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200-year-old St. John’s Cathedral Church undergoes renovations

Posted: Friday, July 20, 2018. 2:00 p.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MTCA) through the Belize City House of Culture and the Downtown Rejuvenation Project, a project funded by the Government of Belize (GOB) and The Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) recently responded to an approach by the Saint John’s Cathedral Restoration Committee for technical and financial assistance for urgent works to help their efforts restore and stabilize the St. John’s Cathedral Building.

The building is a historic icon of Belize City serving the community for over two hundred years.

Ongoing works include cleaning, repainting, and rehabilitation of windows.

Saint John’s Cathedral was founded in 1812 and has faithfully and continuously served its faithful members and the wider community in Belize City and beyond over the years.

Its financial resources continue to be focused on community welfare. However, in recent years the cathedral building has shown accelerating signs of crumbling brickwork, rotting window woodwork, beams, un-replaced glass, and a roof that suffers damage with every major storm.

Most visitors to Belize City make it “a must” to see first-hand this outstanding piece of 19th Century Belizean historic landmark, putting even more pressure on the need to conserve this remarkable edifice, a unique place of worship in the country.

In recent months Priest-in-Charge of the Cathedral, Reverend Father Lloyd Taylor convened the “Saint John’s Cathedral 2018 Restoration Initiative” to address the need for urgent restoration works now underway.

The committee, in its search for major funding, has been fortunate to get early financial support by way of the “Downtown Rejuvenation Project” that is funded by the Governments of Belize and Taiwan.

This is a major undertaking and the need for further funds is also being secured from committed pillars of the local business community and Anglicans, in general, to set the Cathedral on a new road for a sustainable future in its spiritual role, its community role, and as a tourism destination, bringing valuable foreign earnings to the local community.

The Restoration Committee’s effort includes making the Cathedral more accessible and convenient to international as well as local visitors wishing to learn more about the place and instigating a Cathedral income-generating, job-creating specialized tour management programme, generating funding for on-going upkeep of the Cathedral.

John Arana of the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation stated, “We enjoy working with the very active Restoration Committee and hope our support gives them

a much-stabilized edifice”.

 

The works are expected to conclude by the end of September 2018.

 

The project shows what can be achieved when the vision is equally clear for all parties involved.

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