Christ Church is an 18th-century Anglican church in the city of Melaka. It is the oldest functioning Protestant church in Malaysia.
The Dutch conquest of Malacca from the Portuguese Empire in 1641 saw the proscription of Roman Catholicism and the conversion of existing churches to Dutch Reformed use. The old St. Paul’s Church at the summit of St. Paul Hill was renamed the Bovenkerk (Upper Church) and used as the main parish church of the Dutch community.
In 1741, in commemoration of the centenary of the capture of Malacca from the Portuguese, the Dutch burgher community decided to build a new church to replace the ageing Bovenkerk. The foundation stone was laid by the Malacca born Captain of the Malacca Burghers, Abraham de Wind, on behalf of his father, Claas de Wind, a prominent Burgher who had been the Secunde (Deputy Governor) of Malacca. The church was completed 12 years later in 1753 and replaced the Bovenkerk as the primary Dutch Reformed Church in Dutch Malacca.
With the signing of the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, possession of Malacca was transferred to the British East India Company and in 1838, the church was re-consecrated with the rites of the Church of England by Daniel Wilson, Bishop of Calcutta and renamed Christ Church. The maintenance of the church was taken over by the Government of the Straits Settlements in 1858.
Originally painted white, the church and the neighbouring Stadthuys building was painted red in 1911 and this distinctive colour scheme has remained the hallmark of Malacca’s Dutch-era buildings since.
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