In 1815, the year in which Malta became a British Crown Colony, Methodist soldiers stationed there appealed to the Missionary Committee for a preacher to be sent to the island. In 1824 John Keeling (1785-1857; e.m. 1808) arrived to open the first Protestant church in spite of hostility from the predominantly Roman Catholic community. The building was sold to the Free Church of Scotland in 1843 and the Methodist work moved to the other side of the Grand Harbour. Floriana Methodist church, outside Valetta, opened in 1883, complete with the new electric lighting. When the lease of the site expired in 1973, the congregation joined with that of St. Andrew’s Scots kirk close to the site of Keeling’s 1824 church. A formal Local Ecumenical Partnership was instituted in 2007.
Malta gained its independence as a republic in 1974 and ceased to be a British military base in 1979. The Presbyterian/Methodist congregation now serves British families stationed in Malta, others who have retired there and visitors to the island, as well as offering a witness to Protestant forms of Christianity.
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