Christ Church, Yokohama

Christ Church, Yokohama (横浜山手聖公会 Yokohama Yamate Seikokai) is a historic Anglican church located in Yamate, Yokohama, Japan. Providing a center of worship for both Japanese- and English-language congregations the church traces its foundation to 1863, shortly after the formal opening of the treaty port of Yokohama. The church building has been rebuilt and refurbished on several occasions as a result of fires, earthquakes and the incendiary bombing experienced during the later stages of the Second World War.[1] Christ Church has been located on its current site in Yamate since 1901 and is part of the Yokohama Diocese of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai, the Anglican Church in Japan.

Christ Church
Christ Church, Yokohama.jpg
Christ Church, Yokohama
Coordinates: 35°26′17″N 139°26′37″E / 35.438007°N 139.443680°E / 35.438007; 139.443680
LocationThe Bluff, Yokohama
DenominationNippon Sei Ko Kai
Architect(s)Jay Hill Morgan
Years built1931


Christ Church, with its prominent position overlooking the location of the former Kannai foreign settlement, was the replacement for the original Yokohama garrison church. The garrison church, also called Christ Church, was built on lot 105 in Yamashita-cho, and frequented by members of the British military garrison, the British legation as well as American Episcopalians.[2] After the opening of the treaty port in 1859, Anglicans in the foreign community gathered for worship services in the British Consul's residence and later in the courtroom of the British Consulate. The first Consular Chaplain, the Rev. Michael Buckworth Bailey arrived in Yokohama in August 1862. After a successful fundraising campaign church services were first held at Christ Church's new building on 18 October 1863.[3] The church survived the great fire that destroyed much of the foreign settlement on 26 November 1866. Bailey retired on April 1, 1873, and was replaced by Acting Consular Chaplain, Revd. Edward W. Syle (17 February 1817 - 5 October 1890). Syle was born in Barnstaple, England, but after emigration to the United States as a young man graduated from Kenyon College, Ohio, and the Virginia Theological Seminary. The departure of Bailey and the British military garrison marked a change in the finances of Christ Church, Yokohama; the British Government withdrawing its annual consular stipend of 400 pounds per annum at the end of 1875.[4] A second, much larger, church building, constructed at the current location overlooking the foreign settlement in red, Glasgow brick, was designed by British architect Josiah Conder [5] and dedicated on Trinity Sunday, 2 June 1901. This second church structure, and much of the city, was destroyed by the Great Kantō earthquake on 1 September 1923. Between 1923 and 1930, a wooden church structure shipped from the United States, served as temporary sanctuary for the church congregation. The current, third, church building designed by American architect Jay Hill Morgan dates from 1931. Extensively damaged by incendiary bombing on 29 May 1945, and again by a fire in January 2005, the interior has been refurbished on several occasions. The exterior Ōya Stone cladding and tower are true to the original 1930s design.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Yokohama Christ Church". Church Archive Material. Church website. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  2. ^ Ion, Hamish A. (2009). American Missionaries, Christian Oyatoi, and Japan 1859-73. Vancouver: UBC Press. p. 55. ISBN 978-0-7748-1647-2.
  3. ^ Cortazzi, Sir Hugh (2000). Collected Writings. Abingdon, Oxon: Taylor & Francis. p. 207. ISBN 1-873410-93-X.
  4. ^ "Church Meeting". Yokohama: The Japan Gazette. 23 January 1874. p. 10.
  5. ^ "Our Roots - A History of Rising to the Challenge". Mitsubishi Corporation. Retrieved 7 June 2014.

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