A walk of history

Dignitaries on the tour.
Dignitaries on the tour.

The Archbishop of Canterbury was today treated to a display of some of the finest details of Caribbean Anglican history on offer in Barbados.

During a visit to the St. James Parish Church, Archbishop Justin Welby and wife Caroline were greeted by Rector, the Reverend Beverly Sealy-Knight, after arriving with an escort from the Royal Barbados Police Force.

The two-day visit stems from an invitation extended by Bishop of Barbados, Reverend Dr. John Holder, to come to Barbados as part of a series of visits to Anglican dioceses which the leader of the Church of England is making during his first 18 months in office.

The Archbishop, Justin Welby and Reverend Dr. John Holder looking at a dated bell.
The Archbishop, Justin Welby and Reverend Dr. John Holder looking at a dated bell.

Tour guide Mike Smith pointed them to the many features of the architecture of one of the oldest pieces of consecrated property in the island. With statements such as “You have done well!” and “I am so grateful [to be here]”, the Archbishop viewed a number of “pieces of art” within the church, including the Italian marble tiles, the limestone structure of the building and the pure mahogany alter.

Welby was regaled with music by organist Philip Forde, which he classed as high quality. Smith pointed to a glass and bronze chandelier which was recently hung behind the organ and explained to the Archbishop that it was “a bit of the new world in the old”.

Archbishop Went, who was also the Dean of Liverpool, mingled with those who were there, greeting locals and officials who were there for the occasion.

After the hour-long tour he left under police escorts, but not before “graciously” thanking everyone for their hospitality. (MR)

Archbishop Justin Welby looking at a 1684 baptism tower from the St. James Parish Church.
Archbishop Justin Welby looking at a 1684 baptism tower from the St. James Parish Church.

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