- Corporate body
The Swift Current Pastoral Charge was formed in 1955 in the St. John's Presbytery, Newfoundland Conference, United Church of Canada. It was a successor body to the Sound Island Pastoral Charge, whose headquarters were moved to Swift Current following resettlement of the Sound Island population. The first minister, Edgar Williams (lay supply), ministered the appointments of Swift Current, Garden Cove, Haystack, Spencer's Cove, Woody Island, and North Harbour.
A church and school had been built in Swift Current (Pipers Hole) by the early twentieth century for a 1909 circuit report stated: "We have a little school-church here just completed. The Ladies of this place got together and had a sale of work, being assisted by our worthy teacher, Miss Louisa Janes, and raised the sum of $18, which has furnished us with a splendid lamp, hymn-book and bible for our church; the rest will go towards the painting of the building outside."
Currently, the pastoral charge includes the communities of Swift Current, Garden Cove, North Harbour, Arnold's Cove, Come by Chance, and Sunnyside.
Sound Island Pastoral Charge; From 1879 to 1883, the Sound Island Mission was combined with the Flat Islands Mission. In 1883, it reverted to the Sound Island Mission, which now served Sound Island, Pipers Hole, North Harbour, and Woody Island. In 1919, the missions of Sound Island and Long Island combined to form the Sound Island and Haystack Mission. It remained as such until after the Church Union of 1925, when it was renamed Sound Island Mission.
At Woody Island, a new church was built in 1847 and was replaced with another structure in 1907. In 1893, a Sunday school was started, and the minister reported that student numbers had "exceeded our most sanguine expectations." A1931 report observed that the church was being renovated and placed on a concrete foundation; a belfry was also added.
Long Island mission, Harbour Buffett was first mentioned in the Burin Methodist subscription lists in the late 1820s as "having friends". This small congregation became part of the Sound Island Mission and later came under the Haystack-Sound Island Mission. A report in 1903 observed: "We have at Harbour Buffett a place for preaching, the upper story of a store, which will seat about one hundred and forty. We preached there for the first time last Sabbath. We have opened a Sunday school and are in need of school papers." In 1908, the minister reported that "the prospects of building a new church are good. The men have made some efforts in getting the foundation and some building material ready for use." However, a church was not built, and by 1925, the congregation had dwindled.
Haystack became a congregation in the Burin Mission in the mid 1920s. It came under the Sound Island Mission in 1850, the Long Island Mission in 1903, and the Sound Island-Haystack Mission in 1919. A report from Haystack in 1893 stated that a parsonage was being built. At that time, a store owned by Mr. Collins was being used to hold services until a church could be constructed, but the church was not completed until 1913.
A report from Spencer's Cove in 1903 stated: "The people have secured the frame of a church which they hope to build in the coming season. For the present we hold services in a room kindly lent by Mrs. Berkshire." The church was completed in 1909 and was reported to be "very comfortable." In 1912, the Ladies' Aid Society raised $85 to help buy new pews and new windows for the church.
Sunnyside Pastoral Charge; In 1955, the pastoral charges of Sunnyside and Hillview combined to form Sunnyside-Hillview Pastoral Charge and included the appointments Sunnyside, Hillview, Come by Chance, Goobies, Queen's Brook, and North West Brook. In 1962, Sunnyside became part of Little Heart's Ease Pastoral Charge and was moved into the Swift Current Pastoral Charge in 1976.
Whitbourne Pastoral Charge; The first Methodist mission in Whitbourne was formed in 1889, five years after the new Newfoundland railroad reached the community. That same year, the first church was dedicated in the new town. References to the Whitbourne Railway Mission first appeared in the Methodist conference minutes in 1894, so Whitbourne seems to have taken over as headquarters for the Railway Mission from Chapel Arm. The mission consisted of congregations along the new railway as far as Port Blandford. In 1898, it was listed as Whitbourne Mission. After 1901, the railway terminal was moved to St. John's and the population of Whitbourne began to decline. By 1911, the minister had taken up residence in Sunnyside. The mission's headquarters shifted there as well, and its name was changed to Bay Bulls Arm Mission.
The Whitbourne Pastoral Charge consists of congregations in Dunville, Markland, and Whitbourne. Its Methodist history dates back to the building of the railway in the area. Its mission boundaries have changed many times, and it has been a congregation in other missions and pastoral charges in and around the Avalon isthmus area.
In 1938, Whitbourne and Markland separated from the Bay Bulls Arm Mission and became a pastoral charge. In 1940, Whitbourne and Markland were again associated with Sunnyside; but in 1948, the charge was listed as the Whitbourne Pastoral Charge, which included Whitbourne, Markland and Haricot. In 1954, the charge included Whitbourne, Markland, Norman's Cove, and Thornlea.