St. Philip the Less Church

The St. Philip-the-Less Anglican Church is not located in the parish of St. Philip as its name might suggest. Instead it is located in Boscobel, a tranquil district situated in the northern parish of St. Peter on the breathtaking island of Barbados. The church's founder was said to have dedicated the church in the memory of his son.


This country church in Barbados was financed and constructed by Philip Lovell Phillips (MD.) as a memorial to his son, Philip Lovell Collyer Phillips, hence the term ‘the-less’ added to the name to make the distinction between the father and the son since they both had the same Christian names.


It is thought that Dr. Philips senior, sought to immortalize his son's memory and the sacrifice he made by serving as a Lieutenant in Her Majesty’s Rifle Brigade and subsequently dying at the young age of twenty one from dysentery on August 22nd in 1858 while in Point De Galle, Ceylon, now Sri Lanka on his way back from India. However, another version has also been suggested as to the origin for the church’s name. This version is more biblical in nature and states that the church was named after Philip the Deacon instead of the apostle Philip, who was known as Philip the Great and for this reason this church bears the name Philip-the Less to distinguish it from the apostle.


However, the inscription on a tablet in the church itself seems to support the original notion. It is inscribed with the words "This Chapel was erected by his father as a memorial of Philip Lovell Collyer Philips…" and it further notes that Philip, the son, was deeply loved and valued by all who knew him "as a gentleman, an officer and a Christian." The construction of this church in Barbados was indeed thought to be fitting tribute to a good son.


This church was consecrated by the Bishop of Barbados at the time, Thomas Parry on Match 23rd, 1860. It is interesting to note that in a speech, the bishop made reference to Dr. Philips' generosity stating that he bore the costs of constructing the church which amounted to the sum of one thousand pounds (£1000.00). Bishop Parry acknowledged that the Anglican Diocese in Barbados was indeed indebted to this "non-resident [proprietor]… P. L. Philips, Esq. M.D. owner of Lamberts, in St. Lucy’s Parish";  again giving credence to the original notion that the church was indeed named in his son's memory.


The church underwent subsequent renovations and in March of 1915, the south wing was added and consecrated. Quite a bit later, more renovations were required and when they were completed, the church was rededicated by the bishop at time, Rufus Broome, at the old Boscobel Girl's School in Barbados, where the service was held on March 23rd, 1996.


This quaint little church, like many of its larger predecessors on the island, indeed has an interesting history and really makes for fascinating investigations. Maybe when you are trekking across this beautiful island of ours, you might make a detour to the north of the island and check out this little church located in this quiet, rural parish on the beautiful island of Barbados.



Sundays  - 8:00 am (Eucharist & Sermon)
Sundays  -  9:00 am (Sunday School)
Tuesdays  - 7:30 pm (Church Army)
Wednesdays  - 7:30 pm (Said Eucharist & Bible Study)
Saturdays  - 4:30 pm (Anglican Young People Association)
Saturdays  - 5:30 pm (Choir Practice)


Contact Information

Telephone (office)  -  (246) 439-8257
Residence  - (246) 423-2720




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