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The Oldest Church on Saba | SBPR
Saba

Uncommon Photo-Op: Saba’s Sublime Churches

Uncommon Photo-Op: Saba’s Sublime Churches

One of the initial things that really struck me about Saba – the amazing array of churches – was not altogether unexpected. Well before ever setting foot here, I wrote…

There are Anglican, Wesleyan and Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations as well, which is pretty amazing considering that less than 2,000 people live here.

That line was from a story on Saba’s St. Paul Conversion Church, which I’d become enamored with just in pictures. Seeing the many charming churches that dot this decidedly uncommon island in-person, though, increased my affection to a whole ‘nother level…

Wesleyan Holiness Church, Saba | SBPR
Wesleyan Holiness Church, Saba | SBPR

The Wesleyan Holiness Church started in Saba back in 1902, but it wasn’t until 1919 that the structure pictured here actually welcomed its first parishioners. You can find it in The Bottom, Saba’s capital, about a stone’s throw from this…

Sacred Heart Church, Saba | SBPR
Sacred Heart Church, Saba | SBPR

Sacred Heart (est. 1935) was the first church I happened across in The Bottom. A light drizzle and a shroud of clouds, no doubt typical of the pronounced elevation that characterizes much of Saba, added a slight sense of mysticism here.

And here…

Holy Trinity Church, Saba | SBPR
Holy Trinity Church, Saba | SBPR

Holy Trinity rests in Windwardside, Saba’s second-largest town. The elevation is higher, so the air is cooler; the clouds even more prevalent than down in The Bottom.

Speaking of The Bottom, that’s where you’ll find the church pictured at the head of this post. Known as Christ Church, it’s distinguished as Saba’s oldest church. The year most point to is 1777, though church records indicate that the building was actually restored then following the hurricane of 1772.

No one knows how old Christ Church really is.

Sadly, my trip to Saba was too quick to allow any exploration beyond The Bottom and Windwardside, leaving a number of other churches for me to discover on my next trip to this special island. If you can’t wait for the follow-up photo-op post, then go here to learn more about Saba’s churches.

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  • Rene Caderius

    Unfortunately the local government of Saba is that incompetent that they even did not succeed to make an official list of protected monuments. Hence they missed all available finances from the National Restoration Fund. Even when the roof of that church from 1772 or 1777 had to be repaired, no subsidy from the Netherlands could be made available because of the fact that Saba had no monuments policy. Part of that was 1.25 million euro for cottages. That money has been taken away and is likely to be used for restoration of monuments there or on Statia.
    http://www.sabaweb.nl/monumenten-saba/ shows how many buildings deserve to be preserved as cultural heritage.