Anglican Chapel of Salvador

The Anglican Chapel of Salvador was an Anglican church located in Salvador, capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia. First subject to the Church of England and then to the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil, the chapel was demolished in 1975 to make room for the Britânia Mansion residential building.

The Anglican Chapel of Salvador in a picture taken by Wilhelm Gaensly (1843–1928), circa 1870.


Anglicanism first arrived in Brazil in the early 19th century in the context of the transfer of the Portuguese court to Brazil. In 1810 Portugal and the United Kingdom signed the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation, which permitted the construction of Anglican chapels in Brazil,[1] as long as they did not resemble religious temples and did not seek the conversion of Brazilians.[2][3] That same year, the first Anglican services in the country took place – in English and aimed exclusively at foreigners.[1][4] The Anglican chaplaincy of Salvador was established in 1815 and its services were initially held in private residences.[5]

In 1811 Marcos de Noronha e Brito, then Governor of Bahia, authorized the construction of the British Cemetery in the Barra slope. An Anglican chapel – known as Saint George's Church or British Church – was inaugurated there for the burial ceremonies of Anglo-Brazilians and people from other nationalities.[5] After Independence, then chaplain Edward Parker bought a piece of land near the Campo Grande square for the construction of a religious building for the Anglican community of Salvador.[5] The Anglican Chapel was opened in October 1853 by the Saint George Society.[5] As in Rio de Janeiro, the local British community referred to the temple as Christ Church.[5] At the same time, the local government was finishing its urbanization works in the Campo Grande square, which would be used by the British for their cricket matches.[5]

The Anglican Chapel of Salvador was modelled after Classical architecture and was the second largest non-Roman Catholic church built in Brazil.[5] During the Empire, Catholicism remained the state religion of the country and non-Catholic churches were still forbidden to resemble churches, with towers and bells.[5] It was only after the Proclamation of the Republic – when Brazil was transformed into a secular state – that this obligation ceased to exist and Anglicans could finally held their services in Portuguese and seek to convert Brazilians.[5] That prompted the Episcopal Church to create the missionary district of Brazil, which would originate the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil after the merge of the British chaplaincies and the American missions in the mid-20th century.

In 1975, with the increase of real estate speculation in the area surrounding the Campo Grande square, a construction company negotiated with the Saint George Society the exchange of the site of the chapel for the construction of a new church in Pituba.[5] Therefore, the chapel was demolished that year, making room for the Britânia Mansion residential building.[5] The following year, the Saint George Society was no longer responsible for organizing the Anglican church in Salvador; that prerogative was given to the Anglican Parish of the Good Shepherd. In 2010 the parish transferred its headquarters to a new temple located in the Bonfim neighbourhood, while keeping its church in Pituba.[5] That same year, the parish was legally separated from the Saint George Society, which became a non-profit organization with no direct link to the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil, responsible only for the maintenance of the British Cemetery.


  1. ^ a b Kickhofel, Oswaldo. "Apontamentos de História da Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil". Centro de Estudos Anglicanos.
  2. ^ Calvani, Carlos Eduardo. "Anglicanismo no Brasil". Revista USP. São Paulo: n.67, p. 36-47, September/November 2005.
  3. ^ EVERY, Edward Francis. The Anglican Church in South America, Chapter I. 1915. Project Cantuária
  4. ^ Member Church - Brazil. Anglican Communion.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Antiga Igreja Anglicana de Salvador. Guia Geográfico - Antigas Igrejas do Brasil.