Tuesday, 08 September 2015 09:39

Limassol church celebrates 100 years

St. Barnabas Church, located near Limassol's old hospital St. Barnabas Church, located near Limassol's old hospital

On the weekend of October 30, Limassol’s St Barnabas Anglican Church will celebrate its centenary.

The church, built in 1915, in what was back then a rural setting, has stood on the same site (opposite the old Hospital and the police station) for the last hundred years and is today a well-known landmark. It is known to be forward-looking and welcoming and has been serving the spiritual and often practical needs of the community of Limassol and district, regularly organising a wide variety of religious and social activities.

Over one hundred years ago the land for the church was bought for a little over 41 Cyprus pounds, (about €5,000 today) and the building itself erected by a local builder before the end of 1915. Since then, the church has been extended twice, once in 2003 and again in 2013 in order to accommodate the expanding congregation.

The church is named after St Barnabas, a saint who is said to have been born in Salamis who joined the church at Jerusalem shortly after the crucifixion, when, in The Acts of The Apostles, he sold a field that he owned, brought the money and put it at the Apostles’ feet.

Around 45AD Barnabas sailed to Cyprus in the company of Saints Paul and Mark and travelled across the island from Salamis to Paphos, where they converted the Roman Proconsul Sergius Paulus to Christianity. His burial site at Salamis remains a place of pilgrimage to this day.


Documenting the changes

In a chat with The Cyprus Weekly, Pamela Caulfield, who has lived on the island and has been with the church for over 20 years, explains that currently the church has 130 members with many more joining whenever they visit Cyprus. The congregation has always been mainly “ex-pat” with many British families in the 1990s and a very active Sunday School. These days, there are more foreign worshippers with the warmly welcomed addition of Chinese families. The church boasts both Junior and Youth Churches who meet on Sunday mornings.

Caulfield has recently stepped down as church warden as she is also overseeing the church’s upcoming centenary celebrations. Affectionately known as ‘the Cake Lady’ or ‘Techy  Gran’ she has just helped produce a comprehensive 40-page glossy booklet documenting the church’s first 100 years and its many changes, including the recent opening of a sister church, St Lazarus in Pissouri.


The church’s regular activities

The self-funded church holds Wednesday and Sunday masses, bible study groups and prayer meetings and various social and spiritual outreach activities aiming to support those in need, giving in the environs of €8,000 to selected organisations and collecting dried food for the charity ‘Funraising’. Their premises are available for rental and used by various community groups while their own monthly social activities include quiz evenings, barbecues, and a very popular monthly table top sale. All meetings and events are open to the public, always welcoming visitors and newcomers. Their annual highlight has always been their Christmas bazaar on the last Saturday in November which was for a long time the only event in town welcoming ‘Father Christmas’ to meet children.


The way forward

The church, currently led by Reverend Canon Derek G Smith, is a growing church and as Caulfield explains, proud to be welcoming an ordained female deacon, Reverend Christine Goldsmith, since June 2015. “We look forward to welcoming more members to our church in the years to come and invite the public to celebrate our first one hundred years with us”, concludes the cheerful church member.


The celebrations of October 30

Events for the centenary celebration will start on Friday October 30 with songs of praise and the official opening of the Centenary Exhibition by the Anglican Bishop of Cyprus and the Gulf, The Right Reverend Michael Lewis. The complete programme can be found on at www.stbarnabas-cyprus.com.

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of September 4th 2015 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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