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Archbishop Woodroffe to be laid to rest tomorrow

Archbishop Woodroffe to be laid to rest tomorrow

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Former Archbishop of the West Indies, the Most Reverend Sir George Cuthbert Manning Woodroffe will be laid to rest after a funeral service tomorrow.{{more}}

Bishop of the Windward Islands the Right Reverend Leopold Friday said in a release on Friday that the funeral will take place at 10 a.m. at the St George’s Cathedral, following a procession from Sir Cuthbert’s home at Murray Road, beginning at 9:15 a.m.

Sir Cuthbert, who was highly respected at home and in the wider Caribbean and deeply loved by the clergy and laity of his church, died last Thursday at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital after a short illness.

He was 94 years old.

Sir Cuthbert, born in Belmont, St George’s, Grenada to George and Evelyn Woodroffe, was baptised and confirmed at the St George’s Parish Church, Church Street, St George’s. His primary education was at the St George’s Anglican Junior and Senior Schools and his secondary education was at the Grenada Boys Secondary School. Upon completion of his secondary education, he was employed as a customs officer in St George’s. During this time he also played in the Harmony Keys Orchestra and was sometimes the organist at the St George’s Parish Church, Grenada.

Archbishop Woodroffe studied for the priesthood at Codrington College, Barbados in the early 1940s. He was ordained at the St George’s Cathedral, Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines as a deacon on April 4, 1944, and as a priest on February 12, 1945, on Shrove Tuesday (Carnival Tuesday).

He served in the Archdeaconry of St Vincent and the Grenadines for a short period after his ordination, and then migrated to Barbados in the latter part of the 1940s where he served at several parishes. During his time in Barbados he was also a master at Lodge School, St John. He was invited by Bishop Harold Piggott to return to the Diocese of the Windward Islands in 1967 and was appointed Rector and Sub-Dean of the Cathedral.

He became the first local and black Bishop of the Diocese of the Windward Islands and was consecrated on September 29, 1969 and served in this position until 1986. He was also the first local and black Archbishop of the Church in the Province of the West Indies, following his appointment in 1980 until he retired in 1986. He was knighted and also received an Honourary Doctorate from the University of the West Indies.

“Archbishop Woodroffe was a man of deep devotion and prayer; he said the Anglican Office of Morning and Evening Prayer and the Roman Breviary daily,” Bishop Friday said in a release.

“People travelled from different Parishes to listen to his inspiring, thought provoking and enlightening sermons for he was known as a good preacher and teacher.

“As Bishop of the Diocese of the Windward Islands he viewed the members of his clergy as his own sons and sought to relate to them as a father. He was one who always sought to resolve matters in a calm and peaceful way and ‘suffered fools gladly’. Above all, Archbishop was a man of great humour, and humility, he never forgot his humble beginnings, and he welcomed and embraced all – those who sat on thrones and even those who had nowhere to lay their heads. Although he became Archbishop of the Church in the Province of the West Indies he was ever conscious of his humanness, his mortality and his dependence on God. He was a man of great diligence and care.”

Sir Cuthbert was married to Eileen, Lady Woodroffe, nee Connell. They were parents to two children, Andrew and Paula.

The release from the Bishop said the Diocese is truly saddened by Sir Cuthbert’s death.

“The Diocese has lost a wise man of God, a holy man, and I dare to say a saint. The Diocese of the Windward Islands extends our deepest sympathy to his widow Eileen and two children Andrew and Paula and his many other relatives and friends. May he rest in peace,” the Bishop said.

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