Chapel At Ease

Known as the “Chapel in the Bay,” St. Paul’s Anglican Church was first built in 1831 by Bishop William Hart Coleridge, D.D.

Situated in Upper Bay Street in the civil parish of St. Michael, Barbados, the Cure is bound to the north by Jemmotts Lane. From there the boundary runs east to Collymore Rock, south above Mt. Clapham, and on to the border of the civil parish of Christ Church and west to the Caribbean Sea.

Bishop William Hart Coleridge bought three pieces of adjacent land in Bay Street in 1829 out of his own money, and set about the building of St. Paul’s Church. The cornerstone was laid by the Governor, Sir James Lyon, on April 23, 1830 and erection was completed in January of 1831.

On August 11, 1831, a tremendous hurricane ravaged the island and St. Paul’s Church was completely destroyed, except for one window. In a written account at the time, it was stated that “St. Paul’s Chapel, so lately finished, and which for chaste design and architectural beauty was unequalled by any edifice in the island, was completely demolished, not the smallest portion of the walls remaining except the front part of the western porch.” This set-back was met with determination by Bishop Coleridge and his St. Paul’s flock to rebuild the church as soon as possible. Plans were soon made to build a larger church. Under the direction of architect Thomas Anglim, the church was rebuilt in October 1833.

Over the years various improvements have been made to the church. In 1849 the Chancel was added. The Lady Chapel was set up in 1935 and the floor relaid in the 1950’s. In 1962, the old wooden Font, which stood at the entrance in the middle of the aisle, was replaced by a new one carved of local coral stone by a Mr. Massiah of Enterprise, Christ Church. The exterior of the Church was painted for the first time in the early 1970’s. The Chancel ceiling was replaced in the 1980’s. The present tile aisles were completed in early 1991 – the cost being covered for the most part by the members of the congregation.

Major renovations were carried out to the roof and exterior of the church for the first time in September, 1998 after one section had collapsed. Work was completed in May 1999 and St. Paul’s, through the work of the Ways and Means Committee is still working to repay loans taken in order to complete the project. The church was rededicated on July 10, 1999 by then Bishop Rufus Broome.

The Rectory, (with a great many alterations made over the years) was built in 1839. The Church Hall was completed and opened in 1934. The hall was extended and its roof repaired in 1990. Members of the parish continually assist in any minor repairs that are needed as time goes by.


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