The Parish of St.Mary, Tacarigua, comprises congregations at:
St. Aidan – Arouca
St. Philip – Lopinot and
Maloney Mission – Maloney
The Parish of St. Mary, Tacarigua, began in 1826 with the formation of a congregation at Tacarigua through the combined effort of the Reverend Gentlemen J. H. Keston and John Pinder who established a small Missionary outpost at the village Police Station. From this outpost, pastoral advice and conversions as well as the sacraments of baptisms, marriages and burials were undertaken.
Plans for building the first parish church started around 1841 with the contributions from ex-slaves and Roman Catholics on six acres of land donated for the mission of the church by a wealthy planter – William H. Burnley, owner of the Orange Grove Estate. The foundation stone was laid in 1842. The church building was constructed in the same year by Reverend I. Hamilton and was consecrated in 1843 by Bishop Parry. The Feast of Title, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is observed on September 08.
The Church Building with a seating capacity of three hundred and fifty in the main is still as it was redesigned and rebuilt in 1901 by the Rev. W. M. Springer, making it the second oldest church building in this Diocese. Repairs to the roof were undertaken in 1968 and 2004, the stained glass windows were restored in 1998 and the belfry and steeple were renovated in 2001.
The Children’s Home originally called “The Orphan Asylum and Industrial School for Coolie Orphans” was established in 1837 as an Anglican Mission. The wooden Rectory, located on the Eastern Main Road, Tacarigua, was commissioned in 1844.
St. Aidan – Arouca
The Arouca (St. Aidan) congregation was established by the Reverend Ramsden in 1886. Initially, services were held in an abandoned cow pen before constructing a wooden building in 1890 at the comer of Davis Street and the Eastern Main Road on approximately three (3) acres of land donated by the Manager of the Orange Grove Estate. The cow pen also accommodated the primary school established in 1889. The Church building is now a modern concrete structure, erected during the tenure of Rev. S.K.Cumberbatch, with a seating capacity of approximately one hundred and fifty persons. The primary school like the church has been completely rebuilt and enlarged over time. The Feast of Title is observed on August 31.
St. Philip – Lopinot
Early in the 19th Century during the era of the plantation system, cocoa proprietor Brown, an Anglican of Lopinot, met with his estate workers in his “cocoa house” for Bible Study and prayer. The cocoa house was later regarded as proprietor Brown’s private chapel. This Bible Study grouping gave rise to the establishment of the Anglican community in Lopinot (St. Philip) as the Bible Study sessions developed to be worshiping sessions on Sundays. The cocoa house was donated to the Anglican Diocese in the 1950s by the Brown family for use as a church building. It serves as a tourist attraction in the area mainly on account of its structure – tapia walls plastered with concrete. Although seating capacity is approximately for forty persons, attendance remains relatively low, an average of ten on Sundays except on special occasions. The Feast of Title is observed on May 01.
Maloney Mission claims was established in 1987 when a core group of about 15 Anglicans began worshipping regularly on Sunday evenings at the Maloney Community Centre. This resulted from a pioneering stewardship effort of the parish in the Maloney area led by the late Rev. Fr. David Benjamin. Uncertainty of the use of the building for worship in 1998 forced the group to share the building used by the Roman Catholics while maintaining the evening service regime.
When the Roman Catholics began construction of their own building in the late 1990s, the Anglicans shifted venue to the nearby Red Hill Community Centre during the period 1996-1997 while still adhering to the evening service schedule. Attendance continued to increase modestly. However, since the noisy surroundings on Sunday afternoons were not conducive to the worshiping atmosphere, a change in the time of worship from evenings to mornings was introduced.
From 1997 the service venue again shifted from the Red Hill Community Centre to the Maloney Regional Complex building. Plans are underway for the erection of a church building in Maloney.
MINISTERS WHO SERVED AT ST. MARY’S PARISH, TACARIGUA
1825-1830 Rev J Keston and Rev J Pinder
1837 Rev Mort and Rev H Richards
1845 Rev I Hamilton (Built the Rectory)
1847-1885 Rev H Richards (Completed the Rectory Building)
1878-1889 Rev A Ramden (Built St Aidan ‘s Church)
1890-1895 Rev Farrel
1899-1919 Rev W M Springer
1920 Rev Elliot Ince
1920-1923 Rev Boodle
1923 Rev I Hamilton
1925-1931 Rev George McCarthy
1931-1947 Rev K Bhagan
1948-1954 Rev A W Parfitt
1955 Rev Albert Jones
1956 Rev Jessop
1959-1968 Rev S K Cumberbatch
1969-1977 Rerv R J Metivier
1977-1993 Rev D S Benjamin
1995-1998 Rev Duncan Clarke
1998 to Present Rev Jemmott Hazlewood
2000 to Present Rev Anderson Maxwell (Assistant Curate)