Hong Kong St.John Cathedral

Last updated by wendysong at 2014/5/28

Hong Kong St.John Cathedral

Hong Kong St.John Cathedral

The church on the Garden Road is the first Christian church built in Hong Kong and called the Cathedral by local people. Its current appearance is mainly preserved from the expansion program in 1865. During the Second World War, it served as a headquarter for the Japan army.

St. John’s Cathedral is nestled in Central District between the harbor promenade and Austin Mountain, with Victoria Peak, the highest point on Hong Kong Island rising up behind it. Though this Anglican cathedral’s grounds now sit amongst tall glass buildings such as the Bank of China Tower and Cheung Kong Center, it is not far from greener surroundings as it once was, being a brief walk from the Zoological and Botanical Gardens, Hong Kong Park, Chater Park and Statue Square. Visitors to the island will find many other attractions within walking distance.   


St. John’s first opened for services in 1849 serving the British expatriate population of the island which had recently come into their hands. Today it is a modern, active Christian congregation, with more than a few Chinese and Pilipino members. The cathedral survived the Japanese occupation of the Second World War (losing only its windows in the process), has been through several expansions, and played a role in caring for the large transient and poor population of Hong Kong, especially in the post war period.

Once the head Anglican church of much of Asia, today it is the head of the Diocese of Hong Kong. St. John’s community carries out many ministries, including care for migrant workers and counseling services and also organizes a charity walkathon for the annual Michaelmas Fair.


The building itself is in English Gothic style, expressing both the Early period, known most for its pointed “lancet” arches, and the Decorated period, which brought in detailed tracery around the windows and a great sense of soaring vertical space through narrower pillars and other design elements.

Comparatively the structure is not very ornate, however, it still carries a sense of majesty and elegance; the stained glass window of Christ behind the altar is impressive along with the carved wooden choir platforms. The cathedral has housed a choir along with an organ or harmonium since near the very beginning of its history, and you can still hear the traditional choir sing hymns every Sunday morning mass.

Little else in Hong Kong speaks so strongly to the island’s British and Christian heritage than this stunning landmark, amidst nearby and now taller towers. Its hopeful spirit, as its nearby residents, has survived the region’s most tumultuous periods intact.

Solo Adventure Tips:


 4-8 Garden Rd., Central, Hong Kong 

How to Get There?

Bus: The following buses No.3B, No.12, No.12A, No.12M, No.40, No.40M, No.103, No.103P, No.13, No.23, No.23B, No.H2 , get off at “St John’s Cathedral Bus Stop.” The Cathedral is behind the bus stop.

Metro: Take metro Island Line and get off at Central station walk out from D1 exit, head southeast toward Pedder Street, turn right at Pedder Street, after about 200 ft. turn left at Queen’s Road Central, after about 400 ft. turn right at Ice House Street, take 1st left into Battery Path, walk along Battery Path about 800 ft., the Cathedral is on the Left.

Ticket Price:

Opening Hours:

 Every day, 7 am to 6 pm 

More Tips:

Telephone: (852)2523-4157

Fax: (852)2521-7830

E-mail: general@stjohnscathedral.org.hk

Nearby Attractions:

Recommended Tours:

There are 1 comments on this topic

posted by "dalila" at 3/10/2011 2:23:00 PM

For those like me who like churches, monastories, synagogs, etc. , it's pretty interresting. Also full of historical connotations.


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