Friday, April 27, 2007

Churches & Cemeteries series 3

If I pray to you and only you, does it matter where?

Tortuga Anglican, Roman Catholic, Roman Catholic Arima

Just at the crest of the Montserrat hills in Gran Couva, Trinidad and Tobago, two churches sit side by side. The Tortuga Roman Catholic Church is one of the oldest structures in Trinidad and Tobago, and at the time these photographs were taken, the building was being restored. But further down the road, the Tortuga Anglican church were not as lucky, the dilapidated building housed a simple altar and an open but sparse space for its congregation.

Before its restoration, the Tortuga Roman Catholic Church had a charm of its own. There were an array of unusual statues and shrines. One in particular was a small black doll called, Lady of Montserrat hidden from view in a cove. The church also felt Caribbean with its high and open windows. The pews sagged, the floors boards were worn, the wood shingles on the roof were unaligned, and the stained glass panels were not in place, but rather the empty opened arches behind the altar.

Things are quite different today, the church is restored, freshly painted and the French stained glass panels are in place, but the charm has disappeared. -thebookmann


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