Diocese of Barbados

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Interior of St Michael's Cathedral

The Diocese of Barbados is one of eight dioceses of the Anglican Communion that is part of the Province of the West Indies.

The diocese was established in 1824 as one of a pair, the other being the Diocese of Jamaica, which covered the whole Caribbean. Before that, the area was nominally part of the Bishop of London's responsibility, a situation that had been assumed to hold from 1660 onwards. In 1813, the then Bishop of London denied it was his responsibility, and so it turned out that appointments to the Church in the Colonies were recommended by the local governor, in this case of the Leeward Islands.[1]

The Barbados diocese initially also covered Trinidad, British Guiana, the Leeward Islands and the Windward Islands. It was later divided on the retirement in 1841/2 of the first Bishop: his three Archdeacons took charge as the Bishop of Antigua (covering the Leeward Islands) (Daniel Gateward Davis), of Barbados (including Trinidad and the Windward Islands) (Parry) and the Bishop of British Guiana (William Piercy Austin).

The Cathedral Church of Saint Michael and All Angels (formerly St. Michael's Parish Church), is located in the centre of Bridgetown, Barbados. Originally consecrated in 1665, and then rebuilt in 1789, it was elevated to Cathedral status in 1825 with the appointment of Bishop Coleridge to head the newly created Diocese of Barbados and the Leeward Islands.

The bishop's official residence was located at Bishop's Court Hill along Upper Colleymore Rock Road (Highway 6).[2]

There is also a Roman Catholic diocese based in Barbados, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgetown.

Anglican Bishops of Barbados[edit]

  1. 1824–1842 William Coleridge (1789–1849)
  2. 1842–1869 Thomas Parry (1795–1870)
  3. 1873–1881 John Mitchinson (1833–1918; as Bishop of Barbados and the Windward Islands from 1877)
  4. 1882–1899 Herbert Bree (1828–1899; as Bishop of Barbados and the Windward Islands)
  5. 1900–1916 Proctor Swaby (1844–1916; as Bishop of Barbados and the Windward Islands)
  6. 1917–1927 Alfred Berkeley (1862–1938; as Bishop of Barbados and the Windward Islands; afterwards Bishop of the Windward Islands, 1927)
  7. 1927–1945 David Bentley (1882–1970)
  8. 1945–1951 James Hughes (1894–1979)
  9. 1951–1960 Gay Mandeville (1894–1969)
  10. 1960–1972 Lewis Evans (1904–1996)
  11. 1972–1993 Drexel Gomez (born 1937)
  12. 1993–2000 Rufus Brome (born 1935)
  13. 2000–present John Holder (born 1948)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Correspondence in Lambeth Palace archives
  2. ^ Bishop’s Court to be developed[permanent dead link]
  • Goodridge, Sehon Sylvester (1981) Facing the Challenge of Emancipation: a study of the ministry of William Hart Coleridge, first Bishop of Barbados, 1824-1842. Bridgetown: Cedar Press
  • Gilmore, John (1987) The Toiler of the Sees: a life of John Mitchinson, Bishop of Barbados. Wildey, St. Michael: Barbados National Trust
  • Walker, G. J. P. (1992) The Life of Daniel Gateward Davis, St Kitts: Creole Publishing Company
  • Diocese of Barbados – former bishops

External links[edit]