The mother of my friend Helen had passed away and I attended the funeral at St. Matthias Church... my childhood church.
St. Matthias Anglican Church
St. Matthias Church is located on the south coast in the parish of Christ Church.
Situated on three quarters of an acre of land donated back in 1837 by John Mayers, a clerk of the House of Assembly who also became the chief builder of the church.
The church was originally built as a Chapel of Ease but when completed after a cost of four thousand, two hundred and fifty pounds ( £4250.00), it was rather grand and larger than the other chapels of ease and other churches on the island.
It was consecrated on August 2nd, 1850 by Bishop Thomas Parry.
Due to its close proximity to The Garrison where the British soldiers were stationed it was utilized as a chapel and the two institutions formed a close bond.
The British Government leased the chapel at £75 per annum for the soldiers. The Chaplain of the Forces conducted the Sunday morning service and the Vicar conducted the evening service.
Today St. Matthias still has close ties to the military as it serves as the chapel for the Barbados Defense Force with its Rector as the Chaplain.
It was nice to see the old familiar building again where as a child I had lingered at the doorway many times looking up wondering if I were able to climb to the top ( I was a tomboy back then).
Entering a church is always a humbling experience for me and funerals seem to make me ponder the delicacy of life more, and this evening was no different.
The church is listed as an architectural and historic interest by the Barbados National Trust.
The Dauntless Tomb
Herein lie the remains of fifteen officers and the captain's steward of the HMS Dauntless who died from yellow fever as a result of the epidemic that gripped Bridgetown in 1852.
The frigate was moored off Carlisle Bay and the deadly disease claimed the lives of sixty seven men on board.
The marble tomb was donated by the Royal Navy and is located in the southern section of the church cemetery.
Also buried in the cemetery are other citizens who succumbed to the disease.
A brief history of the church here .
More historical info here.
I found this Youtube video "Morning has Broken" with the church's bells.