Monday, April 3, 2017

All Saint's Church, Taiping (1886)

All Saints Church in Taiping is the Federated Malay States' first Anglican church, founded in 1886 (consecrated in 1887).

Located on Taming Sari main road, the church features a timber facade and gothic architectural design, with a small adjacent cemetery. Its cemetery is laden with beautifully crafted tombstones of European settlers and young servicemen who did not make it home.

It is considered one of Malaysia's precious heritage sites

The history of the church can be traced from 1883 when Col. R.S.F. Walker presided over a meeting to arrange for funds to be collected to pay for the stipend of a clergyman.

Designed by Australian architect D. Lefroy and built on a site donated by W.V. Drummond, a planter from Shanghai, the wooden church structure is made of meranti panels with hardwood frames, and a louvred tower with four tubular bells.

All Saints Church remains largely unchanged from the early days of its existence. Perhaps the most striking feature of the church is the stained glass window installed in 1911, which survived World War II intact.

All Saints is among only a handful of churches in Malaysia that still use the pipe organ. It is only used on special occasions and the servicing alone costs about RM10,000 annually.

Over the years, the church has undergone some repair work with the most recent restoration effort including the replacement of its leaky roof with Berlian Shingle wood from Sarawak. The new roof is a replica of the original structure.

A new multi-purpose hall was scheduled to be completed in 2008, with toilet facilities, administrative office, choir rooms, library, vicarage quarters and main hall that can accommodate about 350 people.

The church is currently in the midst of setting up a network to locate relatives of those buried at the All Saints cemetery.