Category Archives: NEW CHAPELS or CHURCHES


Bourne chapel design 2009

May 1, 2011

The building of this new chapel was a LABOUR OF LOVE.

  •  A Labour of love for Fr. Sharplis , who came up with the idea to have this chapel     dedicated   to OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE.
  •  A labour of love for the many hands who worked on this chapel, under the supervision of Mr. Patrick Jno Baptiste and Mr. Jefferson JAMES, and the many people who donated and contributed. The people who settle the ownership of the land.
  •  A labour of love for me, the designer of the chapel and I was also very much involved in the beautiful curved ceiling, arched windows & doors and stained glass window.

Today, our Bishop has DEDICATED this chapel to Our Lady of Guadalupe and CONSECRATED the altar, a table set aside for the celebration of the Eucharist.

Bourne dedication 3

As the designer of the Sacred Space, I wanted to take this opportunity to explain some elements of the design of this chapel :

  1. First of all, as all great Cathedrals, this little chapel is facing EAST, you are sitting, praying and celebrating facing East.       In Ezekiel 43 we read :  ”The glory of God comes from the east” The rising of the sun in the East each day has been seen, since early apostolic times, as a symbol of the Resurrection of the Saviour and of His Second Coming. This chapel is facing East.
  2. Secondly, ” church buildings, to be used for divine worship, ought to be beautiful and symbolic”       Beauty is a powerful means to draw us closer to the Mystery of God.
    • beauty will make the Truth of Christ in the liturgy more attractive,
    • it will bring and draw people inside,
    • It will invite us to engage and participate actively in the liturgy,
    • It will cause us to be transformed so that we in turn can transform the world.

We constructed this beautiful chapel to glorify God  so that God can sanctify us and make us grow towards salvation.

3.    Symbolism : The ceiling with the shape of a tent.   We all know the words from JOHN 1:14   “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

A literal translation of this passage is  “In Jesus, God has pitched his tent among us.”(John 1:14).             Pitched his tent among us !!                                                                                                     This links the new testament to the old testament where the LORD said to Moses: ” make me a sanctuary, and I will dwell among my people. You must make the tabernacle and all its furnishings following the plan that I am showing you.” (Exodus 25:8-10).                                       This tabernacle was a tent-like sanctuary that the wandering nomadic Hebrews carried with them.    The English word “tabernacle” is derived from Latin “tabernaculum” which means TENT.  dec 2010 037

This new chapel with a tent shaped ceiling will be God’s tent, God’s tabernacle, here in BOURNE.

After Moses built this tent, this sanctuary, we read  The glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle” Exodus 40 : 34.

But sometime we forget about  the human tabernacle who was filled with the GLORY OF GOD : The humble servant MARY.  She is depicted her as she appeared in Guadalupe, Mexico.

This brings us to OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE, this chapel’s patron .
The idea to dedicated this chapel to the memory of the Virgin of Guadalupe was proposed by Fr. Sharplis and accepted by our Bishop Gabriel Malzaire.

Above the altar you see the beautiful stained glass window, a copy of the TILMA or cloak that is displayed in the shrine of the Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

The miraculous image produced on the cloak of Blessed Juan Diego is rich in symbolism.

We note in the Book of Revelation 12
“ A great sign appeared in the sky,  a woman who was adorned with the sun,
with the moon under her feet  and on her head a crown of 12 stars”

These 12 stars are shining on your chapel fascia boards facing East  as a crown of Our Blessed Lady;

Her mantle is also studded with many stars : The Eight pointed star.

The 8 pointed star is a symbol of REDEMPTION and REGENERATION;
You might remember that only 8 people were saved from the waters of the Flood on board of the ark van Noah. Many baptismal fonts have a 8 sided shape or octagon.

The number 8 refers to the eighth day, the day after the Jewish sabbath day or the seventh day in their Jewish week. The day Jesus Christ was resurrected

The Red Roses on the fascia board facing West.
Upon request of evidence of the apparition by the Bishop of the Diocese, Our Lady of Guadalupe provide this miracle : when Juan Diego opened his coat or Tilma , red roses fell on the ground and the image of OUR LADY of GUADALUPE revealed itself on the Tilma.

Usually the patron of a chapel of church should be placed at the entrance, but here we have Jesus mother looking down on the altar, the table of her Son’s sacrifice, repeated at every Eucharistic celebration in this chapel.

I want to close with the words of OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE to Juan Diego which are very relevant to us, here in BOURNE, in these troubled times :

Her words were :
“I love you.
I am the ever-virgin Mary, Mother of the true God who gives life and maintains its existence.
He created all things. He is in all places. He is Lord of Heaven and Earth.
I desire a church in this place where your people may experience my compassion.
• All those who sincerely ask my help in their work and in their sorrows will know my Mother’s Heart in this place.
• Here I will see their tears;
• Here I will console them
• and they will be at peace.

To God be the Glory !!

So you can see that this is a building full of symbolism and meaning.  I hope you will take care of it and put it to proper use.

