Christ Church, Jerusalem

Coordinates: 31°46′34″N 35°13′45″E / 31.77611°N 35.22917°E / 31.77611; 35.22917
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Christ Church
Christ Church, Jerusalem
Christ Church is located in Jerusalem
Christ Church
Christ Church
Location in Old Jerusalem
31°46′34″N 35°13′45″E / 31.77611°N 35.22917°E / 31.77611; 35.22917
LocationOld City, Jerusalem
Founder(s)London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews
DedicationJesus Christ
Consecrated21 January 1849
Functional statusActive
ProvinceEpiscopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East
RectorDavid Pileggi
Altar with Hebrew inscription

Christ Church, Jerusalem (Hebrew: כנסיית המשיח), is an Anglican church located inside the Old City of Jerusalem, established in 1849 by the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews. It was the original seat of the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem until the opening of St. George's Cathedral, Jerusalem in 1899; the compound also included the 19th century British Consulate.[citation needed] From its inception, Christ Church has been supporting a form of Christianity focused on Jesus' Jewishness, offering Christian texts translated into Hebrew by its own leaders.[1]

The building itself is part of a small compound just inside the Jaffa Gate opposite King David's citadel. Consecrated by Bishop Samuel Gobat in 21 January 1849, it is the oldest Protestant church building in the Middle East.

Its congregation is mainly composed of English-speaking Jewish Christians, with both Christian and Jewish festivals being celebrated.[2]


Originally named the "Apostolic Anglican Church", it was consecrated as "Christ Church" on 21 January 1849 by Bishop Samuel Gobat.[3] Three architects worked on the church: the first (William Curry Hillier) died in 1840 of typhus,[4] while the second (James Wood Johns) was dismissed and replaced by Matthew Habershon in 1843.

The construction of the church was met with considerable local and Ottoman opposition. Lord Shaftesbury and other prominent Restorationists lobbied consecutive Foreign Secretaries in its advocacy. On 18 March 1845 a petition signed by 1,400 clergy and 15,000 laity was presented to Lord Aberdeen in support of the project.[5][6]

Christ Church was the seat of the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem until the opening of St. George's Cathedral, Jerusalem in 1899.

Prior to the outbreak of the First World War, the Christ Church compound was also the site of the British Consulate.[7] The building survived the 1947–1949 Palestine war and the Six-Day War intact and continues to function as an Anglican church with several English, Arabic and Hebrew speaking congregations.[8] The current rector is David Pileggi.

The London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews (now known as the Church's Ministry Among Jewish People or CMJ) helped finance the church's construction.


In the church's apse a plaque contains the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments, all three in Hebrew.[1]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Klawans, Jonathan. The Shapira Fragments. Biblical Archaeology Society (BAS), 21 April 2022. Accessed 24 April 2022.
  2. ^ "Christ Church Overview". CMJ Israel. Archived from the original on 2016-02-04. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  3. ^ Crombie, Kelvin (2006). A Jewish Bishop in Jerusalem. Jerusalem: Nicolayson's Ltd. p. 241.
  4. ^ Johannes Friedrich Alexander de le Roi, Die evangelische Christenheit und die Juden unter dem Gesichtspunkte der Mission geschichtlich betrachtet (11884), Berlin: Reuther & Reichard, 31892, p. 180, (= Schriften des Institutum Judaicum in Berlin; No. 9)
  5. ^ Lewis, Donald (2 January 2014). The Origins of Christian Zionism: Lord Shaftesbury And Evangelical Support For A Jewish Homeland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 380. ISBN 9781107631960.
  6. ^ Hyamson, Albert M., The British Consulate in Jerusalem in Relation to the Jews of Palestine, 1838-1914, ISBN 978-0404562786, cited in Lewis, D.
  7. ^ Crombie, A Jewish Bishop in Jerusalem, 243.
  8. ^ Crombie, Kelvin (2008). Restoring Israel: 200 Years of the CMJ Story. Jerusalem: Nicolayson's Ltd. p. 188.

External links[edit]

Media related to Christ Church (Jerusalem) at Wikimedia Commons