On May 5th 2024, the Cottle Church in Nevis marks its monumental 200-year anniversary and stands as a symbol of peace and progress in the region. This historic site offers a unique glimpse into the island’s past, while encouraging a dialogue about unity and freedom.

Cottle Church ruins

A Pioneer in Religious and Social Reform

Built in 1824 by John Cottle, Cottle Church was conceived as a place where enslaved individuals and free persons could worship together.  Laws at the time strictly prohibited such gatherings. This Anglican church, although never consecrated due to its inclusive stance, held its arms open to everyone, regardless of their social status.

The architecture of Cottle Church is a blend of simplicity and historical resonance. Though now in ruins, the remaining walls and arches speak volumes of its past importance. Its location, surrounded by lush Nevisian greenery, adds to its tranquil allure, making it a poignant landmark for visitors and locals alike.

Cottle Church constructed in 1824

A Timeline of Resilience and Unity

The construction of Cottle Church was a daring act of defiance against the oppressive norms of the 19th century. It served as a safe haven where enslaved people could find a moment of spiritual relief and a sense of community. After the emancipation, the church continued to serve the local community until it was damaged by a hurricane in 1950. Despite this, the ruins have been preserved as a historic site, reminding us of its pivotal role in Nevis’s history.

Ruins of Cottle Church Nevis

A Site of Reflection and Cultural Heritage

Today, Cottle Church is not just a tourist attraction but a sanctuary for reflection on the progress made in human rights and equality. Each year, visitors are drawn to the site, captivated by its stories and the peaceful solitude it offers. The government of Nevis and various heritage organizations have also expressed their commitment to maintaining and protecting this important landmark.

As we celebrate 200 years of the Cottle Church, it’s an opportunity to honor the forward-thinking vision of its founder and the enduring spirit of the community. 

Shell of Anglican church ruins with no roof

Looking Forward

The bicentennial of Cottle Church serves as a reminder of the strides humanity has made and the journey still ahead. It stands as a beacon of hope and a testament to the power of unity and faith in creating social change. As Nevis continues to preserve this iconic site, it remains a profound symbol of the island’s rich history and resilient spirit.

This 200-year milestone not only commemorates a physical structure but celebrates a legacy of inclusivity and perseverance that continues to inspire to this day.

Nevis ruins