Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 31st 2017 Contents work can be done.
This, Williams said, must be done be-
fore any interior restoration could take
place so as to prevent the tubes from
clogging with dust and debris.
"This is a very delicate job and the
organ builder from Barbados will have
to come in to do it," he said.
A haven for the downtrodden
The Cathedral continues to open its
doors promptly at 5 am until 6 pm daily.
It invites people from all walks of life
come in to seek solace.
"The Cathedral is a place where peo-
ple come every day for pray and med-
itation and we have groups meeting
here. There is always some activity in
"We have various youth and church
organisations meeting here," Williams
Describing the Cathedral as a national
treasure, he said people also frequent
the "Garden of Peace" which is on the
"It is an oasis in the city to just up-
lift their hearts and voices to God. This
Cathedral is not just a building that is
beautiful it is a place where persons can
turn their hearts to God and listen to his
direction and counsel," Williams added.
guardian.co.tt Friday, March 31, 2017
MARCH 29, 2017
March 29, 2017
March 29, 2017
March 29, 2017
March 29, 2017
Holy Trinity Cathedral losing face
Church goes on educational,
$m dollar restoration drive
It is revered as an oasis in the midst of the hustle
and bustle of downtown Port-of-Spain.
In existence for 193 years, the Holy Trinity Cathedral
at Abercromby Street is beginning to lose its mag-
The church, led by Anglican Bishop Claude Berkley,
is on an educational and financial drive to restore the
edifice to its former glory.
Interim Rector of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in
Port-of-Spain, Fr Carl Williams, said preliminary
estimation put the cost at millions of dollars as there
was the possibility of further structural damage due
to a once leaking roof.
The church also has an immense role as several Gov-
ernment functions take place there annually including
the ceremonial opening of the Law Term and Interfaith
Services for the Defence Force and Cadets which are
held every quarter.
The funeral service for former Prime Minister Patrick
Manning was also held at the Holy Trinity Cathedral.
The key areas of the church in dire need to restora-
tion, Williams said, included the buttress on the north
eastern side of the belfry, the two largest crosses on
the eastern side and cross on the western gate.
Williams said the crosses were knocked down when
a 6.2 earthquake shook the country in December last
Some were completely destroyed while a few of the
pieces were saved.
"Some were also taken down by one of the struc-
tural engineers along with the Fire Service because
of the danger they posed due to a weak structure,"
But to either rebuild or reconstruct the crosses may
be challenging as they are made from limestone which
has to be imported.
"Some of the crosses could be salvaged and restored
with the same material. We just cannot put each and
everything up there because this is a heritage site and
the national trust would not allow you to do that.
"The building is almost 200 years old and we have
to make sure it is preserved according the guidelines
of the National Trust," Williams said.
Williams said the church's council was working
closely with the National Trust and the Works Min-
istry to plan a way forward.
He said last week a team from the ministry visited the
church but no final decision had been made regarding
either financing or the hiring of architects.
"It is really a project for the Bishop and council. The
Bishop is the one who is going to lead it. The Cathe-
dral is the seat of the Bishop so therefore the Bishop
is the one who is responsible for the Cathedral. When
it comes to matters of restoration you must have the
Bishop and trustees," Williams added.
Some areas on the inside the building also need at-
tention like missing panes of stained glass windows
which are steeped in history.
"We have to find the right people to get this done. In
the safety of the Cathedral the wardens check period-
ically to ensure the building is safe and this is reported
to the vestry and to the Bishop," Williams said.
The unique pipe organ which has brought hymns to
life over the years has to be meticulously taken down,
pipe by pipe and carefully stored away before interior
Interim Rector of the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Fr Carl Williams, speaks during an interview on the restoration of the church.
PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
The Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port- of- Spain is of
fine Gothic design. It was completed in 1818 and con-
secrated on May 25th, 1823, Trinity Sunday. Also in
the Gothic design is the Cathedral of the Immaculate
Conception, which took 16 years to build and was
consecrated on February 22, 1951. It was completed
by the Catholic Church and is one of the oldest land-
marks in Port of Spain.
The Holy Trinity Cathedral is one of Port of Spain's
oldest landmarks. Up until 1835, the Trinity was the
only Anglican Church in the island hence it has been
affectionately called 'the Mother Church of the Di-
ocese'. Its rich history dates back to colonial days.
Back then it stood as a wooden edifice called 'Trinity
Church' catering exclusively for the British forces and
English residence in the colony.
The first Anglican Church, known simply as the Trinity
Church, was a modest wooden building on the corner
of Prince and Frederick streets. In 18008, a great fire
swept through the city, burning down every public
building, including the church. Their place of worship
lost, the Anglican community continued their praise in
the Cabildo building (Old Town Hall) on Knox Street.
In 1809, Governor Thomas Hislop and the City Council
petitioned King George III for financial assistance to
construct a new church. The British Parliament granted
£50,000 to the colony, £20,000 of which would be
used for a gaol (prison) and the church and the rest
for the erection of the Government House.
The church has embarked on a number of restoration
projects including that of its first and only three man-
ual pipe organ installed in 1914, a rare instrument in
the West Indies. They have also decided to install
signs at the 70 Anglican Schools nationwide.
Other projects include the establishment of a halfway
house for graduates of their Tacarigua Orphanage, the
construction of a multi-purpose room at the Cathedral
and an archive room and library at the Bishop's office.
In 2011 the church's tower clock was fixed. Michael
Williams, the man responsible for repairing the clock
said the it played Westminster chimes every hour and
strikes by number so it plays ten strokes at ten o'clock.
The Cathedral's History
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