Most of the Scottish settlers were from the Highlands and spoke Gaelic. They brought their language with them. Many of the early Scottish settlers did not speak English. In the early 1800s, Gaelic was the third most common European language spoken in British North America. Today Gaelic is still spoken in parts of Cape Breton.
The early settlers were not able to build churches right away. Neighbours would gather together outside or at someone's house to worship on Sundays. Scottish settlers were either Roman Catholic or Protestant (usually Presbyterian).
Selkirk's settlers from the Isle of Skye were Presbyterian Protestants. The Selkirk settlers of Belfast, Prince Edward Island built their first Presbyterian church in 1824. It was 18.3 m by 12.8 m and its steeple had a spire 26 m high.
Before a person could join the Presbyterian Church, the minister and church elders had to make sure the person's faith and character met the high standards of the Presbyterian faith. If the person passed, then he or she became a member of the church. New members were welcomed in once a year on Sacrament Sunday, held each June. The minister conducted the special service and hymns were sung.