THE CLOSURE OF ST JAMES CATHEDRAL
We apologise to our visitors for the closure of the Cathedral. We realise that some of you come from very far to visit this historic building which is classified as a national heritage of the Republic of Mauritius.
After one hundred and sixty years the building is showing signs of structural fatigue and deterioration. Badly leaking and with parts of the wooden cladding on the interior walls beginning to fall apart, the cathedral represented a danger for worshippers and visitors.
Closed since 1st of May this year, procedures are in progress to establish the scope of work and the cost of the restoration. As a national heritage, authorisation from the National Heritage Trust Fund is a must before starting the works. We thank God that this procedure is over and done with.
As the Mother Church of the Diocese of Mauritius, the restoration of the cathedral is a diocesan project, patroned by the Right Reverend Ian Ernest, Bishop of Mauritius and chaired by the Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Reverend Bryen Adeline. It must be underlined that appeals for support for the restoration works are made to every Mauritian but also to the world wide Anglican Communion and the international community.
Two teams, one specialised in fund raising and the other having the responsibility for all the technical aspects of the restoration, have been active for months now. Architects, civil Engineers and consultants have already achieved important developments with the assessment of the roof structure. Soon, crucial decisions will be taken that will impact the scope, the cost and the duration of the restoration.
The pictures below speak for themselves. If this is an undertaking that speaks to your heart and you would like to support the restoration project of St James Cathedral financially or otherwise please contact us. The minimum that you can do to help is to pray for the project and share this story on the global social network.
SOV NOU KATEDRAL is the cry from the heart calling one and all to help save our Cathedral. Be blessed for your support.
Very Reverend B. S. Adeline
LA CATHEDRALE ST JAMES EST FERMEE POUR DES TRAVAUX DE RESTAURATION DEPUIS LE 1er MAI 2018. Nous nous excusons auprès des visiteurs pour tout inconvénient. Toutes les célébrations ont lieu dans la salle d’œuvre St Mary.
Si ce projet de restauration de la cathédrale St James vous interpelle et si vous souhaiteriez soutenir le projet financièrement ou autrement s’il vous plaît contactez-nous. Le minimum que vous pourriez faire pour aider c’est de prier pour que nous trouvions les ressources nécessaires pour faire avancer ce grand chantier. Merci aussi de partager cette rubrique sur les réseaux sociaux.
Restoration works inside the Cathedral
The very poor state of the roof of the Cathedral
St Mary’s sanctuary with the slogan of the restoration project “SOV NOU KATEDRAL”
Eucharistic Services held in St Mary’s Hall:
Sundays: 7 am & 9 am
Last Sunday of the month: 9 am only
Wednesdays: 9.30 am
All services are held in English, French & Creole
Bible teaching / Litany: Fridays at noon
See more: About us
A BRIEF HISTORY OF ST JAMES CATHEDRAL
The building that houses the present Cathedral and which was the first Anglican edifice in Mauritius, was originally a Powder Magazine built in 1740 during the French occupation of Mauritius. Under British occupation (as from 1810), the site occupied by the Powder Magazine was given to the Anglican community on the island for the purpose of erecting a new church, but for some reasons or other the new church was not built, the Powder Magazine was used instead as a church without it being fitted and furnished for the purpose.
In 1821 the necessary structural alterations were made to the Magazine to make it a church looking edifice, hence, the additions of a front porch, a steeple, two vestries and openings in the walls. ln 1846, the church being too small, two wings were added. The Powder Magazine which gave its name to La Poudrière Street, became the Cathedral and was consecrated on 26th June 1850, by Dr. James Chapman, Bishop of Colombo, as the Anglican Church in Mauritius formed part then of that Diocese. The first Bishop of Mauritius, Bishop Ryan, was not consecrated until 1854.
The Cathedral was not spared during the cyclone of April 1892; its roof was carried away and its spire injured. Nonetheless, crowds of helpless fugitives sought shelter within its sacred walls. For several weeks the Cathedral was used for the purpose of an ambulance under military doctors. Bishop Gregory (1904 – 1919) renovated the church building, making it look more stately, thus he removed the barrel ceiling, lined the walls throughout with teak, placed windows in the openings of the 9ft thick walls, floored it afresh with wooden blocks,- paving the passage from the entrance to the chancel with black and white marble.
St James’ Cathedral has hosted countless number of events – from normal parochial sacramental and pastoral rites to respond to the needs of its parishioners – to national ceremonies such as for the independence of Mauritius and for Remembrance Sundays, as well as hosting Royals and Church dignitaries such as the Archbishops of Canterbury.
The Cathedral is also the parish church of a large number of the Anglican population in Port Louis and its suburbs. Its calling as the mother church, the Seat of the Diocese and the church of the Parish of St James is ever being renewed and freshly expressed to respond to its time and the needs of the parish, the diocese and the nation.
From Gun Powder Magazine, – an edifice of human pain and destruction to a Cathedral, – an edifice of healing and restoration in God, St James Cathedral stands as a symbol of hope, peace and freedom that characterize the life in abundance of every child of God.
Its impressive presence over the City of Port Louis transpires the nature of its existence and purpose, which is to reach out to the city and the nation with the Good News of the Kingdom and the presence of God in our midst.
Tel: (230) 212 2354