began as Church of Scotland, Presbyterian churches and became part of the United Church of Canada at the time of the union of the Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational churches in 1925.
The work on the islands was infrequent and much was left to a French catechist shared by the French Presbyterian Board and the Church of Scotland in New Brunswick. Reports in the “Presbyterian Witness” indicated that he visited only once in 1879 and very infrequently thereafter. The first communion service in Miscou is recorded as in October 1881. The church at Caraquet was part of this Presbyterian field which was overseen by the church at Bathurst. This church was established c. 1875 and the churches on Miscou Island were built in the early 1880s and later. A church was built at Shippagan in 1847 followed by a new building in 1903 after the original one was destroyed by fire. In 1885, the “Witness” records that Caraquet had a small church and that there were intentions to build on Miscou during the coming year. Reports in 1888 state: “On Miscou the new church is nearly ready for seating; at Caraquet the pews are there, and will soon be put in.”
With the formation of the United Church Pastoral Charges, Miscou became a separate mission field and included the preaching points of Miscou, Miscou Point, Shippegan, and Little Shippegan. Caraquet became part of New Bandon Pastoral Charge. Miscou Harbour was added in 1929. Caraquet was added in 1961 but was no longer listed as a preaching point on the mission field by 1974.
In February 1842, the trustees of Saint John’s Church of the Established Church of Scotland purchased land from the Honorable Joseph Cunard for the purposes of erecting a church. The building was completed in November 1847. It was destroyed by fire ca. 1900 and a new building was completed in 1903. It is believed that many church records from St. John’s were burned in a fire in the 1930s that destroyed the residence of the then church secretary. With the formation of The United Church of Canada, Shippagan became part of the Miscou Mission Field. There were no services held in the church from 1981-1988 but beginning in 1989, annual summer services were held in the church. The church was closed in 2007.
For a listing of the Miscou Mission Field records held by the Maritime Conference Archives, clink on the following link: