Imperial to International
A History of St John’s Cathedral, Hong Kong
ISBN : 978-988-8139-87-3
Sheng Kung Hui: Historical Studies of Anglican Christianity in China
376 pages, 6″ x 9″, 5 color and 35 b&w illus.
Founded in 1849, St John’s Cathedral is the oldest neogothic cathedral in East Asia and China’s oldest surviving Anglican church still in operation. In its early decades it was a centre of colonial life in Hong Kong. More recently, it has opened itself widely to other communities in Hong Kong, becoming a truly international church with services held in several languages. Drawing on extensive archives, and written in a lively style, this first comprehensive history of St John’s traces the cathedral’s roles as a colonial parish church and as a bishop’s seat for a diocese that once covered the whole of China and beyond. It also discusses St John’s significance as a cente of worship for a modern cosmopolitan community.
Imperial to International is the first volume in the new series Sheng Kung Hui: Historical Studies of Anglican Christianity in China, co-published by the Hong Kong University Press and the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui.
“Wolfendale has produced a lively and engaging tale, from the first English merchant presence in Hong Kong to the 21st century center of Christian life, learning, and service that is St John’s Cathedral. This is no dry history, but a stimulating, at times ironic and humorous, very human account of the development of an indigenous and international Christian community. This is the story of becoming ‘a house of prayer for all people’.” —The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church
“In this spirited narrative, Stuart Wolfendale charts how St John’s Cathedral grew from a colonial parish and official church of government into a truly international religious center and monument of Hong Kong’s historical landscape. Like that of Hong Kong itself, the history of St John’s is one of successes and setbacks, progression and regression. Generously illustrated, and neither hagiographical nor judgmental, this will remain the definitive account of one of Hong Kong’s oldest and most important churches for many years to come.” —John Carroll, author of A Concise History of Hong Kong