Barbados Church Directories
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Use of Church Directories
A church directory lists church ministers, dioceses, and parishes and can provide important information, including:
There are no true church directories compiled for the island of Barbados, however, the following could be useful:
Handbook of churches in the Caribbean: specially prepared for the inaugural assembly of the Caribbean Conference of Churches: by Brathwaite, Joan A., Caribbean Council of Churches (Cadec), 1973, 243pp.
Handbook of Churches in the Caribbean, compiled by Lisa Bessil-Batson, Bridgetown: Cedar Press, 1982, 134pp.
In the 2000 census for Barbados, 95 percent of the population is considered Christian. Of the thousands of churches now in Barbados, 67% of the total population is Protestant, with about 40% being Anglican, 8% Pentecostal, 7% Methodist, and 12% comprised of various other denominations, including Moravian, Seventh-Day Adventist, Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptist, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Roman Catholics make up approximately 4% of the populace; 17% claim no religious affiliation; and about 12% profess other faiths, including Islam, Baha'i, Judaism, Hinduism, and Rastafarianism (Nyabinghi school). All their churches should be listed on the Barbados Directory:
For modern church listings use the online telephone directory http://barbadosyp.com/Barbados/White-Pages/church
It should be noted that over time some churches have changed location. For example, the earliest churchyard on the island (first destroyed by the August 1667 hurricane, which washed away 150 coffins) was Christ Church Parish Church.The original location for this church and its burial ground is actually in the district now known as Dover (adjacent to the house called “Nova Lisboa” in the 1990’s, still in Christ Church) close to the current parish church with the name Christ Church Parish Church. Churches since the 20th century are not listed here.
Churches built before 1900 (by parish)
Saint Michael's Parish Churches
St. Mary’s Church - not the first church, but sits on the oldest consecrated city ground and occupies the site of the first St. Michael’s Church. Its original 104-foot timber chapel, seating 100, was built in 1629 and was the first civic centre hosting the Vestry and, by 1665, a meeting hall, school, and cemetery (1665-1695). A new larger Church was built further east at the opposite end of Bridgetown, St. Michael (and the original timber building was put to other uses and then abandoned). St. Mary’s ‘Old Churchard,’ after 1665, became a burial place for slaves, free blacks and coloureds.
This new St. Michael’s Church was destroyed by the 1780 hurricane, but was immediately rebuilt and elevated to Cathedral status in 1842. This second chapel was built through 1825-1827 by Bishop William Hart Coleridge.
The St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral (designed for Irish soldiers) from 1840 and Bethel Methodist Church (burnt in 1897 but rebuilt shortly afterwards) were both designed by Major Richard Hart.
St. Leonard’s Church churchyard was over-populated by 1875; during this period the curate was Rev. Edward Griffith Sinckler (1823–1881).
Christ Church Parish Churches
In the Christ Church Parish Church there are still about four tombs from around 1672 located at the original site of the church. Additionally, the earliest tombstone to survive the flood dates back to 1659 and is now housed in the Barbados Museum.
Saint Philp Parish Churches
Saint John Parish Churches
Saint Joseph Parish Churches
Saint Andrew Parish Churches
St. Simon’s. In 1917, on 6th November, a cemetery was opened and consecrated by the bishop Alfred Berkeley, who served the Anglican diocese of Barbados from 1917 to 1927.
Saint Lucy Parish Churches
Saint Peter Parish Churches
All Saints' Church survived the slave revolt of 1765 and the hurricanes of 1675 and 1780; in fact, after the hurricane of 1780, only two churches and one chapel were left standing on the island of Barbados: St. Andrew's Parish Church, St. Peter's Parish Church, and All Saints. However, the 11 August 1831 hurricane destroyed the chapel entirely.
Saint James Parish Churches
Saint Thomas Parish Churches
The Moravians first came to Barbados on 26 September 1765, and established mission houses at Bunker’s Hill (1768), and Sharon (1725), both in the St. Thomas Parish, and Mount Tabor (1825), in St. John. The latter was the first city church (now called Calvary, at upper Roebuck). Their first building was completed 3 May 1835 (just after the Slave Emancipation Act). It was extended nine years later, and rebuilt in 1894.
Saint George Parish Churches
The thirteen acres of what would become Westbury Cemetery (on Westbury Road) was purchased in 1870; all Anglican Churchyards in St. Michael were closed and Westbury became the parish cemetery on 1 August 1877, and a ‘public cemetery’ by October 1877. It was consecrated on 1 September 1878. It now extends to the Cholera Ground (1854) on the north-west (on Goodland Plantation), a satellite to St. Mary’s churchyard, meaning some burials listed in St. Mary’s may actually have been interred there.