St. Andrew Parishioner

Vol. 13 No. 1 & 2 January / March 2004

In this Issue ...

Feature Article: Missions
Church News
The Cemetery and its Heritage
Youth Retreat
Church Committee 2004
Church Calendar 2004

A Prayer

Lord, thank you for sending your Son

to make sense of this crazy, broken world.

I do trust you.

Walk with me into this new day-

as I enter into the risk of living-

as I seek to share the gospel: that

'God so loved the world

that he gave his only Son,

so that everyone who believes in him

may not perish but have eternal life.'

May I lift up the cross

through the quality of the life that I live

As well as through the words that I say.

Source: Lent for busy people: Good news for a bad and beautiful world / edited by Shelagh Brown, 1993, page 108.

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Feature Article:

St. Thomas Mission, St Andrew Settlement, Majesty Gardens

The St. Thomas Mission is located in the densely populated inner city community of Majesty Gardens, off the Spanish Town Road. The people of Majesty Gardens came to the area in the early 1950's as a result of a Government housing programme established to house persons displaced by the 1951 hurricane.

One Sunday in 1952, some church workers including Rev. Edgar B. Rodgers and Mr. (later Rev.) Daniel I. McNab from the St. Andrew Parish Church visited the area then known as Majesty Pen and found a member of the community, Mrs. Terrecita Duncan, sitting at her doorstep teaching four little children Bible verses. They were so moved by this that they gathered together a group of helpers and pioneered the establishment of a Sunday School.

From this humble beginning, the formal presence of the Church in the area began. With the help of a number of persons and organizations such as the Church Missionary Society, the Brotherhood of St. Andrew and the congregation of St. Andrew Parish Church under the then Rector, Canon J.T. Clark, a Mission was established. The University of the West Indies gave one of the wooden buildings on its campus, which had formed part of Gibraltar Camp during the Second World War to accommodate the mission house and this building was officially opened and dedicated on February 9, 1955.

The main purpose of the Mission was and is to bring hope to the people of Majesty gardens and to encourage Christians to share, working alongside the residents, in the building and maintenance of a community. The Church continued its work in the area and by 1964 - as St. Andrew's celebrated its tercentenary under (the then) Canon John Thomas Clarke, Rector - it was decided to enlarge and improve the mission house which had become too small. A new building for use as a basic school and place of worship was erected as well as a building to house a clinic and to teach classes in areas such as handicrafts, dressmaking and literacy. St. Andrew Settlement was born and John Martin Levy was appointed Director in 1965.

The Mission offers a weekly Service on Sundays at 10:00 a.m. and Sunday School at 4:00 p.m. The Brotherhood of St. Andrew and various groups and members assist the priest in running these weekly Services. Depending on the structure of the clerical team and the capacity to assign a Curate to work in the area, Bible study, counseling and home visitation are also possible. Majesty Magic on Mondays caters to the youth with special programmes including music. Christian worship has therefore been central to the work of the Settlement since its establishment.

The Mission continues to provide social services to the community of Majesty Gardens and the surrounding areas. The work of the Settlement is integrated into the mission of the Church in the community and this Christian mission is central to the vision of the programme. Christian mission effectively stabilizes this, or any other, community, and is an agent which defuses the rage characteristic of volatile and densely packed communities. The Mission and the Settlement of which it has been an integral part for some 40 years have been a solid presence in Majesty Gardens and have given the community a sense of stability, with the result that this area has experienced less turbulence and criminal activity than most other inner-city communities.


Services offered at the Settlement include:

  1. A Basic School which has recently been expanded.

  2. The Majesty Gardens Branch Library which is a subsidiary of the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Library.

  3. Health Clinic - The staff includes a practical nurse, a community health aid, a registered mid wife and an auxiliary worker.

  4. Senior Day Care - Senior citizens come in for day care and fellowship.

  5. Special Volunteer services - St. Andrew Parish Church members give voluntary assistance through Medical services, Justice of the Peace functions, Counseling, spiritual coordination, etc.

The management team continues to work with the Majesty Gardens Community Based Organization, Food for the Poor, Capital and Credit Merchant Bank, who provide scholarships for students in the community, Rotary Club of Kingston and Downtown, who provide lunch bursaries for students, US Peace Corps in the area of Environment and Sanitation, Grace and Staff Foundation in connection with the Golden Age programme, Grace Kennedy in the Home Work programme, Colgate Palmolive for the Summer School and Christmas programmes.


