HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
“To God Be The Glory! Great Things He Hath Done”
The Church of the Holy Spirit is located on Howard Street, Chippingham.
This church was the brainchild of Canon Edward G. Holmes, rector of St. Mary the Virgin Church on Virginia Street. He felt that there was a need for an Anglican Church in Chippingham for person from the area who walked to St. Mary’s to worship.
Mr. Howard Chipman offered a piece of property to the late Bishop Roscoe Sheddon for the construction of a church. Ms. Alma Sands, a longtime employee of Canon Holmes, owned a lot adjacent to this property. She exchanged it for another piece of property located on Dunmore Avenue, Chippingham, so that there would be more land available for the church.
Canon Holmes pursued his plans to build a church to be a mission of the Parish of St. Mary the Virgin. On January 1st, 1939, Bishop John Dauglish presided at the dedication service of the little church to be named the Church of the Holy Spirit.
Canon Holmes often recalled the fact that it was built at a cost of 60 pounds. The contractor was Mr. Edward Dillet. He used skilled men from the neighbourhood, namely Harold Fernander, George Wilson, Richard Conliffe, (masons), Cresval Babb, (carpenter), and John Granger, (plumber).
In the early 50s, a donation from Mrs. Shirley Oakes-Butler made possible the addition of a sacristy at a cost of about £500.00 pounds.
The parishes of St. Mary’s and Holy Spirit were served by Canon Holmes until his retirement in 1971.
Fr. Glendon Brandt became priest-in-charge in 1971, serving until 1976. The Church of the Holy Spirit became self-supporting in 1974 and he became the first Rector.
In the year 1975, the original building was further expanded, with the addition of the Holy Spirit Dove Rose Window above the Altar.
Fr. Dunstan Burrows who succeeded Fr. Brandt as rector in 1977, continued on with some renovations.
It was during the tenure of Fr. Burrows, Mrs. Shirley Oakes-Butler donated $20,000.00 to erect the stained glass windows on either side of the Altar. The northern window was dedicated to the memory of Allord K. Lowenstein and the other to the memory of her brother, William Pitt Oakes. The windows were designed by Bahamian artist, Mr. Max Taylor. They were installed by Mr. Glen Holmes. The addition of the native stone in the sanctuary back wall and altar rails were also done at this time. The church was rededicated by Bishop Michael Eldon on July 9th, 1978.
After more than 16 years of dedicated service, Fr. Burrows was seconded to St. John’s College in 1993.
Canon Samuel Sturrup served as Interim Rector from 1993 to 1994.
Fr. S. Patrick Johnson took up his post as Rector in 1994, serving until 2000 when he was transferred to St. Agnes parish. During this time, plans were made to install stained glass windows throughout the church. The windows would cost $46,386.35. Organizations and families were invited to donate $2,000.00 each to defray the cost of a window. The windows were installed during the time when Rev’d. Dr. James Moultrie was rector.
Fr. Moultrie served from the year 2000 to 2004, when he was transferred to St. Matthew’s Parish.
Fr. Johnson and Fr. Moultrie carried out negotiations to purchase the property between the church and Providence Avenue. The purchase was finalized in 2005. During this time the church was air-conditioned.
Canon Harry Ward was appointed to Holy Spirit Church in 2004, serving until 2010. He made a number of improvements to enhance the worshipping and learning environment of the church. These included modernization of the communications system, involving the use of LCD’s.
Fr. Peter Scott became rector in 2010. He has continued the legacy of previous rectors, all of whom gave exemplary service.
He has been responsible for several major improvements. In 2012 a new organ, valued at $100,000.00 was purchased to replace the existing one which had seen better days. The ceiling was replaced. The church has been painted inside and outside. A new bus has been purchased.
Fr. Scott is keenly aware of the need to ensure that God’s House remain in prime condition and to the end, he works tirelessly.
One must not forget the invaluable contributions of priest who, though not in charge, worked diligently to carry out the ministry of the church.
Canon Neil Roach was Assistant Curate from 1968-1971.
Fr. Sebastian Campbell was Assistant Curate also, serving from 1989 to 1990.
Other part-time Associate Priest who served included Canon Samuel Sturrup 2002-2010, Fr. Addison Turnquest 2005-2010, and more recently Fr. Enrique McCartney who served from late 2010 to 2013.
The rectors of the Church of the Holy Spirit all did their best to enhance the spiritual development of the members through activities as Discovery Weekends, Faith Alive Weekends, and “Salt and Light” seminars. This last activity was carried out by Canon Ward.
Confirmation of children and adults have been carried out regularly.
Ecumenism continues to be advanced by participating in joint services with St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church and St. Michael’s Methodist Church during Lent and Advent.