St George's Cathedral, Georgetown, Guyana

I was browsing, as you do, the Anglican world and I came across the website of St George's Cathedral, Georgetown, Guyana. It looks as though it hasn't been updated for a while.

However what struck me was the aesthetic.

The cathedral is described as the 'world's tallest wooden church'. Its history page dates Anglicanism in Guyana back to 1781 when the first Anglican priest in arrived Guyana, the Rev. William Baggn, Chaplain to Admiral Sir George Rodney. The colonial context is clear: 'Britain, France and Holland were vying for control of The Guianas'. In the early 1800s the church grew steadily and by 1840 the first church was considered too small and a second was built.

On August 24 1842, St. Bartholomew's Day, William Piercy Austin was Consecrated as first Bishop of Guyana. He was in the words of the youthful Queen Victoria "the youngest and handsomest of my Bishops." Consequently, the Diocese of Guiana came into being on the same day and the new St. George's which had been opened in June 1842, became the Cathedral where the Bishop's Cathedra or Chair was situated - and Georgetown became a city.

However - and here's a metaphor if ever there was one -

From early days however, serious weakness in the foundations of the building were evident and large sums were expended on repairs. Finally by 1877 the building was considered unsafe and had to be dismantled.

The present building dates from 1889, when the history stops.

The aesthetic is so deeply Anglican it could be another 'Instrument of Unity'. There is a 360ยบ panarama (with Quicktime) as well as photographs. There are eighteenth century (and early nineteenth) style memorials on the walls, hymn number boards, a brass eagle and an organ with painted pipes. Pews dominate the space and nineteenth century stained glass windows flank the altar. A notice board with photos sits at the back. A potted plant stands in front of the altar area, off centre, with a flower display right in front of the altar between it and the central celebrant's chair.

all here.

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