Members of the Managing Committee, 2003

  • Rex James, Chairman

  • Father Everton Cunningham, Curate in Charge

  • Douglas Folkes, Vice-Chairman

  • Thelma Senior, Secretary

  • Andre Gooden, Treasurer

  • Jos A. Chambers, Executive Director

  • Phillip Downer, Deputy Director

  • Lona Brown

  • John A. Levy

  • Leila Parker-Robinson

  • Janet Shaw

  • Marie Thompson

  • Beatrice Miller-Robinson, C.B.O. President


Did you know that ..?

  • The St. Andrew Settlement is located in Majesty Gardens, Three Miles?

  • In 1954 the Brotherhood of St. Andrew secured a building which was used during the Second World War at camp Gibraltar, where UWI, Mona now stands? This building was dismantled and reassembled at Majestic Pen and this was the first Mission House and Basic School.

  • Majesty Gardens was first known as Majestic Pen? The name was changed in 1974.

  • Majesty Gardens is also referred to as "Back to"? This was because many Rastafarians used to assemble in the area in the late 1950's, at a section called Moonlight City, with the intention of going back to Africa.

  • The first Director, Mr. John Martin Levy, served for 33 unbroken years, and there have only been three Directors in 40 years.

  • Mr. Rex James is the second Chairman in 40 years. The first was the Hon. Kenneth Smith.

  • The Settlement is celebrating its Ruby anniversary this year (40 years).

  • The Settlement is mainly funded by donations from the Church and its members.

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Church News

Outreach Project Months

Each of our outreach projects is the special focus for selected months of the year as follows:

  • St. Andrew Settlement in March/(April) (period coinciding with bun sale activity),

  • Home for Girls in May,

  • Moreton Park Home in September.

  • St. Andrew Care Centre in October,

Hence for the month of March attention will be paid to the work done at St. Andrew Settlement, Majesty Gardens. Please support our outreach projects both physically and financially.


Property - Cemetery and its Heritage

St. Andrew Parish Church Cemetery - some 8 1/2 acres - is one of the oldest in continual use in the island. The Cemetery Committee (under the Property and Building Committee) was appointed to ensure that the area remains a place of tranquil beauty. Considering the personal, historical and genealogical value of this important Jamaican landmark, every reasonable effort to maintain the area is worthwhile. Also, the Jamaica National Heritage Trust declared St. Andrew Parish Church a national monument in 2003 and this supports the need for appropriate care of the area.

The budget for the Cemetery is some $1.2 million for Y2004 and the Church is deeply grateful for the responses and contributions received to various appeals over the years. Every effort is made to continue the landscaping project but the income is still insufficient. Work to be done includes the raising of the Eastwood Park Road boundary wall, paving and establishment of walkways, continual cleaning and landscaping as well as repairs to older damaged graves and memorials. Funding should also go towards shrubbery maintenance.

Should you have relatives or friends interred in the churchyard we invite you to contribute or to make a pledge towards this fund. Should you be able to identify or contact relatives and friends of persons interred in the cemetery we would be grateful if you would send their names, addresses and telephone numbers to the Church Office. Cheques are to be made payable to St. Andrew Parish Church - Cemetery Fund.

Cemetery project - The Property and Building Committee is assigning May as a focus month for the Cemetery. A special project is being developed to enable us to have better records of the persons interred in the Cemetery. Much has been done on this thanks to Mr. Donald Lindo who some years ago researched the documented burial records and developed a detailed database. However, the information on the individual tombs needs to be verified against or added to this list. The Church is seeking volunteers to work in teams in specific area each Saturday in the month of May to expand these records. Of further interest is the fact that this Cemetery has attracted lecturers and students of UTECH and the UWI to carry out research projects on landscape architecture and historical archeology. The expected output of their work as well as our own should assist with locating gravesites and enhancing our record keeping for many reasons including frequent genealogical enquiries. This is a fascinating project and interested persons are invited to call the Church Office.


Youth Retreat

THEME: Chasing choices; find yu way come

The Retreat was held at the Church Hall, February 27-28, 2004 and started on a rainy Friday evening. In spite of the rain there were about 75 persons attending. Following devotions by Nomali "Élan" Lumsden, we moved into the first presentation on Choices, District of look behind; who is pursing me? Led by Rev. Michael Allen of Department of Youth and Education. There was worship, icebreaker games and finally Compline.

