Built by the East India Company, St George’s Church was the first Anglican Church constructed in South East Asia. Plans for the Church and selection of the site, were approved by Governor William Petrie in 1816. Work began in 1817 and was completed in time for the celebration of Devine Service on Christmas Day, 1818. So began the 1st life of the Church.
The building was designed by Colonel J.L. Caldwell of the Madras Engineers and constructed by Captain Robert Smith of the Bengal Engineers. It was built on the model of St. George’s Cathedral, Madras, in the Georgian-Palladian style which can be traced back to 67bc. It is a style common for public buildings of that period. The Church was consecrated on 11 May, 1819, by the First Bishop of Calcutta, Rt. Rev. Thomas Fanshawe Middleton whose Diocese included all the Territories of the East India Company.
On December 11, 1941 six bombs were dropped on the Church and in 1942 the Church was looted, the pipe organ and pews destroyed, monuments and the baptismal font removed. Later the font was returned to the Church and is still used today. The Church remained a derelict ruin for almost seven years during the Japanese Occupation. A restoration fund was launched on St. George’s Day, 1946 and the church reopened for services on 11 July, 1948. So began the 2nd life of the Church.
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 (Warisan Negara) site. On February 27, 2011, St George’s Church was rededicated by the Bishop of West Malaysia, the Rt. Rev. Ng Moon Hing.
So began the 3rd life of the Church.
“Our Holy Faith is here established, to guide those who know the truth, and to be a light to lighten the Gentiles, if haply they may be turned away from their vanities to serve the living God”
The Rt. Rev. Thomas Fanshawe Middleton, Bishop of Calcutta, at the consecration of the Church on 11 May, 1819