Antigua’s picturesque churches

Posted by on May 2, 2012 in Blog | 4 comments

Cathedral of St. John The Divine, St. John's, Antigua

Cathedral of St. John The Divine, St. John’s, Antigua

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Antigua’s picturesque churches

The skyline of the port city of St. John’s, the capital of the island nation of Antigua, is dominated by the 70-foot twin towers of the Anglican Cathedral Church of St John the Divine.  The great parish church, with its walled, shady church yard, covers a wide block less than half a mile from where the cruise ships dock.  The towers, topped by shiny grey cupolas, are an impressive sight, especially for those arriving by sea, and earned St. John’s the reputation of “the most imposing of all the cathedrals in the West Indies”.  The present building, completed in 1847 after the previous incarnation had been severely damaged by an earthquake, was given a pitch pine interior and a stone exterior as a defense against both fire and earthquakes.  Subsequent minor tremors and the earthquake of 1974 have taken their toll, however.  A great deal of renovation was completed in time for the 150th anniversary in 1998 but, unfortunately, this was not enough.  As the latest round of renovations started a couple of years ago, mainly for repairs on the roof, the stone floor inside the church began to collapse such that now this wonderful building is completely closed for an unknown period of time.

Tyrell's Catholic Church, Antigua

Tyrell’s Catholic Church, Antigua

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The Anglican church is the dominant religion on the island.  However, there are many other denominations represented on the island.  Here we see the Roman Catholic church in the village (no more than a hamlet really) of Tyrells, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, which not surprisingly, is also known as the “pink church”. Built in 1932, it is situated towards the middle of the island and overlooks a main junction on the road south to Falmouth and English Harbour, so it is seen by many who tour the island, but rarely visited.  It is well known on the island for having a very good choir and a tuneful congregation.

St. Stephens Anglican Church, Seatons Glanvilles, Antigua

St. Stephens Anglican Church, Seatons Glanvilles, Antigua

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Just along the road from Betty’s Hope (the plantation covered in an earlier post here), is St. Stephen’s Anglican Church.  From the outside, this looks to be an otherwise unremarkable church, however, it has been rebuilt to a curious design, with the pulpit in the center and the pews on each side.  The crumbling tombs in the flower-strewn cemetery are testament to the fact that this has been a religious site for several centuries.

4 Comments

  1. Very nice images mark. The first one is my favorite. I really love the Caribbean islands for their warmth in the winter and places like these with so much history.
    Len Saltiel recently posted..Alberta MorningMy Profile

  2. Oh man, these are gorgeous. Wonderful architecture captured perfectly! Well done Mark!
    Adam Allegro recently posted..A Frigid Morning on the BeachMy Profile

  3. well done Mark, terrific images!
    Jim Nix recently posted..Blue hour in AmsterdamMy Profile

  4. Nice set Mark. I like the path as a nice leading line to the structure on the first image.
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