St John's Anglican Cathedral

St John's Anglican Cathedral
The Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Divine, St. John's, Antigua, West Indies

Friday, July 22, 2011

East Gable Wall

We are going to have to restore the East gable wall.  This wall sits directly over the sanctuary.

East Gable Wall above the Sanctuary
The inner face of this wall is lined with concrete.  This is probably work from a previous restoration.  However the stones are supported by a wooden beam that is sagging.
Timber Beam Supporting the Wall Stones over the Sanctuary

Sagging Beam
Since there is no way to replace the beam and still support the stones above, this wall will also have to be dismantled.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Raisin In The Sun

Dream Deferred

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
~ Langston Hughes
It has been awhile since I last posted anything on the spirit of this Restoration (What does the restoration mean to you? ).  The motivation behind this Restoration is extremely important.  Behind the technical decisons, material procurement and the execution of construction tasks, lies the need for funds to purchase these goods and services.  It is impossible to have successful fund raising without the necessary motivation.  Especially in these recessionary times. 

I am moved to write this post because I read an article published at Caribarena, a newsportal.  The article,Students Look Back In Time, was written by some students and speaks to the sad fact that far too many historical buildings around St. John's have not been restored and have in fact been demolished.  What caught my eye in the comments posted by readers of the article was one made by one person who stated,

"They (some of the historical buildings and sites) were constructed and owned by the oppressors of our ancestors, who tortured, abused and treated them in the most inhumane of ways. As far as I am concerned, I want any vestige of these monsters removed from my country. This is our country now and we need to build our own history and forever rid ourselves of that of the British. Then we will have something we can proudly call our own, and our grandchildren and great-grandchildren can write articles like this about the buildings we, their kin not their oppressors, built."

I have a gut feeling that this sentiment exists in the conscious and subconscious minds of many Antiguans.  And while the author of the comment above was making it directly about a barracoon (slave holding quarters) that the students found in St. John's, his or her disgust was extended to all things British.  I wondered, could sentiments like this be obstacles to the Restoration of the Cathedral?

This brings me to the title of this post.  We the descendants of a slave holding society have a number of issues to resolve.  Chiefly how do we regard our history?  The truth is that considering the fact that just as much British "blood" flows in our veins as African "blood," we cannot escape the fact that we cannot discard one for the other.  We speak a British language, model our government systems and business systems after them and our values and beliefs are British in origin.  And that creates a tension within us. 

I believe that this tension left unresolved is drying up our motivation like a raisin in the sun.  Or maybe it is festering like a sore.  Sagging under a heavy load.  Unresolved feelings be they deferred dreams or anger over the past is detrimental to an person's or people's well being.  Maybe this Restoration will provide us an opportunity to resolve these feelings.  Something to pray about.