A few weeks ago I shared a post on a lovely church in Bermuda that was left unfinished that we fell in love with. You can check that post out by clicking here. The church that was left unfinished was supposed to replace St. Peter’s Church which is the one that I am featuring today.
From the climbing steps to the white steeple this church is magical and we were thrilled to be able to tour it on one of the most beautiful days in our week in Bermuda. This lovely church is located in the historic town of St. George and has been a place of worship since the founding of the town in 1612. It is the oldest Anglican Church outside the British Isles and the oldest Protestant church in continuous use in the New World.
The sun streaming in through the windows on the day that we visited made it a little difficult to photograph without shadows and sunspots but these pictures will show you just a bit of the craftsmanship and loveliness that awaits worshippers in this historic and lovely space. The pulpit is made of Bermuda cedar and dates back to 1660.
From the organ pipes to the paraments—it all just oozed beauty and I felt so comfortable in this lovely space that was crowded with historic items from centuries of continual use. In the above picture notice the “servants” gallery on the top left which was added by the the Rector in 1721 so that black people could attend the services as indicated by their informational brochure.
The pews themselves were beautiful but probably not too comfortable during long services.
The above Bermuda cedar dole cupboard was made in 1640 and served to distribute food to the needy. It is believed to be one of very few surviving anywhere and was a beautiful piece of finely crafted quality.
This beautiful piece –Triptych with the Ten Commandments, The Lord’s Prayer and the Apostles’ Creed was brought from England in 1815. The woodwork was redone in 1988 with Bermuda cedar.
Other beautiful treasures included stone statues from the Houses of Parliament which were brought to Bermuda from London after the second world war.
Every nook and cranny of this magnificent church held treasures too numerous to take in on just one visit.
I am always struck when I look up in a building and see such interesting architecture filled with beauty and character.
It was interesting to read the timeline of this church and of the congregation that had changed over the years. The English settlers en route to Virginia in 1609 on the Sea Venture were shipwrecked off Bermuda . All aboard survived and set up camp in what was originally named New London but is now St. George’s. The first settlers who colonized Bermuda arrived in 1612 and built a temporary post and thatch church .
The years and the history continue and this magnificent building was repaired time and time again after hurricanes and weather and time took their toll. In 2012 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth honored the church with the title of “Their Majesties Chappell” This was the same year as her Diamond Jubilee and in time for the 400th anniversary of St. Peter’s. The term was used initially in the 17th century during the reign of King William and Queen Mary. This title allowed the church to have emblem age in the form of royal scarlet broken-banding as you can see on its new flags and banners.
The church is still active and holds Holy Eucharist on Sundays at 11:15 am. and on Wednesdays at 8 am. If you ever find yourself in St. George’s this is a must see.