Saint James Anglican Church in Adelaide, The Bahamas
The village of Adelaide in southern New Providence isn’t big on attractions. Not touristy ones, anyway. As we’ve mentioned before, however, conscious travelers won’t want to miss this special corner of The Bahamas. Saint James Anglican Church is among the reasons why.
This humble house of worship dates back to 1849. At least that’s when parishioners first started praising and praying here. Saint James was officially consecrated, though, on March 22, 1850.
Like everything else in Adelaide, Saint James Anglican Church is a historical treasure. The village, established in 1832, was one of several created by the British expressly to re-settle formerly enslaved Africans. This chapter of British colonial history extends from 1807 to 1833. Twenty-six years during which the transatlantic slave trade was abolished, but not slavery itself.
The original inhabitants of Adelaide built a strong, proud, and uniquely insulated community. St. James Anglican Church was at the center of that community. Like many storied old Caribbean churches, though, St. James experienced many ups and downs over the years.
Hurricane Horrors and Eventual Resurrection
In particular, the 1926 Nassau hurricane devastated the church and all of Adelaide. It was so bad that for a time, the village remained virtually abandoned.
In 1928, a group of Adelaide residents returned and set about rebuilding. Services began anew at Saint James in short order. The church wasn’t fully restored to the humble glory it exudes today, though, until 1948.
Printed at the bottom of the sign listing church services at St. James:
A warm welcome awaits you!
Then as now, it seems, ALL are welcome here.
Sadly, though, I didn’t have a chance to see/experience this for myself during my quick stop here in January 2020. It was a Tuesday and the church was closed.
Next time I’m in Nassau, though, I definitely plan to trek back to Adelaide, Saint James, and the soul of The Bahamas.