St Peter's Church, Praya West [1871-1933] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

St Peter's Church, Praya West [1871-1933]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 
1871-01-01
Date Place demolished: 
1933-12-31

Completion date is mentioned in this document from 1925 http://www.legco.gov.hk/1925/h250514.pdf (thanks to Annelise for the link):

St. Peter's Church was erected in 1871 on a portion of the present site of the Sailors' Home. The cost of the building was defrayed by subscriptions raised in the Colony and elsewhere and by

Although that suggests the church was built for the use of the sailors, the history of the Sailor's Home (http://www.marinersclub.org.hk/history.html) says the church started out for use by the local community, then only later was it used by sailors:

1863: A Sailors' Home was founded in Hong Kong when a hostel building was provided at West Point by a number of local firms. The firm of Jardine Matheson took a prominent part in this St. Peter's Church was built in the compound & initially was used by locally resident Europeans and was later to become the Seamen's Church.

1884: The work of The Missions to Seamen began in Hong Kong and in 1885 permission was given for the Chaplain to use St. Peter's Church in the Sailors' Home compound.

The 1925 document above said the church was going to move:

The site of the Church is now required for public purposes and the authorities of the Church would prefer to have a quieter neighbourhood than the present one. The Government accordingly propose to grant a new site for the Church and to contribute the sum of $50,000 for the erection of a new Church.

However I'm not sure how long the church remained at this site before it was demolished.

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I've set it to 1933, based on that as the year religious services stopped at the church. The information comes from this history of Christ Church (thanks to Richard Wong for the tip):

CHRIST CHURCH may be regarded as a rebirth of St. Peter's Seamen's Church, West Point. St Peter's was opened in 1872. It was built to minister to merchant seamen within the compound of the Sailor's Home. It was sponsored by the large altipping and trading firms in Hong Kong, but after the First World War this support stopped, and the congregation was mostly students and staff of the Diocesan Boy' School, the University of Hong Kong and members of a number of Eurasian families.

In 1926, D.B.S. moved to Kowloon. Many of its old boys and Eurasian families also moved across the harbour. It was around this nucleus that Christ Church grew. When the redevelopment of the Diocesan Preparatory School at Christ Church was being planned in 1967, the Vicar affirmed that this link between D.B.S. and Christ Church, extending back to St Peter's, "it not merely sentiment but has sound reasons based on the mixed cultural background of church and school. A background which is likely to be more important, rather than less, in the years ahead."

The Executive Council of Victoria Diocese decided in May 1933 to sponsor a worshipping group in the growing Kowloon Tong area on an eighteen-month trial basis. It appointed the Revd Nelson V. Halward, Chaplain of St John's Cathedral, as orgamsing priest.

Worship at St Pcter's stopped in August I933. When the Kowloon Tong Anglican Church opened the next month in a large double room of a newly built house at 3 Duke Street, the altar and other furnishings were those of St Peter's, and in 1940 its bell was moved into Christ Church tower. In compensation for the resumption of St Peter's, a site in Kowloon Tong was set aside by government along with a sum of fifty thousand dollars.

read more ...

1864: Sailors’ Home was opened.

1872: St. Peter’s Church, built by Palmer & Turner, was opened.

After WWI: the Christians of St Peter’s Church were mainly from DBS, HKU and European families.

1933: Sailors' Home became Number 7 Police Station. Worship at St Peter's Church stopped in August. St Peter’s Church became the site of the Street Sleepers’ Shelter Society Trustees Incorporated.

1938: Christ Churchin Kowloon Tong was opened.

1940: Bell of St Peter’s Church was moved into Christ Church tower.

1948: St Peter’s Church became the sites for various organizations such as a club association for children, a cooperative association for laundering, a station for social service and the Street Sleepers’ Shelter Society Trustees Incorporated.

1953: The Street Sleepers’ Shelter Society Trustees Incorporated moved to the temporary huts in Blake Garden. St Peter’s Church was demolished.

1955: The Street Sleepers’ Shelter Society Trustees Incorporated moved to old Tsan Yuk Hospital in Western Street. New Western Police Station Building was completed in the original site of St Peter’s Church.

Dear Richard,

Thank you very much for this extra information. I see the demolition date should be much later than 1933.

Please do you remember where you found the information for 1953 & 1955 above?

The bottom of this page on the police website has a photo dated 1952 which shows the new Western Police Station Building already complete:

http://www.police.gov.hk/offbeat/781/eng/f02.htm

If that's true it means the church was demolished a few years earlier than 1953.

Regards, David

Hi David, Just wondering if you or anyone may know if any of the records from St Peters Church were kept and moved to the new church. I`m intersted in birth and or baptismal records for my my family from the late 1800s. I have a Carl Smith Card listing one baptism that was done there in 1874 so I was hoping to get a lead on others, that were 1875 to 1879. Being from the same family they would likely have all been done at the same church.

Thanks again, for all you do.

Brian Beesley

Hi Brian,

Jill has previously asked about records from St Peters (http://gwulo.com/comment/23992#comment-23992). We suggested trying Christchurch in Kowlon, and Jill replied (http://gwulo.com/comment/30563#comment-30563):

I have also had a negative reply from the pastor of Christ Church in regard to St Peter's

Has anyone else had any luck finding records from St Peters?

Regards, David

Hi David

I believe St Peter's Church must have been demolished later than June 1953. 

According to the newspaper account of the funeral for my grandfather, George W Coysh (see South China Morning Post  9(?)  June 1953)             ".A funeral service for the late Mr George William Coysh, an old and respected resident of Hong Kong was held at St Peter's Church (Missions to Seamen) yesterday. ...The Very Rev. F. S. Temple, Dean of St John's Cathedral, officiated at the service....."

Regards

Helen

I see the "Missions to Seamen" mentioned in the SCMP article, which I think means that Mr Coysh's funeral was held at a re-located St Peter's Church in the Missions to Seamen building in Wanchai: https://gwulo.com/node/17495

The church moved again to the new Mariner's Club in the 1960s, and it recently moved again while the Mariner's Club site is being re-developed, see http://sundayex.catholic.org.hk/node/5276