Bernard Lauwyck, Diocesan Engineer, May 2011



For further information , I refer to my article and explanation below on this website

design and supervision by Bernard Lauwyck

design and supervision by Bernard Lauwyck


designed by architect Jeffrey Macclean

designed by architect Geoffrey Maclean

In this second article  on the history of the St. Alphonsus’ church,  I am heavily indebted to and grateful for the work  of  Mr. Kenneth A. Richards.  His publication “AMIDST THE SUGAR CANES”  published in 1991 is a wonderful source of history.

On August 29, 1979  Hurricane David  caused severe damage to the first St. Alphonsus’ church, which was started in December 1929 and dedicated and blessed by Bishop James Moris on October 5, 1930.    The roof was torn off, windows blown out .  Many arches, columns and walls  were severely  cracked and damaged beyond repair. The congregation moved to the downstairs of the St. Alphonsus Parish Hall for worship.

The damaged old church was demolished in 1985 and it took till May 20, 1987 before  the groundbreaking ceremony for the new church was performed by Fr. Francis Huysmans, Vicar General.

The new church was designed by a Trinidadian  architect Geoffrey Maclean   and  the engineers  were the local firm Consulting Engineering Partnership.  A scale model was prepared and put on display.  An intensive fundraising drive  was started.

The local firm L. Luke and Sons Construction  was contracted to construct the church in phases.  Shortly after the commencement of the works, Fr. Eustace Thomas left  to continue his studies and  Fr. Paul Loncke C.Ss. R.  was appointed  parish priest.   The task of building a new church fell then on his shoulders.  In this task he was ably assisted  by the Reconstruction Committee comprising of Mr. Sheridon Jno Baptiste,  Dr. Desmond McIntyre,  Mr. Jerome Robinson,  Mrs. Adwina Magloire and  Ms Molly Fontaine., Mrs. Zena Boyd and Mrs. Rona Fingal.

During the years that Fr Charles Martin was parish priest  vegetable soil from the Holy Redeemer Retreat Center in Eggleston was sourced and the area around the church was  landscaped, fenced  and planted under the supervision of the Landscaping Committee, comprising of Mr. Jerome Robinson, Mr. Milton green, Mrs Adwina Magloire, Mrs. Zena Boyd and Mrs. Rona Fingal.  During that time, the interior  church was also painted  by the late calypsonian Roland James “Spider”  under the direction of  Mrs. A. Magloire.   Due to the height of the church, this was quite a dangerous and complicated job.

All the prayers, patience , work and fund raising finally paid off when  on the second of August 1999 the new  church was solemnly   Blessed and Dedicated  to St. Alphonsus  by Bishop Edward Gilbert,  eighth  Bishop of  Roseau . Fr. Reginald La Fleur was the Parish priest at the time.

When Father, later to be Monsignor,  Reginald LaFleur became Parish Priest , he proceeded with the building of  beautiful stone walls and metal fencing around the church.

In all the work he did, he was ably assisted by the Fundraising Committee :  members :  Mrs. Jossie Stevenson, , Mr. Milton Green, Ms. Debra Grell, Ms. Stella Giddens, Mrs. Veronica Younis, Ms. Sherita Gregoire, Mrs. Carol   Abraham, Ms. Cloudette Casimir, Mrs. Joycie Alfred, Mrs. Evelyn Guye and Ms. Molly Fontaine.

When Monsignor Eustace Thomas returned to the parish, as Parish Priest,  in 2008, he was keen to enhance the liturgical space  and the surroundings of the church.   In August 2010   a new stained glass window was installed with the  crucified Christ as theme.  Sometime later , two new stained glass windows, with the Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin  as themes, were added.

Recently the steps and the patio in from of the church were tiled and an entrance gate installed. Painting works of the church are ongoing presently.

The next step will be the  upgrading and development of the church grounds in front of the church . This will enhance the whole church environment.

RECONSTRUCTION of the St. Andrew’s church in Vieille Case

RECONSTRUCTION of the St. Andrew’s church in Vieille Case

Timeline :

8.08.2007   groundbreaking ceremony groundbreaking St Andrews large print

August to Dec. 2007 : excavation, foundation work, floor slab

20.11.2007 placing of the memorial plaqueVieille Case cornerstone Dec 2007

Jan. 2007 – Aug. 2008 walls and ring beams are constructed

Oct 2008 092

St. Andrew 26 Nov 2008

30.11.2008 newly covered building used for Parish Feast of St. Andrew  nov 2008 303

Jan. 2009 – June 2010 : install windows, plaster walls

Oct 2009 425

Nov 2009 073

July 2011 – Dec 2012 : doors, painting, ceiling works

January 2013 :final touches before Blessing of the Church

febr 2013 001

New altar ready to be installedfebr 2013 005

tabernacle and stand donated by the Sorhaindo family

febr 2013 027

January 29, 2013, the Consecration of the new church and the new Altar.

febr 2013 020Blessing St Andrew' s church in vieille Case Jan 30 2013 Stitched_001