Bishop Coleridge laid the foundation stone and Rev. A. Reece was appointed to the unfinished church in 1848. The opening service was held by the end of October of the same year, at which Chaplain of the Forces, Rev. W.W. Jackson preached.
The church was later consecrated by Bishop Thomas Parry on August 2, 1850, and permission was granted for St. Matthias to be used as a garrison chapel.
Later the burial ground was closed in 1854 after a yellow fever epidemic.
St Matthias Church the Garrison Chapel
This church was used as a Chapel for the military forces of the British Garrison located on the island during the 18th century. It was used as the Garrison Church because there was nowhere else to worship in the area.
The British Government leased the chapel for the soldiers at £75 per annum, with the Chaplain of the Forces conducting the Sunday morning service at 8am, and the Vicar conducted the evening service at 4:30pm for those who missed the morning service. St. Matthias still maintains its links with the military to this day, serving as the chapel to the Barbados Defence Force, with the Rector as its Chaplain.
There is a plaque on the church building, placed by the Barbados National Trust designating it as a place of architectural and historical interest.
St Matthias Anglican Churchyard/Cemetery/Graveyard
The Dauntless Tomb Memorial – located in the southern part of the churchyard
Erected in memory of those who lost their lives from the yellow fever epidemic onboard the H.M.S. Dauntless.
Mary Ann Hutton Tomb – Died December 1852 from yellow fever during a visit to the island
Tombs for pupils of Hastings Grammar School & Highgate School – located in the north eastern corner
Died from the yellow fever epidemic of the 1850s
Other losses suffered during the epidemic are recorded at St. Matthias Church
Sundays: 7am & 8:45am (Sunday School at both services)
Wednesdays: 6:30am & 9:30am
Only the 8am service is held on the last Sunday on any month with a fifth Sunday.
(This also applies to every Sunday in August)
A priest is available on:
Wednesday: 10am – 12 noon
Friday: 6pm – 8pm
(Or by appointment)
This church is now part of the Barbados Garrison Historic Area.
…A UNESCO World Heritage Site