|Church Hill Road, overlooking Oistens Town Bay|
Christ Church Barbados
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
A Brief History of Christ Church Parish Church
This present building represents the fifth Place of Worship for the congregation of this parish church. The following account gives brief details of the former church buildings and elaborates in greater detail on this present building.
The first Christ Church Parish Church was built around 1629 on a site close to the coast of Dover. The first building was a wooden structure; it was destroyed by a flood in 1669 and was washed into the sea. There are still four family burial vaults dating back to 1672 remaining on the site of the first churchyard.
Seeking a more secure location, the second church was built on this present site overlooking Oistins with a seating capacity for 300 persons. It was destroyed completed by the hurricane of 1870.
Some time after 1786, a third church was built on this site but it suffered the fate to the second church and was destroyesd by the hurricane of 1831. Six other churches in the island were also severely damaged by this hurricane. The communion plate, velvet clothing and the font were the only items saved. Church services were held in the homes of various parishoners until permission was granted by the Commissioner of Fortifications for the use of Oistins Fort where a chapel was prepared for public worship.
The corner stone of the fourth church was laid by the Bishop of the Diocese on 1st October 1835 and the new church was consecrated on 4th July 1837 by Bishop Coleridge. On the western gallery of the church was an engraved sign: Rebuilt and enlarged MDCCCXXXVI
Plans were being formulated for the first celebration of the 100th anniversary of that building on 1st October 1935 when tragedy struck once more on Saturday 2nd March 1935 and the church was destroyed yet again, this time by fire. Very little of the fabric was saved. Most of the records suffered from water damage but the sacred vessels, vestments and altar linen were saved from the vestry. The only thing saved in the nave of the church was a marble memorial tablet erected by John Randal Phillips Esq. which can still be seen on the northern eastern wall of the nave, by the puplit. It was repositioned here to make room for the Stations of the Cross. This tablet and the two brass standards are the only remaining relics of the fourth church.
This is the present building of Christ Church Parish Church. Three of the walls from the burnt church as well as the western tower were retained.
[from The History of Christ Church Parish Church, on the website of the Anglican Diocese of Barbados.]