The Falkland Islands and South Atlantic
Christ Church Cathedral, Stanley, Falklands


Christ Church Cathedral, situated in the centre of the town on Ross Road, Stanley, is the southernmost Anglican cathedral in the world and was consecrated in 1892. This is the parish church of the Falklands, the British Antarctic Territories and South Georgia. The tower has a ring of five bells. A whalebone arch made from jawbones of two blue whales (from the South Shetlands in 1922) stands alongside the Cathedral on Arch Green.


Christ Church Cathedral was named after Christ Church Cathedral in Canterbury, England which had given so much support to its building in Stanley.
In 1886 the rear of Holy Trinity Church and school (the Exchange Building) was badly damaged by a serious peat slip resulting in it having to be demolished for safety reasons.
A Church Building Committee was formed. Along with Bishop Stirling the Mr & Mrs G M Dean were great movers in getting the new Cathedral for Stanley, volunteering their home, Stanley Cottage for meetings of the Church Building Committee. A request was made to the Government for the site and stone from the demolished Holy Trinity Church. This was granted and the present Cathedral was allowed to be built on the site. Bishop Stirling raised £3000 in England, H M Queen Victoria herself donating £30 towards the cause, leaving a further £3000 to be raised in the islands. This was raised easily through farm and private subscriptions.  The cost was underestimated and was actually £9000 with the tower still to be built.  On the 6 March 1890 Bishop Stirling and Governor Kerr laid the foundation stone.  A clerk of works and two bricklayers arrived and they were assisted by a work force of 20 local men. Problems arose, at one point the men stopped work demanding more pay, the ship bringing materials was delayed, and sadly a labourer Joseph Alazia died while quarrying stone. The new building was erected with the stone of the old church and cornered with red brick. Cut stone was obtained from England for windows and doors. The interior was lined with wood dado and paved with patent wood blocks. The screen, pulpit, lectern, choir stalls and communion rails were given by friends in England. The fine west window, the peal of five bells and the four faced clock were given by Mrs G M Dean. Three fine stained glass windows were presented by Mrs Hansen.
On Sunday 21 February 1892 the new Christ Church Cathedral was consecrated by Bishop Sterling. Lowther Edward Brandon was made Dean. At this point the Cathedral Fund was £500 in arrears. Mr W W Bertrand agreed to loan the fund the cash and was given an I.O.U. Fundraising efforts continued with bazaars and sales of work and there were generous donations. An organ (urgently needed) with 466 pipes was obtained.  Austrian stone masons employed to build the tower in 1902 left and the work was not carried out. The steeple, originally intended to be 90ft (27.4m) high was reduced to only 30ft (9.14m) and made of corrugated iron. It was eventually completed in 1903.




Photographic credits: Robert Maddocks, Jean Sinclair

Sources include: The Falkland Islands and South America- Rev. C. McDonald Dobley 1917, The Falkland Islands- Ian J. Strange, Falkland Islands Journal, Wikipedia.
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