Photo Gallery

Christ Church (built 1741 onward)

Christ Church is the oldest functioning Protestant church in Malaysia. Construction began in 1741 on the centennial of the Dutch occupation, and it was completed in 1753. Before this date the Dutch used the old Portuguese church atop St. Paul's hill for their religious services.

Christ Church bears all the hallmarks of 18th-century Dutch architecture: a rectangular plan, massive walls, red granite plinths, and Dutch roof tiles. The ceiling is 12.2 meters above the floor and the roof beams are each cut from a single tree. The building's footprint is a perfect 2:1 proportion: 27 meters on the long end and 13 meters on the short. The pews are original, and so are the windows, but were reduced in size by the British in the 19th century.

The church is notable for some unusual objects in the interior (regrettably, photography is not permitted). The church bell is inscribed with the date 1698, suggesting that it was used for another purpose before the completion of the church. Most bizarre are tombstones incorporated into the floor of the church. The tombstones are written in Portuguese and were originally in St. Paul's Church inside the Portuguese fortress. However, they were removed by the Dutch when they occupied Melaka in 1641. Since it is unlikely that the highly religious Dutch would have used Catholic tombstones inside a Protestant church, historians surmise that they were installed there by the British.

The author Robert Tan Sin Nyen listed some interesting translations of the tombstones in his book (see Bibliography). Two in Armenian read as follows:

"Greetings! you who are reading this tablet of my tomb in which I now sleep. Give me the news, the freedom of my countrymen, for them I did much weep. If there arose among them one good guardian to govern and keep. Vainly I expected the world to see a good shepherd came to look after the scattered sheep."

"I, Jacob, grandson of Shamier, an Armenian of a respectable family whose name I keep, was born in Persia near Inefa, where my parents now forever sleep. Fortune brought me to distant Malacca, which my remains in bondage to keep. Separated from the world on 7th July 1774 A.D. at the age of twenty-nine, my mortal remains were deposited in this spot of the ground which I purchased." (Of course, since the tombstone was moved, it is not the spot of the Armenian's grave)

A final object of note inside the church is the brass Bible stand inscribed with the first verse of St. John in Dutch.

Bibliography:

All images 2005 Timothy M. Ciccone

Chin, Lim Bee. My Penang
  Lim Bee Chin, 2005. Malaysia

Khoo Joo Ee. The Straits Chinese: A Cultural History
  The Pepin Press, 1998. Amsterdam

Nyen, Robert Tan Sin. Historic Malacca Pot-pourri
  Aim Press Sdn Bhd., 1990. Melaka

Pintado, M.J. A Stroll Through Ancient Malacca
  Loh Printing Press (M) Sdh Bhd., 1978. Melaka

Shareen Corporate Communications Sdn Bhd. Melaka: The Historic City of Malaysia
  Malaysia Mining Corporation Berhad, 1992. Kuala Lumpur

Rowthorn, et. al. Lonely Planet: Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei
  Lonely Planet Publications Ltd., 2001. Malaysia

Yeang, Ken. The Architecture of Malaysia
  The Pepin Press, 1992. Amsterdam


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Anthony Koh posted on Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:56 am:

Visiting Malacca from 20 to 22 Sep. May i have mass timing on 21 Sep. Thanks.

Rencon Nainggolan posted on Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:36 am:

Saya bukan seorang yg suka traveling, jadi tidak mengenal tempat2 wisata baik dari teman2 maupun dari internet, cerita menarik dan sakral kunjungan saya ke gereja ini

Rencon Nainggolan posted on Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:36 am:

Saya bukan seorang yg suka traveling, jadi tidak mengenal tempat2 wisata baik dari teman2 maupun dari internet, cerita menarik dan sakral kunjungan saya ke gereja ini

Rencon Nainggolan posted on Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:21 am:

Gereja ini adalah tempat yang harus dikunjungin demi penyebaran Injil ke seluruh dunia

Helen posted on Sat May 31, 2014 1:42 am:

What time is your Sunday mass in English ?

sharadhini posted on Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:38 am:

thanks for helping me with my project !!! info really helps me to understand it

Suresh Rueben Vinugoppal posted on Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:52 am:

Hello. Would like to know what time is the Ash Wednesday Service?

Sevan posted on Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:22 am:

Hi . Is there any Armenian apostolic or protestant church or Armenian community in kuala lampur ?

Juliett posted on Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:41 am:

Hi! I've seen the Armenian inscription there, in the church, and would like to know from where it is there. How did this person, Jacob Shamier, appear himself there, so faraway from the country of his birth, and what was the purpose of his trip? What was he looking for there? Why is he buried there? I'll be pleased to hear the answers to all my questions. Thanks in anticipation.

Romela Hacopian posted on Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:49 pm:

May I know the church's opening times and what time is Sunday's mass?

NG PUI KUM posted on Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:17 am:

May i know the timing regarding your sunday service?

Jason Selvaraj posted on Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:04 am:

Does anyone know the history of the fresco of the Last Supper at Christ Church, Melaka. It is rather a unique piece.

Anthony posted on Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:09 am:

Hi, may I know the Sunday services timing. Thanks

Website: NA
Bridget Ho posted on Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:37 pm:

I am looking for a Pastor of a Christian church in Melacca. I would like to contact them to see if they could possibly visit my sister mother in law who is very sick in the hospital. We are Christian in Houston, Texas and do not have any contact with churches in Melacca

Adele posted on Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:29 am:

What time are your Sunday Services? I'm going to Malacca tmrw and tried calling your office but no answer.

Pabitra Bassak posted on Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:51 am:

Dear Sir,

lisa posted on Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:53 am:

What time is your Sunday service in English

Andrew Hwang posted on Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:08 am:

The tombstones were indeed Portuguese but were brought down and installed by the Portuguese wives of the Dutch when it became clear that the chapel on Sao Paolo Hill was to be abandoned when the Benedenkerk (later renamed Christ Church) was completed. These Portuguese wives wanted the tombstones of their ancestors and family members close to them. It was also a symbol of social standing, to be able to boast of a noble Portuguese ancestor to the Dutch.

Dectora Jeffers posted on Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:37 am:

When are your Easter services?