St. Lucy Parish Church
Mount Gilboa, St. Lucy.
Set on the cusp of one of Barbados’ highways, it serves as a popular landmark in St. Lucy as its notable red roof greets you from at least one hundred meters away in any direction. This church is one of the first six parish churches to be established on the island and comes with a dire past. Originally built in 1627, the building which houses the church has had to be rebuilt four times over the years in 1627, 1741,1780 and 1831 all following the passage of destructive hurricanes. Despite the ruination experienced, some attributes have and continue to survive to this day such as the original inscribed baptismal font given to the church in 1747.
The current church was built in 1837 and today still stands proudly, its white walls a stark contrast amid a graveyard of fading memorials and tombstones. Many of these marble, concrete and coral stone graveyard memorials are hundreds of years old, dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries and carry their original iron enclosures.
The paths which wind through these storied memorials are all en route to the statuesque church, whose entrance is enclosed by a beautiful bell tower. This architectural feature of Georgian influence is typical of the many Anglican denominations on the island and frames tall, arched wooden doors that serve as the main entrance of the church. If lucky, you can catch these doors open to reveal the beauty of further Georgian inspired design and view the stained glass window depicting the crucifixion which serves as a focal point above the altar. This mosaic is made of beautiful red, green, blue and yellow glass and is brilliant in the natural light. It is captioned by the words of Revelations 1:18 which borders the arched mural.
“I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore...”
Inside the church is a high, curved ceiling which is another feature of the Georgian imprint in its design, but there is also much more to see; including the over one-hundred-year-old brass cross given to the church in 1901, the nameplate which lists the thirty- two Rectors who have served the church in over 300 years of its existence. Also on site is a traditional organ with ceiling-high pipes included. The church is expansive and as one of the island’s largest Anglican churches, it seats seven hundred and fifty persons combined, on the ground floor and in the overhanging balcony, which wraps around three sides of the church.
The buildings’ side doors maintain the same arched design as the main entrance and exit onto the churchyard, past the beautifully weathered and sculpted church wall. This wall encloses the church and its graveyard, with help from the towering palm and other evergreen trees which keep the building and grounds cool and well shaded throughout the day. In addition to worship, this regal beauty is also a popular meeting spot on Sunday evenings for persons who live and traverse the parish of St. Lucy.