St. Barnabas Church on the Hill History

Historical Background of Saint Barnabas Church on the Hill

In the year 1962, a small group of ladies and a gentleman, went to the late Canon Max E. Farquhar, and asked him if he could come to Pleasantville, to keep services, as it was inconvenient to go down to St Paul’s Church, due to the lack of transportation. As there was no church in the area, the services were kept in the Pleasantville government school.

After some time passed, Canon suggested, that a group be formed, whereby every Sunday someone kept the service at his or her home. This was well received by all. After a few months Mr. Gilkes offered his garage, which served them until 1969.

During that period the Sunday school was run by Ms. Olga Blades and Ms. Ethelen Lucas. In 1968, the group heard that Texaco Incorporated was dismantling houses and the church applied for one. The building received, still houses the nursery school.

During those years, Mr. Walter Millington was the first Lay Minister, and the first Curate was the Reverend Andrew Primus. The latter suggested that church be named St. Barnabas On-the-Hill, which was accepted with the approval of Bishop Hughes.

The church was built on a self-help business by Mr. Bonus, the builder, and assisted by Mr. A. Borris, L. Woodley, U. Daniel, C. Davis and Bowring, just to name a few.

The first service in the church was held by Archdeacon K. Cumberbatch, with Bishop Hughes being the preacher, on the 19th January, 1969. Fr. John Anderson was the first Parish priest. On 4th May 1969, the Church was made a Parish.

The foundation stone for the new Church was laid on Sunday 23rd September, 1973, by his Lordship, the Bishop, The Rt. Reverend Clive Abdullah. In 1973 Reverend Fr. John Anderson resigned and the parish was run by the Wardens and Vestry members, along with visiting priests, who came on Sundays to administer the Holy Eucharist.

In 1974, the Rev. E. Buxo resigned from Holy Cross and His Lordship, The Bishop, asked that he be housed at the rectory. During his stay there he assisted mainly in the parish. In August of the same year the Rev. Fr. Raymond Reid M.O.M., was made Rector of the joint parishes of St. Clement and St. Barnabas.

A piece of land,was donated to the Church by Mr. Jack Ramoutarsingh, and this was raffled. The proceeds of which went into building the foundation for the present church.

In 1976 the church was honored by the visits of three (3) distinguished guests. Sunday 21st March, was a most historic occasion, when the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Donald Coggan and his wife visited the southland. At 4:45 p.m. they visited the parish and the Archbishop planted a tree, which still graces the grounds. On Sunday 28th May the Rt. Reverend Drexel Gomez, Bishop of Barbados, was the celebrant, and the most Rev. Festo Habukkuh Along, Archbishop of Kenya was the preacher at the service.

During Fr. Raymond Reid’s stay in the parish he was met with two major accidents. As a result of which, he was transferred to St. Margaret’s Anglican Church, Port of Spain in August 1979. The Reverend Fr. Clive Griffith was made Rector of the twin Parish in September, 1979.