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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ambassador's Fund aids renovation of St. Mary's Anglican Church in Bequia


 Laura Conaway is a Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.
  
Inside St. Mary's Anglican Church
I had the chance last week to visit Bequia, a beautiful island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines!  While in Bequia, I  stopped by St. Mary’s Anglican Church—located in a picturesque spot right on the water and near the main port--which is undergoing a beautiful  renovation.  The renovation is being paid for, in part, by the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation.  The almost $80,000 the Embassy grant funded a new roof and an incredibly talented craftsman to restore the church’s original windows.  The Embassy grant also funded the work of a gifted American artist--living on Bequia for many years—to do the painstaking work of restoring two huge paintings damaged by rain, humidity and even termites over the years!  The paintings are now re-hung in the church, a new minister is arriving to take over the congregation and services should be resuming soon.  Most importantly, however, all of the island’s resident I spoke with talked about their memories of the church in their youth as a center of community.  
Laura Conway (center-left) with members of the restoration team.

They were all so excited to see that the Church was being renovated and were looking forward to seeing it returned to its former place as an important community center.  In years past, there was huge Easter festival that took place in the courtyard every year that was the main community event of the Easter season!  All the residents hoped to see this tradition revitalized.  In addition, the church is a big draw for tourists…in the short time that I was there, numerous visitors stopped in to visit the church and take photos.  The Embassy is excited to see the renovation completed on this important historic landmark and to see St. Mary’s Anglican Church again become an integral part of the Bequia community.   

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