WEDNESDAY, JULY 25: An exhibition commemorating the 400-year anniversary of the oldest Anglican church outside of the British Isles — St. Peter’s — is to open at Masterworks this month.
The show will focus on the various transformations the church has undergone over the years including its recent renaming to “Their Majesties Chapell.”
Over the centuries, both locals and visitors have drawn and painted the countless characteristics of the church and so the idea arose for The Friends of St Peter’s Church to mark the 400th anniversary with an Art Exhibition, providing a rich artistic history of the church.
Gillian Outerbridge, Secretary of the Friends of St Peter’s Church, who coordinated the show for Masterworks, said: “When Masterworks agreed to host the show I was transported to a realm of experts in exhibition production…it’s going to be a truly spectacular collection.”
Local residents have been keen to get involved, loaning “paintings from all angles of the building through the centuries, showing the famous steps, the ancient tombs and the distinctive tower”.
Since 1612 the church has gone through many changes — the grand limestone structure of today bears no resemblance to the original small cedar building erected 400 years ago.
Outerbridge said: “We have created ten ‘story boards’ relating the progress of the church from a small cedar building in 1612, to the 18th century limestone structure, to the Victorian Gothic edifice so familiar today.
“We see the church with spire, without spire, with lattice windows then casement windows but always standing regally as the town develops below it”.
Not only is the church a spiritual icon but a cultural icon too serving as an essential part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Town of St. George’s. The sight is one of great historical value and is a popular attraction, being visited by some 80,000 every year.
In recognition of the church’s 400th anniversary, Her Majesty The Queen, as her Diamond Jubilee gift to St Peter’s, bestowed on the church the royal title of “Their Majesties Chappell”.
The opening reception is on Friday, July 27 from 5:30pm to 7pm at the Masterworks’ Rick Faries Gallery and the exhibition will run through until August 29. Also on July 29, prior to the closing ceremony there will be a free lecture at the Masterworks Museum by Brent Fortenberry, PhD and Lecturer in Archeology at Boston University, entitled “Of Cedar and Stone: St Peter’s Church, a history”. The lecture will start at 3pm. Call 299-4000 to reserve a spot.