Sat | Jul 21, 2018

St Ann's Bay Methodist Church to be rebuilt - Galbraith

Published:Saturday | February 24, 2018 | 12:00 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer
The St Ann’s Bay Methodist Church, St Ann.

ST ANN'S BAY, St Ann:

After being rebuilt following destruction by fire in the late 19th century, the Methodist Church in Jamaica has again committed to rebuilding the St Ann's Bay Church, which was gutted by fire on Tuesday morning.

The building and contents were insured.

In speaking about the loss suffered as a result of the fire, head of the Methodist Church in Jamaica Bishop Everald Galbraith said that the structure would definitely be rebuilt.

"It's a loss, which is not only physical in terms of the building, but it's also a loss in terms of the people's sense of who they are because this church has meant so much to people. It will be rebuilt, but that sense of loss is great," Galbraith said.

The 1838 building was made of cut stone. However, hardly anything could make up for the loss of the 110-year-old pipe organ.

"I don't think it can be replaced. We have to buy a new one. It was a beautiful organ. Only recently, somebody came here and played it, and we

didn't even realise that there was so much beauty still in that organ. Excellent organ," he said.

In the meantime, the church may have to rely on other denominations in St Ann's Bay to allow the Methodists to use their space to worship. The church hall was not affected by the fire but would not be able to hold the congregation of approximately 400, so other churches may be called upon, according to Galbraith.

"The ecumenical relation in St Ann's Bay is excellent, and I'm certain the Baptist, the Anglican, the Roman Catholic, any one of these churches, if the need arises, will make their sanctuary available to the Methodists. I know that for sure, even without, asking because I know the relationship is very good," the bishop stated.

It is unclear how the fire will affect some of the church's outreach programmes. Galbraith, however, suggested that the feeding programme for the St Ann's Bay Primary School should continue because the activity takes place solely in the church hall.

rural@gleanerjm.com