The oldest church building in Nanjing is St Paul’s Church. It is the former Anglican church and looks typical of the British imperial era. Today the Chinese church is post- denominational, all registered churches of Protestant tradition are united under the Three Self Patriotic Movement/Chinese Christian Council. (TSPM/CCC).The Anglican epithet no longer applies to St Paul’s Nanjing though its appearance is familiar to Anglicans and still its worship retains some typically Anglican elements; a greater use of liturgy than some other CCC churches and a pastor who wears a clerical collar.
During the Cultural Revolution
(1966-1976) when churches were closed down in China and bibles confiscated, and for some years after that St Paul’s Church was used as a factory.
On the day it re-opened as a church in 1987 500 people turned up for worship to the astonishment of the new pastor.
Today, only 27 years later St Paul’s Church has 5000 members and meets in several other locations too. In the beginning the members were older adults who had sustained their faith throughout the long years of the ban but in the last few years more and more young people have joined the church so that 20% of the worshipping community is under 30. Between 150 and 200 teenagers and young adults are receiving baptism every year currently.