All Saints Church, Galle Fort, Sri Lanka


Situated within the Galle Fort, which was declared as a "WORLD HERITAGE SITE" in 1988 by UNESCO


About All Saints Church, Galle Fort
The first Anglican Bishop of Colombo, Rt. Rev. James Chapman, initiated the project to build an Anglican church in Galle. The foundation for the church of All Saints' was laid, within the Galle Fort, by the Second Bishop of Colombo, Rt. Rev. Dr. Piers Calverley Claughton on Friday, 30th October 1868 at 4.30 in the afternoon. Under the guidance of Bishop Claughton and the dynamic leadership of Rt. Rev. Dr. George Schrader, later Archdeacon of Colombo, the building was completed and consecrated on 21st February 1871.
All saints' church Galle Fort, has lived through over 140 years of changing history in the Island of Sri Lanka. Facing the dazzling blue sky and ocean and the black granite ramparts of the Dutch fortress in Galle.

Rt. Rev. Swithin Winston Fernando, Vicar of Galle (1947 - 48) and 11th Bishop of Colombo writes during the 125th anniversary celebrations;
"All Saints Church was consecrated in 1871. The Anglican congregation in Galle which, up to then, worshipped in the Dutch Church then moved over to this new church less that 100 yards down the same Church Street. In recognition of the dedicated ministry of Dr. Schrader as the first Incumbent, a large bell was placed in his memory in the centre dome of the church in 1876. When in the mid nineteen sixties, for some security reasons the bell was lowered and was left to be sold.. It was quickly bought for the diocese and it now rings loud and clear in the cathedral."
Bishop Swithin continues;
"All Saints Galle has been considered to be one of the most beautiful of all churches in Sri Lanka. The beauty of the building was well matched by the beauty of worship offered to God by its congregation in the church. Those beautiful church services are memories that will never be erased from the minds of those who were present at the time.

"Worship in the church flowed into the life of the community, with members of this congregation taking a meaningful and effective role in the life of the town. All Saints College was an identified ministry of this congregation to the entire community in and around Galle.

"Worship, in the church, however, was limited to the English language alone, Sinhala being used in the daughter churches in Kitulampitiya and Buona Vista. When, therefore, the English - speaking community dwindled in numbers the worship and work of All Saints got reduced to
near extinction. It was at this stage that the Archdeaconry of Galle was formed. Under the guidance and leadership of Archdeacon Patrick Fernando a new chapter, or a new volume in the history of the Church in Galle (and indeed the Southern Province) opened out."

More Information:

Origins and the Growth of the Anglican Church in Galle
Laying of the Foundation Stone and Consecration Service
Design, Architect and Architecture
The Marriage Register
The Burial Register and Cemetery
Register of Baptism
The old Bell. The new Bell
Became a House of Refuge for the Oppressed in July 1981
 

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