Cayman Islands churches stamps released as Christmas issue

Cayman Islands churches stamps released as Christmas issue
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According to info received by StampNews.com the Cayman Islands Postal Service has released its 2014 Christmas stamps, which depict images of churches on all three of the Cayman Islands. The churches featured are South Sound Community Church in Grand Cayman, the Stake Bay Baptist Church in Cayman Brac, and the Little Cayman Baptist Church.

All three stamps, with a value of 25 cents, will be available in self-adhesive booklets, the postal service announced. The booklets contain 12 stamps depicting four images of each church. The standard "lick-and-stick" stamps will also be on sale.

"Earlier this year, the CIPS released the Sister Islands Traditional Homes stamp collection. This Christmas stamp issue embodies that same theme", Postmaster General Sheena Glasgow said. "These buildings depict places of worship and symbolize peace, both of which are also representative of the meanings of Christmas".

The three churches depicted on the stamps have long histories in the Cayman Islands.

According to post office’s first day cover booklet of the stamps, the South Sound United Church was first built in the late 1800s, but has undergone four constructions, a site and several name changes since then. Sometime in the 1900s, the church was moved to its current location, on land donated by Captain Tom Bush and was built by Denham Bush.

It was rebuilt on the same site between 1936 and 1940, with the help of Reverend George Hicks. That wooden structure, with a corrugated zinc roof and concrete floor, is the building featured on the stamp. The former George Hicks United Church Congregation was renamed the South Sound United Church in a renaming service last year.

On the Brac, the Stake Bay Baptist Church, originally called Sobeyville Baptist Church, was built near the waterfront following a visit of an English Baptist preacher, Reverend Sobey. In 1886, the Jamaica Baptist Society sent Briton Henry W. Rutty to build and establish churches on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

The original Stake Bay church was destroyed during the 1932 Hurricane, after which the Jamaica Baptist Society purchased land and helped construct a new wooden building.

In 1966, the Stake Bay Baptist Church building was moved about 40 feet from the street, and in recent years, a new church was built about 160 feet away from the 1930s site. The old building now accommodates the Youth Ministry, while the new one has been in use as the main church since December 2013.

The Little Cayman Baptist Church, which is now the Marine Museum, was built in 1886 by English missionaries from the Jamaica Baptist Society, the first day cover information states. The church was located on the south side of the island where the cemetery is currently located. That church was also destroyed in the 1932 Hurricane and was relocated to its present site.

The Little Cayman Baptist Church was constructed by Captain Theo Bodden's uncle, Sam Bodden. Made of pinewood from the Balboa that sank in George Town harbor after the hurricane, the building was used for worship until 2001, when another Baptist church was constructed by Captain Charles and Carol Kirkconnell.

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