Dear friends,

Hurricane season has only just begun – but one, named Beryl, has already made a path of destruction as it passed between St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada and directly over Carriacou at 222 km/hr.

The winds, heavy rains, and dangerous storms have reportedly caused significant loss and damage to homes, public buildings, and sea vessels in the three-island state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, and neighbouring Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Power outages have affected all the southern islands, and Saint Lucia, Martinique, and Dominica have possibly suffered varying levels of damage from Beryl. They have been without power and internet until yesterday and we know there are reports of loss of life. Expectations are that many people, particularly from vulnerable groups, have been displaced.

There is a very personal connection in this situation for Canon Bob and Connie Elkin as Carriacou was home to them for almost three years in the late 1990s. Yesterday at the Church of the Redeemer in Thessalon, Connie spoke of her and Bob’s time in Carriacou, sharing some of the news she has received from individuals affected by Beryl. She wore a beautiful red hat as the women in Carriacou would wear to church on Sundays.

Instead of pitying their tragic situation, Connie reported that their friends in Carriacou are doing what they do in every moment of difficulty or tragedy when it strikes. They gather in community and turn to God in prayer. “Praise God! They sang, for bringing them safely through this time. “May we work together to bring hope and healing.” The people on the ground ask for our prayers as they begin the process of rebuilding homes and lives.

Canon Bob Elkin and Mrs. Connie Elkin show a photograph of the Anglican Church in Carriacou which was completely destroyed by Hurricane Beryl on July 1st, 2024.

There is more we can do. Nicholas Pande from the Anglican Communion Office in London reports that a disaster fund has been set up through the Anglican Alliance|

Will Postma, the Executive Director of the Primate’s World Relief and Development fund has let us know that PWRDF are also accepting donations.

Please read Canon Bob and Connie’s reflection, “And Not to Yield” and join me in giving generously to this cause. Let us use the prayer written for this occasion for all those affected by Beryl that they may know God’s unfailing faithfulness.

Yours in Christ,



by Bob Elkin

Carriacou, the second largest island in the nation of Grenada received a direct hit from Hurricane Beryl last week causing  massive damage and breaking our hearts as it was home to Connie, daughter Katie and me for three wonderful, life changing years back in the late 90’s.  We went there to minister in the church and live amongst the people but it rapidly became so much more as we were welcomed into the island life and enjoyed so many new and exciting experiences.  Our time there began auspiciously as it rained when the plane landed in the middle of the dry season and the first parishioner reaching us on the runway grabbed me in a wet hug and shouted back to the others coming towards us:  “What a lucky priest we got!  Look at the good weather he brings with him!”   which  taught me something about what’s good weather in a dry climate.   It was the first of many teachings  we would experience in our time there.

The parish had two Anglican Churches on the island with   Christ the King having  about 600 people on the rolls while St. Francis claimed around  250 and just about everybody went to church.  There was an enthusiasm to worship which I just hadn’t experienced before and it became very habit forming.  We’d have big processions into church, we’d sing the hymns with gusto and it often took more than a half an hour to exchange the peace as everybody peaced everybody and did a little visiting sometimes while they were at it.  I quickly learned to swing an incense pot, sprinkle holy water and spread myself around a bit at the front as the congregation liked a bit of pizzazz in their service.  I was quickly placed  under the tutelage  of Mr. Cox who’d spent thirty years as a lay reader in England and was more Anglican than the Archbishop of Canterbury.  It was  months before I received  his grudging approval but it finally came and I believe him to be one of the finest teachers and Christians  I ever knew.  During the week a guide would take me up into the hills to bring home communion to those who were unable to walk to church on Sunday and I discovered that many people lived to a considerable age on Carriacou which I attribute to the lack of pollution, the fact that they walked  everywhere and ate  a healthy diet of foods  they grew  in their garden.  We ate more meat than many locals and learned that goat is delicious, fresh fish tastes wonderful and Lambi  which is what lives  inside a conch shell  looks like an inflated  rubber glove but is chewier.

The island had a long history and strong traditions that went back centuries.  Maroons were held when the dry season lingered and rain was required which were giant block parties where everyone was invited and I never saw one happen where it didn’t rain shortly afterwards.  We saw Quadrille dancing by the light of the moon, blessed  ferry boats, helped  launch a boat that had been years in the building  and were invited to enter fully into the life there and become part of all that went on.   The church held a week long mission that was so successful that we chartered a boat and took the whole thing over to Union Island to run it there.  These were exciting times.

I know nothing stays the same and changes came to Carriacou as it comes to all places.  Televisions became more  numerous and caused some changes in the culture as it often does and friends living  there have told us that not everyone goes to church now and Covid certainly had a big impact  but they were coming along bit by bit as most things are but then they got hit by Beryl as did Union Island  nearby.   I’ve received photos over the internet showing the main street strewn with roofs and wreckage and a photo of Christ the King Church reminded me of war devastation  pictures I’ve seen in the news.  It’s a sad time for the islands and everyone who has good feelings about them but they’ve had similar things happen in their  past and they’ll recover, especially with our help.  Archbishop Anne has outlined how we can give that help and I hope everyone will as the need is great and this part of the Christian family could certainly use some help and encouragement right now.  Thank you.

Destruction following Beryl’s wake in Carriacou