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St. Paul's Church and Vicarage

Built in 1911, grade 1 historical building.

Historical Interest

St. Paul’s Church and Vicarage (聖保羅堂) in Hong Kong was built in 1911 to serve the spiritual needs of expatriate residents and visitors of the Anglican faith. Its founding emanated from the joint efforts of four individuals: Lam Woo (林護), Huang Mou-lin (黃茂林), Li Wei-zhen (李維楨) and the Rev. A.D. Stewart (史超域牧師). It has evolved from a small church for the expatriates living in Hong Kong since those early days into one that accommodates a wide range of churchgoers. In 1938, St. Paul’s Church Parish was put under the direct control of the Anglican Church of Hong Kong. During the Japanese Occupation, the building was used as a training school for gendarmes. In the post-war years of reconstruction, St. Paul’s Church expanded its activities and established the Sheng Kung Hui Kindergarten.

There is a saying that the Church’s greatest asset is its talented personnel, as evidenced by the fact that six out of the thirty-five bishops produced by the Church have become archbishops in Hong Kong and overseas. It is indeed a “cradle of church leaders.”

Architectural Merit

Architecturally the church is an interesting mix of styles, predominantly Neo-Gothic with features and motifs drawn from Tudor, Dutch and Classical Revival styles. The colour scheme externally consists of crisp white stuccoed walls accentuated by the blue-painted roof and mouldings. A Dutch gable and canted bay adorn one end of the Church and a Gothic tower dominates the other end. A variety of different window shapes contribute to the interesting architectural composition. Overall the effect is rather pleasing and makes the Church a rarity of its kind with obvious built heritage value.

Rarity and Built Heritage Value & Authenticity

In order to keep the building in good condition, renovations would take place regularly in the St. Paul’s Church. For example, the church has undergone a renovation process in mid 1980s, mainly in repairing works like re-painting of walls and repairs of furnishings. The Church is believed to have retained much of its original appearance and is therefore considered to be authentic.

Social Value & Local Interest

Administering to spiritual needs means that the Church has obvious social value to the community. The Church occupies a prominent position at the lower end of Glenealy in Central and together with the Bishop’s House form important religious landmarks of local and historical interest.

Group Value

St. Paul’s Church and Vicarage has historical and local interest and also group value being situated alongside Bishop’s House (Grade 1) and the Old S.K.H. Kei Yan Primary School (originally the south wing of St. Paul’s College, Grade 2). 
St. Paul’s Church and Vicarage is part of the “Conserving Central” initiatives was announced in 2009-10 Policy Address by chief executive Tsang Yam-kuen. The eight sites mentioned in the initiatives include the Central Government Offices Complex, the Central Market, the Central Police Station Compound, the former French Mission Building, Murray Building, the New Central Harborfront, the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Compound (Bishop Hill), and also Police Married Quarters on Hollywood Road.
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