Crop Over Thanksgiving Church Service – NCF Staff at Christ Church Parish Church

Crop Over’s Thanksgiving Service can truly be considered as one with a strong Bajan flavor and the atmosphere created inside the Christ Church Parish Church was something for all who attended to remember, as the staff of the National Cultural Foundation joined in prayer with stake holders and parishioners of the Christ Church Parish Church for a morning service that was extraordinary.

Queen of the Crop - Judy Cumberbatch, and King of the Crop - Grantley Hurley, meeting Ronald Jones - Acting Minister of Culture

It is a tradition in Barbados to start events with prayers and that was certainly the case at the Service held ahead of the annual Crop Over Festival. The majestic church overlooking Oistins was decorated to reflect the creativity of those in the Festival. At the entrance there was the dray cart filled with sugar cane which greeted the congregation, while inside strategically placed throughout the church, there were components of Mas costumes and other pieces which represented the craft of the ‘Sweetest Summer Festival’. The order of the service also confirmed that something special was happening.

Members of Sing Out Barbados Folk Group led the congregation in a rousing performance of Folk and Gospel songs.

The members of the Royal Barbados Police Force Band resplendently attired in ceremonial uniform, augmented the sweet voices of the choir. But the performances of those who distinguish the Festival stood out most prominently. Steel pannist Terry ‘Mexican’ Arthur played away, the Pompesetters added a unique touch of Tuk as they led a procession to the altar, Dancin’ Africa moved with grace in their pieces, Calypso Monarch Gabby was emotional in his tribute to the late Calypsonian Tassa and then there was Sing Out Barbados Folk Group! No one could stay still as they carried us through a repertoire of Folk/Gospel. Members of the church choir swayed, shoulders of those in every pew could be seen moving to the stirring renditions and still there were some who unable to restrain themselves, stood to their feet and moved in harmony with the beat.

Performers from Dancin' Africa Dance Troupe.

In his sermon, Canon Austin Carrington declared, ’Crop Over is an occasion for expressing our gratitude for the sugar harvest. We are told that in the past people did so through festivity, eating and drinking and also through their religious customs and practices. We must give thanks to God for the Festival’s contribution to the economic activity, for the creativity displayed in various ways.’ The Church’s Rector cautioned about the abuse of the body at this time however, and he urged persons to show gratitude to God, live responsibly and sing His praises.

Cross section of the large congregation

Crop Over 2011 starts officially on Saturday, July 2nd with the BNB Crop Over Opening Gala and Ceremonial Delivery of Last Canes at Queen’s Park in St. Michael.

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  1. Especially when he said the Ncf should take some of the money it makes from Crop Over and give a bonus to the sugar workers if Ncf people were sleeping that would have woken them up. The sermon was concise and effective but they had you singing a million hymns of which I enjoyed one the one Beautiful words wonderful words wonderful words of life that song hard! Here’s a word of caution health wise, this church uses incense in its worship which while aromatically pleasing to some could present a challenge to those with breathing afflictions aka asthma.I enjoyed the Crop Over poem presented by the children and the performance of Sister Marshall who encouraged us to walk holy.


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