The first church to be established was the church of St Jago de la Vega in Spanish Town and this was built sometime between 1661 and 1664 on the ruins of the Spanish Church of the Red Cross which had been destroyed by the invading British troops between 1655 and 1660. It is this church, rebuilt and enlarged in the 18th and 19th centuries which became the Cathedral of the Diocese of Jamaica in 1843. The Cathedral has national and regional significance as it is not only the oldest Anglican cathedral outside of the British isles, but the site it occupies is perhaps the oldest site of continuous Christian worship in this hemisphere as a church stood on that same spot since approximately 1538.
After St Catherine, churches were established in the parishes of St Andrew (Half-Way-Tree); Vere, (Alley); Port Royal; St David’s, (Yallahs); St Thomas in the East (Morant Bay); St John’s (Guanaboa Vale); St Dorothy’s (Old Harbour) and Clarendon (Chapleton). As can be seen, some of these parishes no longer exist. Gradually churches were established in other parishes until all had a parish church. The original structures of these early churches were destroyed by earthquakes and hurricanes and over the years many churches were rebuilt several times. The absence of records makes dating the establishment of some of these churches difficult.