Construction of this beautiful little Anglican church commenced in 1843 when Mrs Dwyer, wife of the Commandant, laid the cornerstone. The church, right in the centre of Georgetown, was completed in 1846.
In 1852 contingency plans were made for an episcopal visit. In the event of a bishop visiting Ascension an eleven gun salute was proposed! Even the promise of an eleven gun salute was insufficient to entice a bishop to visit for many years and consequentially it wasn’t until 1861 that the church and graveyard were finally consecrated by the first Bishop of St Helena.
The church remains part of the diocese of St Helena within the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.
Services were conducted by a Naval Chaplin until 1905 when the last one was withdrawn due to the downsizing of the British garrison at that time. Between 1905 and 1967, when the next resident priest arrived, services were performed by lay readers supported by bi-annual visits by the Bishop of St Helena.
Do take time (unlikely you will be in a hurry anyway!) to read some of the memorial plaques which adorn the walls of the church – a veritable who’s who of 19th century pioneers who made (voluntarily or otherwise) this island their everlasting home. My Reader may recall from another review that the living are not permitted to take up permanent residence on the island.
When leaving the church do pay heed to the notice on the door requesting you to shut the door to keep the donkey’s out. This refers to the numerous wild donkey’s that wander around and through Georgetown on a daily basis.
As you leave the church pause for a second at the more recent memorial to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in World Wars I and II and more recently in the Falklands conflict.
Directions: You cannot miss it