Barbados Pocket Guide

St. Joseph Parish Church

St. Joseph Parish Church Barbados

St. Joseph's Church

Located as what is reputed to be one of the prettiest parishes in Barbados, the St. Joseph Parish Church is situated two miles up Cleaver Hill, at the base of Hackleton's Cliff in the parish of none other than, St. Joseph. This was the last of the Parish churches to be established when this parish was separated from the parish of St. Andrew between 1652 and 1653.

 

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According to the Records of the Diocese of Barbados, there was already a church in existence in 1641 but that church was located on the Joe's River plantation. Today that site is occupied by an old Mortuary Chapel which is still surrounded by a small graveyard with a few remaining headstones.

 

Some controversy however,  still surrounds whether or not the original church built before 1641 had actually survived the great hurricane of 1780 but what is known for certain is that the church which was in existence in the year 1831 was completely destroyed by the hurricane that devastated Barbados in August of that year.  It was due to this tragedy that the new church was constructed and this is the building that exists today.

 

St. Joseph Parish Church was consecrated on 29th August, 1839 by the Rt. Rev. Bishop of the Diocese of Barbados, William Hart Coleridge and the church was erected on land that was given by John Briggs Esq. The building of the St. Joseph Parish Church brought to an end the restoration of the seven churches which were destroyed by the great hurricane of 11th August, 1831.

 

This charming little church commands some of the most striking views of the east coast of Barbados, not to mention the clear view of the picturesque wooded area of Hackleton's Cliff. This church definitely warrants a visit, even if it is just to sit and commune with the local serene surroundings.

 

Contact Information

Telephone (Office) - (246) 433-1228

 

Closure of St. Joseph Parish Church

It is with great regret we inform you that the doors of this historic church have come to a close for the time being. This decision was made in mid-June 2011 after the diocese of the Anglican church saw it necessary as a result of the severity of the church's structural damage. Initially, such structural damage occurred as a result of land slippage but the situation worsened in 2007, when Barbados experienced earth tremors. The severity of the situation came to a head with the passing of Tropical Storm Tomas back in October of 2010.

 

Huge cracks on both inner and outer walls, along with a collapsed section of the church's floor makes this once historic site, a potential hazard to visit.

 

Devoted parishioners of this church were informed that they can now worship at St. Aidan Anglican Church which is located in Bathsheba, St. Joseph.

 

Deconsecration of St. Joseph Parish Church

The religious rite of deconsecration was carried out on the grounds of the St. Joseph Parish Church on Saturday October 6th. Such a religious rite, which must be performed before the building is demolished, officially removes the religious blessing from the more than 300 year old church.

 

As to where the new St. Joseph Parish Church will be located. The board is unsure of this but is rest assured that such a process will take time, money and effort.

 

New Proposed Site for St. Joseph Parish Church

Though architectural plans need to be drawn, the wheels of motion have been set for the rebuilding of St. Joseph Parish Church on a site that is not too far away from it's currrent condemned site. On completion, this new church will be the fourth of its kind to be constructed in the area as the three buildings in the past rested on grounds prone to misadventures such as land slippage, which resulted in the demolision of such.

 

A great part of our history will still be preserved as conservation interests have recommended that a portion of the ruins of the current abandoned church buildings be safe guarded and left as "classical historic ruins". The Horse Hill, St. Joseph site will continue to be a burial ground.

 

Last modified on Thursday, 27 June 2013 13:27

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