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St. George's Church

St. George's Church is a 19th-century Anglican church in the city of George Town in Penang, Malaysia. It is the oldest purpose built Anglican church in Southeast Asia. The church lies within the jurisdiction of the Upper North Archedeaconry of the Anglican Diocese of West Malaysia.

After the British East India Company took possession of the island of Penang in 1786, the spiritual care of the colonists was effected by Church of England chaplains. Early religious services were held at the chapel of Fort Cornwallis and later at the Court House located opposite the present church building.

Proposals for the building of a permanent church were submitted as early as 1810. Approval was obtained in 1815 to build the church based on the architectural plans drawn up by Major Thomas Anburey but the church was eventually built on the plans drawn up by the Governor of Prince of Wales Island, William Petrie, and modified by Lieutenant Robert N. Smith.

The church is built with a combination of Neo-Classical, Georgian and English Palladian architecture styles. Built entirely by Indian convict labour, it was built of brick on a solid plastered stone base.

The building was completed in 1818, church services were officiated by a Rev. Henderson. The church was consecrated on 11 May 1819 by the Bishop of Calcutta, Thomas Fanshawe Middleton.

The first significant event that took place in the church after its completion was the wedding of the Governor, William Edward Philips to Janet Bannerman, the daughter of his predecessor, Colonel John Alexander Bannerman on 30 June 1818.

A memorial pavilion was erected in 1886 in memory of Captain Francis Light during the Centenary Celebrations of the founding of modern Penang.

The building was significantly damaged during the Japanese occupation of Malaya and a lot of her interior fittings were looted. A restoration fund was launched on St. George’s Day, 1946 and the church reopened for services on 11 July, 1948.

A second restoration took place in 2007 when The Malaysian Government declared St. George’s Church one of Malaysia’s 50 National Treasures and a Heritage site. On February 27, 2011, St George’s Church was rededicated by the Bishop of West Malaysia, the Rt. Rev. Ng Moon Hing.

Interior of Church is currently closed to visitors & tours group without prior arrangements. Beautiful gardens, monuments and history is available to public 07:30 am till 17:00 pm daily.

Trip Suggestion : 15 minutes


Operating Hours : Daily 07:30 am till 17:00 pm

Admission Fee : Free

Address : Lebuh Farquhar, 10450 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Location by Google Map

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Last modified on Saturday, 03 August 2019 16:14
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