In ancient documents the Church is referred to as 'Ecclesia Sancti Clemtentis de Petravilla in Gersuis', which is the latin for “the Church of St Clement on the estate of Peter in Jersey”. There are several place names in Jersey ending in the word ville which date back to pre-Norman days when Gallic gentlemen continued to reside in so-called Roman Villas. The villa did not necessarily mean simply the residence, but the entire estate. Such an estate was known as Pierreville, the estate of Peter. In time, the owner became a Christian and built a wooden chapel for himself and his employees. One of the men from his estate would have been ordained as a Priest to minister in this chapel.
This wooden chapel would probably have been burnt during Norman raids. However, when these raids ended in AD 911, work would have begun on the erection of a stone chapel.
No later than 1067 there was evidence that William the Conqueror granted to the Abbey of Montvilliers half the tithes of the Church of St Clement in Jersey. Since only Parish Churches received tithes, the Church of St Clement was then no longer a private chapel, but a Parish Church.
Another charter in 1090 shows that the Church had passed into the ownership of the Abbey of St Sauveur le Vicomte (in Normandy) and it remained the property of this Abbey until the Reformation.
The early building which formed the original chapel is what is now known as the Nave. It was a tiny Norman building with a low thatched roof and narrow windows. two of which remain in the north wall today. A further chapel was added a few yards away on the site which the organ chamber now occupies. This, for perhaps five hundred years, had no connection with St Clement’s but stood as a neighbouring Chapel (as the Fisherman’s Chapel stands close to St Brelade’s).
In the 15th century the Church was considerably enlarged by the addition of a chancel and transepts, giving it the usual cruciform shape of most Christian churches. It has been possible to ascertain the approximate date for these enlargements and alterations from the Payn Arms (the three trefoils) in the chancel. The Payns were the Seigneurs of Samares during the 15th century. Also from this period are the gargoyles on the East outside wall, and the murals or frescoes inside the church.
When the church was enlarged, the roof was raised and constructed in stone. The line of this may still be observed on the tower arch and buttresses were also constructed to support the weight.
- Richard Le Kaunber 1309
- Nicoals Lorenir 1350
- Michel Le Loreur 1377
- Pierre Julian 1405
- Johan Le Pipet dit Jambard 1468
- Nicolas Nicolle 1495-1519
- Nicolas Noel 1519
- Thomas Steill 1532-1542
- Pierre Dolbel 1544-1550, 1554-1559
- Solar 1550-c.1553
- Thomas Bertram 1562-1565
- Edouard Herault 1577-1593
- Olivier Gruchy 1595-1614
- Elie de la Place 1614-1623
- Pierre Paris 1623-1630
- Nathanaël Marie 1631-1634
- Richard Mollet 1635-1643
- Josué Pallot 1643-1652, 1660-1672
- Jean Germain Gautier 1653-1660
- Joseph Pythois 1673-1687
- Jean Dumaresq 1687-1696
- Jean Dumesnil-Jambelin 1696-1712
- Jean Nicolle 1712-1729
- Thomas Seale 1729-1746
- Edouard Bisson 1746-1748
- Jean du Pré 1749-1761
- Joseph Gabriel Montbran 1761-1771
- Fracois Valpy 1772-1777
- George Bertram 1777-1787
- Clement Dumaresq 1788-1804
- David Hocquard 1804-1822
- François Fauvel 1822-1826
- Philippe Aubin, BD. 1826-1842
- Charles Marett 1842-1876
- Daniel-Matthieu Lempriere 1876-1897
- Charles Walter Balleine 1898-1931
- Thomas Henry Labey 1932-1947
- Raymond Sefton Hornby 1947-1957
- Hugh Waller Langford Sainsbury 1958-1961
- Cecil Paul Harrison 1961-1982
- Malcolm Beal 1983-1997
- David Shaw 1997-
Click on any image to see larger version