History

DSC02244

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, many foreigners were attracted to Valparaíso, then the principal port of call on the shipping route to and from Europe round  Cape Horn.

A considerable number of British and German nationals laid down roots and settled on the Alegre and Concepción hills in Valparaíso, and naturally wanted to keep their own religion. They met for Sunday worship in  private homes and schoolrooms.

Eventually enough money was raised to buy land and build a Church. This was designed and built by William Lloyd, an engineer who also participated in the construction of the Valparaíso- Santiago railway.

The church covers an area of 503 square metres. The curved oak rafters support a lovely wooden ceiling; the building is made of brick and was completed by 1858.

The exterior shows the absence of a spire or bell tower, as there was no religious freedom in Chile at the time of construction and therefore the Church had to keep a” low profile.”

The main body of the Church is the Nave, there is a Choir –Chancel and Baptistry. The Altar is set up high with a large stained glass east window in three sections behind it, depicting scenes from the life of  Saint Paul, patron saint of the Church. The Ten Commandments can be read on both sides of the Altar.

FOTO ANTIGUA 1

 

ORGAN

The Queen Victoria Memorial Organ  is visible on either side of the choir stalls. It was brought from England and installed as a memorial to Queen Victoria. The dates 1837-1901, which catch the eye, commemorate the years of her reign; and the initials embossed in gold VIR(Victoria Imperatrix Regina) can be clearly seen.

Unfortunately the organ was partially destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and was finally rebuilt in 1910.

The organ consists of 33 “families” of pipes, each fulfilling a different function. There are a total of 1.604 pipes of different sizes situated behind the original decorated ones. The tones of the organ vary from a mere whisper to majestic beauty which resounds throughout the Church.

This organ was built in England by Forster and Andrews, based on the model designed by Mr. Craig Christie.

A delicate rood screen separates the Nave from the Chancel and Choir. There is a finely carved pulpit to the left, and to the right, a massive brass lectern from which the Lessons from the Bible are read.

The beautiful stained glass windows give light and life to the Church. They portray different spiritual messages, and were donated in memory of loved ones.

The two brass plaques at the back of the Church are in memory of members of the Valparaíso British community who lost their lives in World Wars I and II. There is another memorial recording gratitude to Almighty God for deliverance from the great earthquake in 1906 which devastated Valparaíso.

The Church registers show us the names and professions of people who have worshipped in this Church over the years. These include captains , merchants ,

Bricklayers, shipwrights, plumbers, musicians, piano forte makers, typists, blacksmiths, soap and candle makers , artists, engineers etc.This shows that St. Paul’s  has always been an open and welcoming Church.

Saint Paul´s Church was declared a Historical Monument in 1979.

 


 

Reseña Histórica

 
Construída por el ingeniero y arquitecto inglés William Lloyd, en 1858, el diseño de la Iglesia Saint Paul debió someterse a la legislación vigente, que establecía el catolicismo como religión oficial del Estado de Chile, con exclusión de cualquier otra. Esto explica la baja altura del templo, el reducido tamaño de ventanas, la ausencia de cruz exterior, campanario y puerta principal. A simple vista debía parecer un inmueble más en el cerro.
 
William Lloyd  construyó numerosos puentes ferroviarios de acero en nuestro país, esto le permitió también construir un templo de gran solidez estructural, que resistió sin problemas el gran terremoto de 1906. No obstante , en los espacios interiores de la Iglesia domina el estilo neogótico inglés. Con una sola nave, las cerchas de nobles maderas en el techo, junto con los arcos de las ventanas y del altar, imponen la forma ojival.
 
Por otra parte una serie de hermosos vitrales decoran sus muros, así como el baptisterio y el altar, desde donde impera sobre el interior un conjunto de tres ventanas con escenas de la vida de San Pablo.También a lo largo de todo el templo se encuentran placas de bronce , que recuerdan a distintos feligreses de esta Iglesia. Junto a la entrada destacan placas que recuerdan a los voluntarios anglo-chilenos fallecidos durante la Primera y Segunda Guerra Mundial.
 
ÓRGANO
 
Especial mención merece el Queen Victoria Memorial Organ, imponente órgano instalado entre 1902 y 1903, en honor a la soberana fallecida en 1901. Este instrumento , donado por la comunidad  británica residente en en Valparaíso, fue construído en Inglaterra por la firma Forster & Andrews, basándose en el modelo diseñado por Mr. Craig-Christie.
 
La importancia histórica de la Iglesia Saint Paul como Monumento Nacional (1979) radica no sólo en su trascendencia arquitectónica, sino también ser el eslabón único para entender el proceso de integración de los inmigrantes británicos y su legado cultural a nuestro país.
 
Gracias a las donaciones recibidas se ha podido seguir adelante con la restauración de esta Iglesia y así preservarla para las futuras generaciones.
 

for more information, please click this link (para mayor información, descargue el siguiente archivo) Presencia_birtánica_en_Valparaíso_Revista_Bicentenario_2007