Historical Cat Island Church Rededicated
OLD BIGHT, Cat Island, The Bahamas – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development Philip Davis said, on August 12, 2012, that the Church of St Mary the Virgin, in Old Bight, Cat Island, has been “a place of great history”.
“It is a very special day for the people of Old Bight, the historic community on this island where today, assembled before this crowd of witnesses, we rededicate this holy place,” Deputy Prime Minister Davis said at the Rededication Ceremony for the recently restored church.
Among those present for the ceremony were His Grace Lord Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands Rt. Rev. Laish Boyd; His Grace Rt. Rev. Drexel Gomez; Priest-in-Charge of Cat Island Fr. Ernest Pratt; Fr. Sebastian Campbell; other visiting clergy; former diplomat, ambassador and National Spokesman for the National Hotline Dr. Davidson Hepburn and community leaders.
“From the nineteenth century, as the movement of the Christian faith prospered throughout The Bahamas, this community came together and claimed these sacred grounds as a special place of worship,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
He added that the “vision” to build the church started as far back as 1884, when the worshipping community was established.
According to a press release, the cornerstone of the building was laid in 1887 and the building was consecrated in 1889.
Deputy Prime Minister Davis said Old Bight history records that it was the most populated community on Cat Island and St. Mary became a place for spiritual healing and restoration to the residents.
“Historians remind us that this building was erected in memory of Governor Balfour, Governor of the colony at the time of the passing of the Emancipation Act in 1834 that brought sweet freedom to our ancestors,” he said.
“Today’s re-dedication returns the people of God back to this place more than 128 years after St. Mary’s worshipping community first began.”
Deputy Prime Minister Davis added that the causes those present to pause and reflect on how far God has brought The Bahamas.
He said: “It reminds me of our rise, growth and development as a people across the diaspora. It causes me to reflect on our great history as a community here in Cat Island and it reminds us all as a nation that the hand of the Almighty still guides us today.”
The restoration of “this great lighthouse of faith”, Deputy Prime Minister Davis said, is again a testament to the faithful and patriotic spirit of the Bahamian people, particularly in the local community, who have all come together to reclaim the places of worship on this island and restore the rich history of Old Bight.
As did the community of 1884, when they decided to establish “God’s House here in this quaint community”, so once again have the people of faith returned to build upon that legacy, Deputy Prime Minister said.
“Let this re-dedication today remind us all to never forget the foundations that continue to lift us into that place of promise established for us all,” he said. “Let us leave from this place knowing that our journey to encourage, build, uplift, and inspire a generation has not ended, but today has just begun.”
“Let us allow this re-dedication today serve notice that through Christ, we can do all things. Let it serve as a testament that there are more lives to reach, more persons to touch, more persons to shelter and care for.”
“Let this re-dedication serve notice to us all that we are all workers in God’s great vineyard – determined to reach out and touch more lives; ever pointing them in the direction of hope,” he added.
By ERIC ROSE
Bahamas Information Services
Captions: Top photo: The congregation fills the church at the Rededication Ceremony of St. May the Virgin Anglican Church, in Old Bight, Cat Island, on August 12, 2012.
Small photo: His Grace Lord Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands Rt. Rev. Laish Boyd enters the church while giving blessings, at the Rededication Ceremony of St. May the Virgin Anglican Church, in Old Bight, Cat Island, on August 12, 2012.history, islands, religion