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Death of minister who was ‘part of Alderney’s history’

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ALDERNEY’S best known religious leader, the Rev. Arthur Mignot, has died, aged 89.

Mr Mignot was ordained both as an Anglican and a Methodist minister and was synonymous with religious life in Alderney.

He also served for many years as the Queen’s representative on the States and chaplain to the Royal British Legion.

An evacuee, Mr Mignot was fiercely proud of his island home and penned a song about coming home to it, which became Alderney’s unofficial anthem.

Mr Mignot was ordained as a Methodist minister at Manchester Central Hall in 1955. He felt his calling to Methodist ministry during National Service with the RAF.

When he was demobilised in 1949, he worked as a Methodist lay preacher in Glasgow, and then began training at Didsbury Methodist College in Bristol.

It was while he was studying for his theological degree at London University that he met his beloved wife, Eileen.

Mr Mignot had a varied and challenging ministry before retiring to the island of his birth.

Postings included Govan, the tough Glasgow district that became his home during the evacuation, Lozells, in inner city Birmingham, Weston-super-Mare and even a six-week spell in the Smoky Mountains, home of theme park Dollywood, in the US.

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Mr Mignot was evacuated to Glasgow aged 10 in 1940 and left school at 14 to study shorthand, typing and book- keeping, later taking a job in an office.

He learned it was not time was wasted. ‘When I received the call to ministry, while on National Service, I wondered whether it mean that so much of this training and experience had been wasted,’ he later wrote.

‘However, not only was I able to type sermons, letters and other documents, but I was able to do the account books of small churches, which no-one else was able to do so.

‘And I had an eye opener when I visited these folk in their single-end tenement homes, where the toilet for the whole tenement was at the far end of the muddy back yard, seeing how some overcame the conditions and would scrub and polish and clean – and others who gave up the struggle.

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‘It was the beginning of my pastoral work and through my ministry I would visit assiduously, care about those in poor conditions and try to provide social as well as spiritual help.’

In the mid-1960s, he and Eileen returned to Alderney where he worked as a supernumerary in the Methodist Church. In order to work in the wider community he obtained a licence to become an associate minister of the Church of England.

Mr Mignot also penned a series of booklets about the Mignot ancestry and Alderney. He learned that the Mignots had been on Alderney since 1664.

One of his ancestors, the Rev Peter Mignot, founded the island’s first hospital, which was built on Victoria Street in 1926 and from which the current Mignot Memorial Hospital takes its name.

He leaves behind his wife, Eileen, and two sons.

Paying tribute to the man who stood beside him in countless ceremonies over the years, States of Alderney President Stuart Trought said Mr Mignot had been a huge part of Alderney life.

‘Arthur Mignot was a very important person in the Alderney community. He was ordained to practice in both the Methodist and the Anglican churches and he was the Queen’s representative for a long time and chaplain to the British Legion. He was involved in everything. He was part of the island’s history.’

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