St Andrew’s Anglican Church Exuma: Historic Georgetown
With all the rich history that’s been written in the Exumas, it’s surprising how few historical sights there are to see in its capital, Georgetown. The exception is St Andrew’s Anglican Church, easily the most conspicuous edifice in the whole town.
Like Green Turtle Cay in the Abacos, the Exumas were settled by Loyalists. These were former American colonists who stayed true to the British Crown in the wake of the Revolutionary War. Whereas Green Turtle’s capital of New Plymouth reflects its uniquely colonial American heritage on virtually every corner, however, Georgetown’s charms aren’t quite so obvious… Unless, of course, you’re talking about St Andrews.
St Andrew’s Anglican Church Exuma History
St. Andrew’s was founded in 1802, though the church you see now is not the same as the one built back then. In fact, records from 1847 show that there was no church in Georgetown at all. The original St Andrew’s was abandoned and left to rot during a time when pirates predominated throughout the Exumas.
A second St. Andrew’s was constructed in 1865. However, it is the third incarnation, which opened in 1885, two years after the Loyalists arrived, that persists to this day.
Visiting St Andrew’s Anglican Church Exuma
Just as it always has, St. Andrew’s welcomes anyone and everyone. The inscription on the sign at the base of the bell tower reads in part:
Invite all to a joyful, loving, worshipful service.
Even when Mass isn’t being held, it’s an invitation worth accepting. St. Andrew’s crowns Kitt’s Hill, which as hills go in the almost entirely flat Bahamas, is a pretty nice perch that makes this historic attraction impossible to miss. You can see St. Andrew’s from just about anywhere in Georgetown. It towers over everything, the most vivid reminder of the town’s storied past.
From the church, you can enjoy beautiful views of Elizabeth Harbour to the east. This was purportedly a favorite haunt of Captain Kidd. With a little imagination, you can picture the old pirate ships anchored offshore so long ago.
Turn around and you can also enjoy this view of Lake Victoria…
I visited St Andrew’s Anglican Church Exuma during a quick trip to Grand Isle. It was a Sunday afternoon several hours after the day’s services had concluded. There was no one around Kitt’s Hill, and just a scant few cars passed by along the Queen’s Highway below. A handful of birds and leaves rustling in the breeze were the only sounds.
Serene and peaceful, St. Andrew’s is perfectly placed.