…history reveals second attempt to sell building
As the Diocese of Guyana continues to remain tight lipped about the sale of the St Barnabas Church on Regent Street, this publication has been told that the bids are being evaluated.
Yesterday, there was the announcement that the Diocese will make a public statement when the sale has been finalized. There are reports that the highest bid received thus far is in excess of $500 Million.
This is the second attempt by the Diocese to sell the church. The first attempt was made in 1969.
Reasons cited for the sale, include the diminishing congregation and the fact that the building and its compound have been taken over by the vagrants.
The building at one time was deemed unsafe after the foundation had sunk considerably. However thanks to some members and civil society rehabilitation was done to the building.
One of the prospective buyers at that time was Shell Antillies Guyana Limited which had planned to erect an ultra modern gas station if the Central Housing and Planning Authority gave approval.
According to a close member of the church this is believed to be the first Anglican Church that will actually be sold. But before the sale is done the church will have to be deconsecrated.
This will be done during a final sermon at the building.
The St Barnabas church is situated next to two other significant landmarks in the Bourda District, namely the Bourda Cemetery and the Bourda Market.
The Bourda Cemetery was the first cemetery in Georgetown and was privately owned by Joseph Bourda, as part of Plantation Vlissengen.
Many of the tombs date back to the early 19th century and many of the prominent people of the colonial era such as John Patoir, William Booker and the Bagots are buried there.
Bourda Market, the National Trust says, was originally built in 1880 but was soon reconstructed in 1902 to accommodate a growing number of vendors and consumers of this ward of the city.
This church building was erected in 1884 and its first leader was Reverend John Greathhead, a man well known in the colony for many years as superintendent of the Methodists.
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