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Religion In Bridgetown - UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Religion In Bridgetown - UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Barbados’ rich religious culture is rooted within its colonial past and as such the churches and synagogues which dominate our UNESCO world heritage site landscape are well preserved architectural gems initially built in the 16th, 17th and 18th Century. Set across historic Bridgetown and its Garrison, the following are religious historic gems that should not be missed while on the island. 

St. Mary's Anglican Church

One of the oldest consecrated pieces of land in Barbados is located in the heart of Bridgetown.  However, this fame cannot also be attributed to the church that occupies the land.  You see, before the St. Mary's Anglican Church was constructed in 1825 it was the location of the St. Michael's Parish Church in 1665.  However, it was destroyed by a hurricane and subsequently rebuilt on another site.   The new St. Mary's Anglican Church and UNESCO World Heritage Site was built entirely of ballast bricks and seats approximately 1200 persons.  The Churchyard and cemetery has its own storied past, as it is the resting place for several prominent Barbadians. One such person is National Hero, Samuel Jackman Prescod, the first non-white to be elected to the house of Assembly.   The Silk Cotton tree located on the church compound was known as the Justice Tree as it was used for public hangings held in the City of Bridgetown. 

If you are interested in attending a service, the following time table ( subject to change ) should lend some assistance. 

Sundays

  

7:00 am (Holy Mass & Sermon)

Sundays

 -

8:45 am (Solemn Mass, Sermon & Sunday School)

Tuesdays

 -

7:00 am (Holy Mass & Homily)

Wednesdays

 -

7:00 am (Holy Mass & Homily)

Wednesdays

 -

Noon (Midday Devotions & Address)

Thursdays

 -

7:00 am (Holy Mass & Homily)

Fridays

 -

9:00 am (Matins)

Fridays

 -

9:30 am (Holy Mass)

  • Please call ahead to confirm that no changes have been made to opening hrs. 


Nidhe Israel Synagogue and Museum

The Jewish community in Barbados played a significant role in the early establishment of Barbados as an economic powerhouse in the sugar industry.  The relationship dates back to the 1600s when the Jews brought with them the windmill technology that revolutionised the industry.  This, along with their superior insight and knowledge in the business of sugar, enabled them to prosper on the island.  As such, the community grew, and a place of worship was needed. Two synagogues were created,  one in the northern town of Speightstown which is no longer functional and the other, Nidhe Israel Synagogue built in Bridgetown in 1654.  This is the oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere and as such, it is no surprise that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  A visit to the temple will reveal a beautifully restored and maintained piece of history.  The adjacent museum with multimedia presentations and artefacts tell the story of the Jewish influence on Barbadian society.  In 2008 archaeologists discovered another historic gem of Jewish significance on the Synagogue grounds, an original Mikvah. 

You can visit weekdays 9:00 am - 4:00 pm. Saturdays 9:00am - 2:00pm mid-December-to mid- April.  Entrance fee BDS $25.00/US $12.50.  Prayer services; Friday 6:30 pm mid-December to mid-April.

  • Please call ahead to confirm that no changes have been made to opening hrs or fees. 

 

The Cathedral of St. Michael and All Angels

One of the oldest churches on the island, and another UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the Cathedral was first built in 1665 at a previous location.  However, the church was destroyed by a hurricane in 1780 and was built at its current location in 1789.  Just a short walk from the Parliament Buildings in Bridgetown, the Cathedral occupies a space on St. Michael’s Row nestled among the towering central bank of Barbados and a historic Freemason lodge.  In the cemetery, you will find the tomb of Alexander Irvine, the Englishman credited with bringing FreeMasonry to the island in 1740.  Like all structures built in that era, the architecture is one to behold along with its stained-glass motifs.  On entering the church, you will see a marble church font which was salvaged from the original 1665 building, with the Greek inscription “Wash my sins; not only my face”. 

If interested, The church Schedule can be seen below. 

Sundays

-

7:15 am (Holy Communion & Sermon)

Sundays

-

9:00 am (Sung Eucharist & Sermon)

Sundays

-

9:00 am (Sunday School) except on 1st Sunday

Sundays

-

11:00 am (Choral Matins) except on 1st Sunday

Sundays

-

12:10 am (Shortened Eucharist) except on 1st Sunday

Sundays

-

6:00 pm ((Evensong & Sermon)

Tuesdays

-

12:15 pm (Holy Communion)

Wednesdays

-

9:45 am (Holy Communion & Service)

Thursdays

-

12:15 pm (Holy Communion)

Fridays

12:15 pm (Lecture)

  • Please call ahead to confirm that no changes have been made to opening hrs or fees. 


St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cathedral

Sitting on the outskirts of the vibrant Historic City of Bridgetown is the St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cathedral. Before the abolition of slavery, the strongholds of the colonial powers who were Protestant Anglican resisted the establishment of the Catholic denomination.  However, after the abolition, it began to spread on the island. In 1848 the Church was built but was destroyed by fire in 1897.  The protestants of the time were suspected of having set the fire.  The Cathedral was rebuilt in 1899 and consecrated in 1903.  The Cathedral is located on Bay Street on the fringe of Bridgetown.

Services are held daily with the Eucharist at noon, with additional masses on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 6.30 am. There is a 6.00 pm Mass on Saturday as well. Sunday Mass times are 7.00am, 9.00am, 11.00am and 6pm.

  • Please call ahead to confirm that no changes have been made to opening hrs. 


The Barbados Military Cemetery

It is only fitting than the Historic area of Bridgetown, and its Garrison, another World Heritage Site, has within its surroundings a final resting place for the armed forces.  The Barbados Military Cemetery, which is located next to the Hilton Barbados Resort has been used since the early 1800s, with the earliest discoverable grave dated as 1822.  The lovely maintained cemetery is still in use and serves as the final resting place for the Commonwealth Armed Forces and the Barbados Defense Force.

Admission to the cemetery is free; however, donations are welcome to aid in maintaining the cemetery and other military buildings.

From the very first church and denominations, the island’s heritage has been built of a population of devout worshipers. We invite you to explore the unique history of Religion told by the religious buildings that are littered across the Bridgetown UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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