Above photo – The Cathedral of St John the Divine in St John’s Antigua.
Can you say Dodransbicentennial? A Dodransbicentennial is a 175th anniversary. The Diocese of the North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba is celebrating 175 years as a diocese this year. It was established in 1842. At that time it was extra-provincial to the Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1883 it became part of the new province in the Carribean, the Church in the Province of the West Indies. It is made up of the 12 eastern Carribean islands of Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Barbuda, Dominica, Montserrat, Nevis, Saba, St Barths, St Eustatius, St Kitts, and St Maarten. The Bishop’s See is in St John’s Antigua at the Cathedral of St John the Divine. The current diocesan bishop is the Rt Revd Errol Brooks. He has been the bishop since 1998.
Sunday, 28 AUG, began a year of celebration of the anniversary across the diocese, starting and finishing in St John, Antigua. The celebration was kicked off with a service at St Andrew’s Church in St John’s. The guest preacher at the inaugural celebration was the Most Revd John Holder, Primate of the Church in the Province of the West Indies. Each month an island in the diocese will host celebrations. The year will come to an end with a final celebration during AUG 2017, again in St Johns Antigua. Bishop Brooks has requested that every Anglican in the diocese make a one-time offering of $175 (Eastern Caribbean dollars) for a special endowment fund.
A question one might legitimately ask is why the celebration of the 175th anniversary didn’t kick off in the beautiful cathedral shown above. The diocese began a complete inside and out restoration of the cathedral in OCT 2010. The stonework of the exterior is being rebuilt & repaired.The interior was gutted basically, stripped back to the bare bones. Floors, ceilings, balconies and windows are all being rebuilt & restored. A campaign to raise the funds for new pews is also underway. You can watch the progress of the restoration at St John’s Restoration.
The photos are from the linked blog of the restoration. Information for this story was gathered from the Anglican Communion News Service.