St. John's Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral located at 4 Garden Road, Central in Hong Kong. It was built in 1847 and completed in 1849, earning the title as the oldest Anglican Church in the Far East. It is also the oldest surviving Western ecclesiastical building in the city.
Its Gothic architecture, built in the shape of a cross, is a stark contrast to the modern skyscrapers that dominate the area. Due to its historical significance, the cathedral was declared a monument of Hong Kong in 1996.
Since holding its first service on March 11, 1849, the cathedral dutifully served as a sanctuary and place of worship to its Anglican congregation except when it was used as a clubhouse by the Japanese Imperial Army during the Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong between 1941-1945.
During this period, the building suffered extensive damage which led to its rebuilding after the Second World War. Its front doors were refurbished using timber salvaged from HMS Tamar, a British warship that used to guard the entrance to Victoria Harbour.
St. John's Cathedral also holds the distinction of being the only piece of freehold land in Hong Kong, granted in fee simple pursuant to s.6(1) of the Church of England Trust Ordinance (Cap.1014). All other land tenure in Hong Kong is leasehold in nature.
Apart from weekly services, the church also runs a number of community and social services. It is open to the public daily from 7:00am to 6:00pm for quiet prayer and meditation.
How to get there:
Take MTR to Central Station Exit D1; walk along Pedder Street to Queen's Road Central. Walk along Queen's Road Central to Battery Street.
Alternatively, take Bus 15C from the lay-by outside Central Pier 6 to the Lower Peak Tram Terminus on Garden Road.