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Village History
The Collegiate and Basilica of Gharb
After Gharb became a parish the villagers needed to plan a new church. On the 27th September 1698 the Grandmaster gave permission and choose the site called 'ta' Nawrata'. Architect Guzeppi Azzoppardi made the plans as 'iz-Zghir' from Birgu Malta. The builder Dijonisju Carnemolla from Gharb began the works and encouraged everyone to help in the building of the new church. In 1699 the parish priest, Fr Gamri Camilleri with the permission of Bishop David Cocco Palmeri put some coins and silver medals under the foundation stone. The works continued for 15 years and stopped for about 10 years when the builder died. In 1717 the parish priest Guzepp asked the Grandmaster to give him 4 tumuli for the church parvis. On April 1717 the works on the building started again. Fr Frangisk Adeodatao Formosa vicar of the Bishop of Gozo blessed the main altar, celebrated the mass and put the Blessed Sagrament in the Tabernacle.
On the 26th October 1729 the church was consecrated. On 19th May 1774 POPE CLEMENT XIV raised the church and on the 2nd October 1774 the first Cannons took their possession. They served as priests by saying the Office for 23 years.
The bells were made in 1732 and coasted 3800 'skudi'. The big one weighs 2448kg and cost 125 'skudi'. These were raised to steeple by the people themselves using beast and other tools.
The organ was used for the 1st time on the 15th September 1912. On the 3rd January 1963 Pope John XXIII nominated the Arcipriest as Protonaotary Apostolic. At that time Can Arcipriest Fr Guzepp Borg was the Arcipriest. On the 28th November 1967, it was joined with the great devotion Ta' Pinu Basilica with all honors and privileges of a minor Basilica and the chapter became to funcion in the same Basilica.
It was Christmas 1971 when the Hebron choir under the direction of canon Hon Achille Cauchi sang for the first time in the parish church.
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