Religion in Barbados
Religion remains at the centre of culture in Barbados.
Although you wouldn’t necessarily think it, even our Crop Over Festival has its roots in religious celebration. Crop Over was in fact originally a way of thanking God, the Gods, Jah, or Ala, for the success of another year’s sugar crop.
Anglican is officially the national religion of Barbados however there are various denominations of Christianity and non-Christian religions practiced throughout the island. It stems from the first permanent English settlers, who arrived on the island in 1627 and were sternly Anglican and from the moment they landed started building a church in which to worship.
According to the 2010 Population and Housing Census for Barbados, religion in Barbados is made up as follows:
From those identifying with a particular religion or faith in Barbados, the majority is Anglican.
— Roman Catholic
— ‘other’ Christian
— Church of God
— Jehovah’s Witness
— Salvation Army
— ‘other non-Christian’
Click to view the 2010 population and housing census, volume 1 http://www.barstats.gov.bb/files/documents/PHC_2010_Census_Volume_1.pdf.
Where can I practice my faith in Barbados?
We’ve provided you with a list of denominations, along with the parishes in which you will find these places of worship, and their contact details.
Note: It’s always best to phone the church or place of worship to confirm the times of services, as schedules can change slightly throughout the year.
Anglican is the most popular denomination in Barbados. As a direct result of the first settlers, each parish in Barbados has an Anglican parish church, some of which are said to be haunted. All of the churches are beautiful and many provide the best scenic views of the island.
The slaves also brought their own religions with them even though they were forced to practice Christianity by their masters. Through the years, many other religions have moved and grown in our small island. The places of worship of all these various religions vary from meeting halls, large limestone churches, to chattel houses and natural settings like beaches.
— Christ Church Parish Church (The Ivan Harewood Centre), Church Hill, Christ Church (246) 428-2319.
— St. David’s Church, Christ Church (246) 435-4272
— St. Lawrence Church, St. Lawrence Gap, Christ Church (246) 420-7679
— St. Mathias Church, Hastings, Christ Church (246) 429-5733
— St. James Parish Church, Holetown, St. James (246) 422-4117
— St. Cyprian’s Church, Corner 7th Avenue and George St, St. Michael (246) 426-2762
— St. Leonard’s Anglican Church, Westbury Road, St. Michael (246) 426-7358
— St. Mary’s Church, Bridgetown, St. Michael (246) 426-3746
— St. Michael’s Cathedral, Bridgetown, St. Michael (246) 427-0790
— St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Bay Street, St. Michael (246) 426-2761
— St. Stephen’s Church, Black Rock, St. Michael (246) 424-8435
SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST
The first Adventist missionary arrived in 1891, and the denomination has grown rapidly since incorporation in 1933.
— King Street Seventh Day Adventist Church, King’s Street, St. Michael (246) 429-8639
The Roman Catholic Church has been present in Barbados since 1839. In the early and mid-twentieth century, the Catholic Church was bolstered by immigration from Guyana, Dominica, St. Lucia, and by Syrian and Lebanese Christians from Trinidad. It is expanding through natural growth and a small number of converts.
— St. Dominic’s Roman Catholic Church, Maxwell Main Rd, Christ Church (246) 428-7677 or (246) 271-6124
— St. Francis of Assisi, Mount Steadfast, St. James (246) 422-2431
— Our Lady Queen of the Universe (OLQU), Black Rock, St. Michael (246) 427-2241
— St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, Bay Street, St. Michael (246) 426-2325
— Our Lady of Sorrows, Ashton Hall, St. Peter (246) 422-2179
* Our Lady of the Rosary, Verdun, St. John (246) 426-2325
— Sacred Heart, St. Philip (246) 426-3510
— Pentecostal Church of the Living God, Parish Land, Christ Church (246) 420-4838
— Hawthorne Methodist Church, Hawthorne, Christ Church (246) 436-6859
— James Street Methodist Church, James St, Bridgetown, St. Michael (246) 427-7452
JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES CHRIST CHURCH
— Rendezvous Congregation, Rendezvous, Christ Church (246) 438-0655
— Weston Congregation, Weston, St. James (246) 438-0655
Baptists, Moravians, and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are also present on the island.
— Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, Rendezvous, Christ Church (246) 426-9731
— Mount Carmel Pentecostal, St. Patrick’s, Christ Church (246) 420-7721
— Bethlehem Moravian Church, Maxwell, Christ Church (246) 428-8284
— Calvary Moravian Church, Roebuck Street, Bridgetown (246) 426-2337
— Islamic Teaching Centre, Harts Gap, Hastings, Christ Church (246) 427-0120
— Juma Mosque, Kensington New Road, Bridgetown, St. Michael (246) 425-7854
— Church of the Glorious Christ, River Road, Bridgetown (246) 429-7792
Other minority religions practiced on the island include the Rastafari Movement, Hinduism, Buddhism, and the Baha’i Faith.
Bajan families remain religious and most families still gather together once a week for prayer – generally over a shared meal.
Religious holidays and milestones are strictly observed and celebrated in Barbados and as a result, regardless of faith, most businesses are closed on Sunday as it is considered a day of prayer, rest and family relaxation.
Businesses generally operate from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, and Bridgetown still remains a hive of activity on Saturdays.
By: Brett Callaghan