Thursday, October 17

Southeast Asia’s oldest Anglican church restored to its former glory

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GEORGE TOWN: The priest of the 19th century St George’s Church is grateful that the church has return to its former glory thanks to the RM1.8 million restoration project under the National Heritage Department’s Ninth Malaysia Plan.

GOOD AS NEW: Samuel shows the new look of the 198-year-old St George’s Church after the restoration project. — Bernama photo

Venerable Charles Samuel said church members were very grateful to the government’s contribution in the refurbishment of the oldest Anglican church in Southeast Asia. The restoration project was completed in November last year.

He told Bernama in a recent interview that church members were proud of the church.

During the nine-month period while renovations were on going, church-goers attended Sunday services at a hall in the premises.

Samuel, who was posted here early this year, said the reopening of the 195-year-old church marked a milestone in the church’s history.

“The church was built in 1816 and its architecture is based on Western neo-classical style and George Palladian design,” he said, adding that the church is lit up from 7.30pm to 10pm every night.

The church attracted more visitors daily following the restoration, he said.

During the first mass in February, it attracted Church-goers from more than 38 countries.

It has also become popular among foreigners especially after the restoration.

“We are currently planning to build a tourist booth, proper fencing and an exhibition hall on the two-hectare land, but we lack funds. We hope that the government or multinational companies can contribute towards this,” he said, adding that the operational cost for the church is about RM5,000 a month. — Bernama

The church, located at the corner of Lebuh Farquhar and Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, was declared a national heritage in 2007. — Bernama