Friends made the evening before returned on Saturday to continue the journey. Following devotions, the participants were placed in teams for which they chose the following names: Samson, King Solomon, Peter, Goliath, and Delilah this was followed by a role play session called Mi nu sen, yu nu come, in keeping with the theme. There were team games, which included a Bible quiz, lunch and a presentation and discussion led by Rev. Edward Jennings titled Above Rocks - How do we respond to the pursuit? The day ended with Taize worship led by Sasha Lumsden and a few members of the youth choir.

It was a wonderful experience. Thanks to the Young Adults Group who took control of the kitchen, Mrs. Lola Lewis for the food, to the parents who sent their young ones and especially those who attended.

Thanks also to the clergy for nurturing our ability, and most of all to God for giving it to us and the opportunity to use it for Christ and His Church.

Submitted by Trudy Lois A. Blake-Wright

Editor's note - Both Adult and Youth Retreats were held on the weekend of February 27-29 at Hillcrest Diocesan Retreat Center and the Church Hall respectively. Both were highly successful and enjoyed by those who participated.

Note - The Adult Retreat takes place at the beginning of Lent. Look out for it next year at this time.

Note also - The Youth Retreat takes place on the weekend immediately following Ash Wednesday. Look out for it next year 2005 at the same time. This is advance notification!


Church Committee - 2004

The following persons were reappointed(*) / elected to office:

Dr. Vincent Lawrence (*)

- Rector's Warden
- Chairman - Property and Building Committee

Mr. Alvaro Casserly (*)

- Incorporated Lay Body
- Chairman - St. Andrew Care Centre

Mr. Michael Fennell (*)

- Chairman - Diocesan Financial Board
- Chairman - Finance Committee, SAPC

Mr. Neville Baker

- People's Warden

Mr. Douglas Folkes


Mr. Lloyd Gooden

- Treasurer

Mr. Frank James

- Lay Representative to Synod

Miss Yolande Whitely

- Lay Representative to Synod
- Church Secretary

Mrs. Marva Greig

- Representative to Deanery Council
- Alternate Lay Rep. to Miss Whitely

Dr. Nigel Elliott

- Alternate Lay Rep. to Mr. James
- Ch. -Youth Committee

Mr. Trevor Blake

- Alternate Rep. to Deanery Council

Mr. George Briggs

- Christian Education Programme
- Discernment Committee

Mr. Tony Patel  
Dr. Lucien Jones  
Mrs. Jacqueline Mighty  
Mr. Rex James - Chairman - St. Andrew Settlement
Miss Sonya Hamilton - Chairman - SAPC Home for Girls
Mrs. Jennifer Goodison - Recording Secretary



The St. Andrew Parish Church website at is updated weekly with the addition of the Sunday newsletter. Issues of the Parishioner are also added as soon as available. Please introduce your friends and members overseas to this means of maintaining communication with the Parish Church.



Alpha 2004 begins April 21. If you have not done the Alpha course please consider putting it on your agenda for this year. You will be glad you did . as glad as those who have already done it! Check the Church Office for registration forms and more information.


Church Calendar 2004

Healing Conference May 14-16
Alpha 2004 April 21 - June 30
St. Andrew Deanery Day July 11
Confirmation classes (Adult) September 8
Confirmation classes (Junior) September 10
Harvest Thanksgiving October 24
Annual Business Retreat November 6
Annual Supper November 19
Patronal Festival / 340th Anniversary December 5
Gift Day December 21
Christmas Day December 25


Rev. Basil Smith

St. Andrew Parish Church notes with deep regret the untimely and tragic death of Rev. Basil Smith. Rev. Smith was killed in a motor vehicle accident on Friday, April 16, 2004 as he was returning home from Synod. He had, only a few weeks before, been installed as Rector of the Albert Town Cure. We extend sympathy to his family and parishioners.


Healing Conference 2004

The Healing Conference is scheduled for the weekend of May 14-16, 2004 at the Starfish Trelawny Hotel. The theme is "Evangelism and Healing" and this is to provide us with an opportunity to focus our thoughts on these two significant features of the ministry of Jesus and to explore in what ways they can become significant features in the life of our church today. Information on participation is available in the Church Office. Please remember to pray for God's blessing on the Conference.


----Published by the St. Andrew Parish Church, Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands----

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