Construction on the Gothic-style St. John’s Cathedral was completed in 1849, and services have been held every year since except for during World War II, when the Japanese military used it briefly as a social club. The cathedral was heavily damaged in the war, its wooden doors were remade from timber salvaged from HMS Tamar, a British warship tasked with guarding Victoria Harbour.
Today, St. John’s is one of five cathedrals in Hong Kong, the oldest surviving Western ecclesiastical building in the city and among the oldest Anglican churches in the Far East. Much of the original structure remains, including the additions made in 1873. In 1921 a Memorial Cross was installed next to the cathedral to honor soldiers killed in World War I, and in 1952, it was replaced with a Celtic cross with an inscription commemorating lives lost in both World Wars.
The cathedral houses the seat of the Archbishop of Hong Kong. Most services throughout the week are conducted in English with a few special services in Mandarin, Cantonese and Filipino.
St. John’s Cathedral is located in Central District a short walk from MTR Central Station Exit D1.