St Paul's Anglican Church celebrates 350 years
The St Paul's Anglican Church in Chapelton, Clarendon, commemorated its 350th year of existence last Sunday with a special anniversary church service.
The period of 350 years is seen as a significant milestone in the church's history and certainly calls for much celebration.
Bishop of Jamaica, the Right Reverend Dr Howard Gregory said he was pleased to salute and congratulate St Paul's Church on the occasion of the 350th anniversary of its establishment. "As we celebrate this milestone, much gratitude and appreciation ought to be given to the past and present rectors as well as members. Anniversaries are times of celebration, reflection, challenges and re-commitment. As we celebrate this important milestone, I would implore you to reflect on both the past and where you are on your pilgrimage.
History records that the church of St Paul, Chapelton, was built in 1666 and was once the parish church for Clarendon. The Chapelton church was built as a Chapel of 'Ease' to 'The Cross' Church and was the first church of any size to be erected in upper Clarendon. It was widely known as 'The Chapel' and the village around it took the name from the church, which was called Chapel Town, and during the course of time, it was shortened to its present form, 'Chapelton'.
Custos Rotolorum of Clarendon William Shagoury said he was grateful for the service the church has been providing to the parish over the years. "The St Paul's Anglican Church is a house of worship that provides a sanctuary to those in need for centuries. I lift my hat to you and encourage you to continue your ministry," he said as he lamented that the parish needs the church's intervention now more than ever. "Continue to share the principles of solid Christian living and create a revolution in this community and, by extension, this country."
In his congratulatory message to the church on this momentous milestone, the custos saluted the past and present leaders of the movement for supplying outstanding shepherds who have assisted in guiding members of the community in obeying everything that the Lord commanded.
Member of Parliament for the North Central Clarendon constituency in which the church falls, Pearnel Charles, said the institution continues to stand firmly as a beacon of hope in the constituency. "I pray that the church will be strengthened to continue its social and spiritual contribution, which is critical as we strive for peace locally and internationally."
It was a packed church on Sunday as members, well-wishers, visitors and community friends came out to share in the joyous occasion and were quite pleased to have been able to be a part of the church's rich history. The service was concluded with the symbolic cutting of a 350th anniversary cake to which members were treated.
The St Paul's Anglican Church in Chapelton is now recognised as a national heritage site by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust.