National Trust of Guyana

St. Andrew’s Kirk

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Location: Stabroek, Georgetown

Classification: Religious 

Period/ Year Built: 1811, major renovations in 1852, 1945 & 1948

Historical Background / Description:

St. Andrew’s Kirk is located on the Avenue of the Republic; the site is bordered on the north by Brickdam and on the south by Croal Street. The church is notably the oldest religious building in the city of Georgetown. The cornerstone of the building as a Dutch Reform Church was laid on August 12, 1811, by British Governor H.E. Sir H.W Bentick. In 1812, church services began with the skeleton features of the building emerging in the skyline. In 1815, the Scottish offered to meet the expenses to complete the church through a subscription of 3,000 guilders, since the Dutch were having difficulties doing so. In 1816, having attained 4,200 subscriptions, the Court of Policy considered the amount sufficient to complete the building and agreed to pay 3,800 guilders to a Scottish clergy to minister to the church once he arrived in the colony. 

The Dutch would later sell the church to the Scottish and on September 27, 1818, Reverend Archibald Browne, a Scottish minister officially opened St. Andrew’s Kirk for public Worship and Dutch Predicant, Reverend B. Floors officiated before the congregation. The last Scottish minister was Reverend Eric M. Rule (1960-1964), bringing an end to the church’s connection with Scotland. After Guyana gained its independence, Guyanese were trained to manage the religious institution.

The structure over the years has undergone a number of changes to its façade; such as the building being converted from a Romanesque architectural style to more of a Gothic architectural style. Some features of the timber framed structure include its high steeple and quaint double angled roof, tower, pointed arches, stained windows and buttresses.