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elcome to St Andrew Parish Church, one of the oldest and most historic churches in Jamaica. Established in 1664, it has been in existence for more than three centuries, and is therefore a virtual tapestry of Jamaican history. This notable site has been a silent witness to many significant events which have taken place in Jamaica since the 1600s. In 2003, the church was declared a national monument by the Jamaica National Heritage TruSt Also located on the church’s premises is another building of sociocultural relevance to Jamaica – the old St Andrew Parish Courthouse. Built in 1807 in Georgian style, the courthouse was listed by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust on their register of heritage sites in 1957 and declared a national monument in 1985.

Worshippers celebrate the Risen Christ at the St. Andrew Parish Church’s Easter Sunday morning service

The Church


he St Andrew Parish Church Tour provides visitors with insights into colonial and independent Jamaica, opening windows to the life and legacy of a wide range of influential and dynamic nation builders. A visit to this world of eras past will provide a wealth of information for persons also interested in building family trees or pursuing genealogical research. The guided tour covers the historic church building and the artefacts and monuments within and without the structure, as well as the tombs and monuments in the church cemetery, which extends over approximately eleven acres.



The St Nicholas Chapel (western wall) boasts an elaborate memorial to the Hon. James Lawes, son of Sir Nicholas Lawes, a former Governor of Jamaica and benefactor who donated the intricate brass candelabrum to the church. The Hon. James Lawes was only thirty-six years old when he died in 1733, and his widow, Elizabeth, contracted the English sculptor, John Cheere, to create this masterpiece in marble to honour his memory.

Interior monuments and memorials to prominent persons in Jamaican society date back to the early eighteenth century. Many of these are in marble and can be admired as works of art. One of the great treasures of the church is the beautiful brass candelabrum by the west door which was donated in 1706 by Sir Nicholas Lawes. Sir Nicholas was later to become governor of Jamaica (1718-1722). The stained glass windows in the sanctuary and in the north and south transepts are part of the memorials of the church, and were installed during and after an 1879 renovation. St Andrew Parish Church has always been known for magnificent sacred music. Of note is the Parish Church’s association with the first classical composer in the Caribbean. Samuel Felsted, who was born in Jamaica in 1743, and served as organist at St Andrew Parish Church for eight years, composed Jonah, the first oratorio ever written in the New World. Jonah was published in London in 1775. ST. ANDREW PARISH FOUNDATION - TOUR OF ST. ANDREW PARISH CHURCH


The Cemetery


everal generations of prominent persons associated with the history of Jamaica are interred in the cemetery. The St Andrew Parish Church cemetery is one of the oldest in continuous use in the island, having been in existence for over 300 years. Each tomb and headstone holds the potential to provide insight into the intriguing history of this multi-racial, multi-cultural society. The cemetery is the final resting place of many bishops, including Christopher Lipscomb who was the very first bishop of the Anglican Church in Jamaica, Enos Nuttall, the first Archbishop of the Province of the West Indies, and Percival Gibson, the first native bishop of Jamaica. Many of the older tombstones located close to the church are massive block-type structures, mostly made of brick and faced with marble originating in the United Kingdom.

The tomb of Christopher Lipscomb (left) which bears the Bishop’s Insignia is located beside the tomb of his first wife, Frances (right), who died five months after their arrival in Jamaica. Both are buried in the southeastern section of the cemetery. In 1825, Bishop Lipscomb was enthroned with great ceremony as the first bishop of Jamaica in the St Catherine Parish Church (which became a Cathedral in 1843). These tombs are in close proximity to the resting places of other members of the clergy, some of whom also served as bishops of Jamaica. To date, St. Andrew Parish Church is the final resting place of all the bishops of the Diocese who have died in the country.



Tomb of Amy Jacques Garvey (December 31, 1895 - July 25, 1973) showcasing the African Stool. Poet, activist, and civil rights leader, Amy Jacques was the second wife of Jamaica’s first National Hero, the Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey. Memorial to Jamaican-born actress extraordinaire, Madge Sinclair-Compton (1939–1995). Her artistic memorial is reminiscent of the role she played in life forging a new path in the world of the dramatic arts and creative self-expression through the vibrant film industry.

Creatively designed angel statues adorn many of the tombs in the churchyard. ST. ANDREW PARISH FOUNDATION - TOUR OF ST. ANDREW PARISH CHURCH


The tombstones were designed, shaped and engraved in the UK and then shipped to Jamaica to be placed on tombs. There are symbols engraved on many tombstones, giving a clue about the interests and/or occupation of the deceased. These designs include surveyors’ instruments, ship-related designs, military insignia and family crests. A new feature of the cemetery is a columbarium for the inurnment of the remains of those cremated.

The tomb of Percival William Gibson, founder and first headmaster of Kingston College and Jamaica’s first native bishop.

The tombs of George and Magdelene Stiebel are located close to those of other members of the StiebelJackson family. The family patriarch and benefactor, George Stiebel, Jamaica’s first black millionaire, built Devon House on lands he purchased from the St. Andrew Parish Church.





rganised and coordinated by the St Andrew Parish Foundation, the tours act as a vehicle for mobilising support for the several outreach ministries of the Parish Church. The St Andrew Parish Foundation is a charity incorporated in 2011. The outreach ministries offer a wide range of social, economic and spiritual services for persons of all ages within the Parish of St Andrew. These include active development work in health, education, skills training, job creation, and senior citizen care in three large inner-city communities. Donations and bequests to the Foundation for these worthy causes will be very welcome. Donations are tax deductible.

This tombstone immortalizes James Ware who died in 1878 and pays tribute to an unsung hero, the coachman of former Governor of Jamaica, Sir Anthony Musgrave.

Tomb of the Most Honourable Sir Clifford Clarence Campbell and his wife, Lady Alice. Sir Clifford, Jamaica’s first native governorgeneral, was sworn into office on December 1, 1962, a few months after Jamaica gained its independence from Britain on August 6, 1962.

Photos by Tony Patel and Š St Andrew Parish Foundation, 2013 ST. ANDREW PARISH FOUNDATION - TOUR OF ST. ANDREW PARISH CHURCH


Designed in the shape of a cross, the columbarium stands as a stark contrast in a churchyard that has witnessed numerous traditional funerals and burials. It represents a new era in the life of the church providing a resting place for members who opt to be cremated while at the same time ensuring optimum usage of land space.

Tour Rates: For tour rates, please contact, the Foundation by phone or e-mail, or visit the website Scheduled Tours: By appointment Duration: Approximately two hours For further information, please contact: Denise Gooden Email: Call: 1-876-337-8678 Email: Call: 1-876-881-7720 St Andrew Parish Foundation 4 Hagley Park Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica Tel. 1-876-881-7720; e-Mail:

St Andrew Parish Foundation Tour Brochure  

A brief look into 350 years of the unfolding history of the social, political, economic and religious development of Jamaica recorded in the...

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