grounds and church structure of Old Saint Andrew's Parish Church are a
beautiful spiritual and aesthetic setting to get closer to God. Nestled
close to the Ashley River and containing ten acres of land, Old Saint
Andrew's property is comprised of a cemetery, an education building, and
the main church building dating back to 1706, the oldest surviving church in
Andrew's Parish was one of ten parishes created by the Church Act passed by theColonial
Assembly on St. Andrew's Day (November 30th), 1706. Construction of the
building began that year, and over the west doors there is a plaque commemorating
the date and first wardens. The original portion of the building (now
the nave or larger part) measured 40' by 25'. An early rector,
the Reverend William Guy, wrote that it was "built of brick, the roof
of pine, with five small square windows in it, and not near finished on
the inside, with a burying place of seven acres." In 1723, the building
was enlarged by the addition of two side transepts and the chancel, thus
completing the cruciform or cross-shaped appearance of the floor
plan. The brick of the nave is ballast brick, brought over on ships, with
that of the addition apparently made on the grounds. The new roof was
made of cypress and remains to the present.
tablets behind the altar, ordered by the Canons of 1604, are called a Reredos, and display the fundamentals of Anglican prayer, law,
and belief: the Lord's Prayer, Ten Commandments, and Apostles' Creed.
These are the originals installed about 1723, and are painted on hand-hewn
black cypress. Around 1820, they were set in the Honduran mahogany federal
capital, and were re-lettered, which accounts for their modern spelling.
They were retouched once, in 1855. The railing around the pulpit and the
altar is ante-bellum cast iron.
the pews were high backed which cut down on drafts, and for a number of
years they were sold as means of raising revenue. Those in the Church
now date from the extensive restoration carried out in 1855 by Colonel
the Honorable William Izard Bull of Ashley Hall Plantation. The flooring
is original-- the small tile pavers probably date from the original 1706
structure, with the larger stone pavers from the enlargement. The baptismal
font is original -- its base (of a later period) consists of three pelicans,
an ancient Christian symbol of the Atonement and fidelity, and an heraldic
device of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign
Parts, which first sent clergy to the parish.
surrounding area suffered greatly from Indian, Spanish, French, and British
wars, as well as number of hurricanes (the most famous being Hugo in 1989).
A historic preservation effort to ensure the proper restoration and to
guarantee the architectural integrity of the building resulted in a $1.5 million renovation of the church building, completed in time for Easter 2005. The parish raised more than half of the funds from private sources, and borrowed the remaining funds. Several preservation efforts are ongoing in order to retire the debt remaining from the renovation.
Old St. Andrew's celebrated its 300th anniversary with several special events beginning in November, 2005 and continuing through the end of November, 2006. These celebrations culminated with the celebration of the 300th anniversary at special services held November 19, 2006, and with the celebration of St. Andrew's Day on Sunday, December 3, 2006. Photographs of these special events will be posted on the website in the near future.