Monday, 21 October 2013

Churches and Cemeteries of Tristan...

There are two island churches on Tristan da Cunha: St Mary's Anglican Church and St Joseph's Catholic Church. Both of these buildings are beautiful, and St Joseph's has a unique stained glass window too. The lovely window is at right, and depicts the Virgin Mary with the island, an albatross, and a longboat behind. While we were on the island we attended the Anglican Church, and I even took a Bible reading on our final Sunday on Tristan. Both the Anglican and Catholic Churches do not have priests currently, and rely on lay ministers from the island population to take the services.

St Mary's Church has some lovely plaques inside, including one commemorating my Grandfather's years of service to Tristan. The island also has cemeteries down near the American Fence, close to where the school is located. Here we browsed through the island graves. It was interesting to see the graves of some of the earliest settlers of Tristan, dating back to the 1800s, as well as the more recent cemeteries nearby. The photo here shows some of the cemeteries, with the 1961 volcano behind.

St Mary's Anglican Church - the church bell is from the Mabel Clark, one of the many ships wrecked in Tristan waters.
The back of the Anglican Church.
The interior of St Mary's Church.
Standing next to Grandad's plaque.
St Joseph's Catholic Church.
It has a lovely whale wind vane!
Interior of St Joseph's Church.
Graves in the oldest Tristan cemetery. The grave at right is that of Corporal William Glass, one of the community's founders.
HMS Julia was a sloop that ran aground on Tristan in 1817.

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