OUR CHURCH TODAY.................
April 2018 is the start of a new beginning for Holy Trinity. We have been granted independence from the other Anglican churches in Malta and Gozo and are now looking forward to the many challenges that lie ahead.
Holy Trinity is a part of the diocese of Gibraltar which is led by Bishop Robert, reporting to him is Bishop David responsible for Italy and Malta.
The Church is an integral part of the Church of England and our services are conducted in accordance with this doctrine
HOLY TRINITY HISTORY 1866 TIL TODAY............
The foundation stone of Holy trinity Church, Sliema was laid on September 20th 1866 by the acting Governor of Malta, Major General William John ridley
Earlier that year the Bishop of Gibraltar, the Rev’d Dr. Walter John Trower had appealed for funds for the building and endowment of of the Anglican Church and vicarage to serve the growing needs of the growing British community in Sliema. The architect was Gordon Macdonald Hills (1826-95) and his Clerk of works was Webster Paulson (Who also served in this capacity at the construction of the Opera House in Valletta and subsequently remodelled the interior after it was destroyed by fire in 1873)r the church in Sliems were
Among those who responded to the Bishop’s appeal weretwo well known English merchants from Palermo, Mr Ingham and Mr.Whitaker each of whom contributed £100, the Bishop contributed £1000 towards the estimated expense of £4000 and made himself responsible for the total cost of the building and grounds. On April 7th 1866 the villa now known as Bishop’s House and the adjoining land on which the church was to be built were acquired from Mr. Charles Harper by the Bishop;s daughter Miss Jane Trower.
Her intention was to transfer the property “irrevocably and gratuitously” by donation to the Episcopal See of Gibraltar, but uunder the law an unmarried woman, in the lifetime of her father, could not make a donaton of any objectof greater value than £50 without his conent, and so the Bishop became party to the Deed of Gift and also refunded to his daughter the purchase price of £1,050. Government Ordinance No. 111 of 1866 records that “Jane Trower has made a donation to the Episcopal See of Gibraltar… of a tenement situate within the limits of the village of Sliems, in Strada Ridolfo…..On condition:
1st. That such tenement shall be used exclusively for Divine Service according to the rites of the Anglican Church, or for the accommodation of any Ecclesistic who shall be entrusted by the Bishop of Gibraltar pro tempore to perform such Divine Service, either in that same tenement or in any other place destined for such purpose within the limits of the said village or in that of St Julians, or for a school.
2nd That the said tenement, in the event that it should at any time permanently cease to be used for the above purposes, shall return to the said Jane Trower or to her heirs or successors to be by by her or by them possessed in the same manner as if the said donation had not been made
Holy Trinity church was consecrated on April23rd 1867 by Bishop Trower assisted by his Chaplainn, the Rev’d. Dr. Thomas Burbidge who was to be incumbent of the new church. On april25th the Malta Observer described the consecration and ended : “His Lordship the Bishop preached a most eloquent and excellent sermon forcibly pointing out the god uses to be made of Holy places.
The new church had been built in Early English style for the happy purpose of reminding the brethren of the village churches at home which always inspired one with good and pure thoughts”
THE EARLY YEARS
In 1868 a Sliema Church Endowment Fund was inaugurated by Bishop Trower with the sum of£100 and was increased in 1871 by the gift of £2,000 from his successor the Rt. Rev’d. Charles Amyand Harris. The capital was to be administered by the Society for the Propogation of the Gospel, the income from the first sum 2to be at the disposal of the Bishop of Gibraltar for the time being” and for the second “to be applied for the benefit of the Ministerfor the time being as a stipend
The Chaplain’s residence which stands next to the church has been known since 1905 as Bishop’s House and formerly as the Parsonage. It was built in 1855 and is believed to be one of the oldest buildings in Sliema
THE CHURCH TODAY
The Holy Trinity Chaplaincy in Sliema provides frequent services here. The chaplain respond to the needs of all who would request help; the British community, tourists and many other nationalities. The Chaplaincy has to be self-supporting. It receives no assistance from abroad and relies on the donations it receives to cover its costs. It is part of the Diocese in Europe and the world-wide Anglican Church. It does not seek to convert from other religions, but to provide Christian pastoral care and support.
Brass eagle in 1891.
Font in 1898.
Chancel screen in 1891.
Organ chamber in 1934.
Oak panelling in the nave in 1915.
Pastoral Staff in 1921
Henry Joseph Corbett Knight, the 6th Bishop of Gibraltar, Fellow of the College of Corpus Christi and the Blessed Virgin Mary of Cambridge received a gift of a Pastoral Staff from the Master, Fellows and Friends in Our Lord on the Festival of St James in the year of our Salvation 1911. Subsequently, in 1921 Bishop Knight bequeathed the Staff to Holy Trinity Church, Sliema, Malta.
Those who died defending Malta during the Second World War are commemorated in a number of ways. The St George window in the northwest corner of the nave is dedicated to the memory of the worshippers in this Church, members of HM Forces and Civilians who lost their lives through enemy action 1939 – 1945. On the west wall is a brass plate in memory of those who were lost, and to the right of the Chancel steps is a memorial to the men who served and fell defending the Island in the 10th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery. A detailed guidebook of Holy Trinity by Alan Keighley is available from the Friends of Holy Trinity. or buy it online from our Books and Bits page
A GUIDE TO HOLY TRINITY...........
The design of this Church is unusual in Malta; it was built for the English community and so reflects the shape of a village Church anywhere in the United Kingdom. The high pitched roof and simple two stage shape do focus our attention on looking up and beyond ourselves as we approach. The narrow, pointed East windows with their highly coloured roundels soar upwards in a similar vein. The delicate tracery of the chancel screen both highlights the holiness of the place but at the same time allows entrance and does not obscure what takes place at the altar.
The tracery of the wrought iron screen marks the move from nave to chancel, as do the three steps upwards. Again the symbolism is important; as we draw closer to God we climb higher. Although the Church is very plain in many ways, the need to use concrete symbols to express spiritual ideas is stilt very clear. So the choir stalls face inwards, the choir members are not giving a concert facing the audience, but leading the worship.The organ is here too, for in our way of worshipping music and singing is very important. We do have services which are said, but mostly we would involve everyone in singing hymns of praise.Probably when it was built, the altar in this Church would have been against the far wall, with the priest leading the service with his back to the congregation. In that approach, the priest stands in front of the people and represents them to God. Nowadays most churches like this one think of God as in the midst of us, and therefore the priest stands on the far side of the altar facing the people where we are gathered round the table as God’s family sharing in the Eucharist.Take time to absorb the impact of the three windows; this Church is dedicated to the Holy Trinity.
Here you will find our most recent addition, or rather a renewed original.
As you go through the gates between Bishop’s House and the church and follow the signs, down the steps to the Church Hall, you will pass the old cross which can be seen is considerably weather-beaten. The small garden plots alongside the steps have been transformed over the recent years from bare earth and stones into separate gardens. These gardens have been designed, planted and maintained by individual and family members of the congregation. The last garden on the right nearest the Hall, is the Sunday School garden, hence to ornaments which surround it.