The Church of Christ the King is the youngest Church in the Diocese of Barbados. Its existence dates back to the early 1960s when Canon Basil Ullyett, Rector of St Stephen’s Church saw the need for a Chapel of Ease to serve the elderly of St Stephen’s who lived in the eastern part of the parish.
In 1968 Canon Basil Ullyett initiated the purchase of two acres of land at Rock Dundo, St Michael for the purpose of erecting a Church at a cost of $35,000. The funds were made available by the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and the Canadian Church.
A survey was subsequently carried out in the surrounding districts by the Reverend Donald George, Assistant Priest at St. Mary’s Church and a number of other lay Anglicans. This survey sought to ascertain whether Anglicans in the area thought it necessary to have a Church in their midst. The majority of those people interviewed were positive about the idea and said they looked forward to a Church being built.
This hope of the people came closer to reality shortly after the arrival of Bishop Drexel Wellington Gomez who reactivated the idea.
In 1972 the Reverend Stephen Johnson was appointed in charge of the District. Reverend Johnson spent much of his time doing systematic visiting in the area with the help of some students of Codrington College and some local residents.
On April 29, 1973, Bishop Gomez turned the sod to start the building . This was followed by an open air Service. Work on the building with a seating capacity of 150 persons began in 1974
On May 23, 1974 (Ascension Day), in the presence of over 600 persons, the building was dedicated to Christ the King. The first Service was held the following Sunday, May 26. The cost of the construction was $45,000 paid for from funds raised by the Diocese 150th Anniversary Appeal and some other funds from overseas. Funding for the fixtures and furnishings were raised by the congregation and friends through fund-raising efforts.
In 1976, during the incumbency of the Reverend Anthony Jemmott, the first Parochial Church Council was elected and later in the year the Men’s Fellowship, Women’s Fellowship and Youth Group were founded. The Church Army was founded in 1985.
Soon after establishment it became obvious that the seating capacity was inadequate for the rapidly increasing congregation as the surrounding new housing developments attracted more persons. This need for additional seating was partially met in 1980 by the construction of the Balcony seating 50 persons.
In July 1982, the Parish was made a full Ecclesiastical Parish with the appointment of its first Rector, the Reverend Peter Fenty. Owing to the size of the building the Institution Service was held on the Church grounds. History was created on this occasion as it was the first time in the history of the Diocese that an Institution Service was held in the open air.
With the continued rapid growth of the congregation, there was need for more seating and other facilities to carry out the ministry of the Parish. The Diocese was unable to assist financially with any building project. After much prayer and with a modest sum in hand the Parish sought to help itself.
On May 7, 1993, the Archdeacon and Bishop-elect, the Venerable Rufus Brome turned the sod to signal the start of a new Church building with a seating capacity of 500 persons. Later in the year, on November 22, as Bishop, he laid the cornerstone.
On November 21, 1994, the building was dedicated and consecrated by Bishop Rufus Theophilus Brome. In his Sermon he commended the Rector, the Reverend Eric Lynch, the Church Council, and the congregation for their leadership, foresight, initiative, and above all their deep and abiding faith in God for undertaking the great task of building the Church. It is to be noted that the congregation of Christ the King is the first in the Diocese of Barbados to build its own Church.
Summary of Church History
1968 Two acres of land acquired
1972 Area was declared a District
29th April 1973 Ground Breaking Ceremony
23rd May 1974 Dedication to Christ the King
1980 Balcony added
1982 Full ecclesiastical status
1992 Decision to build new Church
1993 Soil turned
1993 Cornerstone of new church laid
November 1994 New building consecrated and dedicated
2016 Rebuilt Parish Centre completed in February
Priests who have served at The Church of Christ the King:
1974 -1976 Rev. Stephen Winston Johnson
1976 -1982 Rev. Anthony Gordon Edwin Jemmott
1982 Rev. Ian Mc Pherson
1982 -1984 Rev. Peter DeCourcey Fenty
1984 -1986 Rev Barclay Lenardo Stoute
1986 – 2000 Rev. Eric Edwin Lynch
2000 -2004 Canon James Levi Springer
2004 – Present Rev. Robert Luther Johnson