St John's Cathedral, Langzhong

St John's Cathedral (traditional Chinese: 聖約翰座堂; simplified Chinese: 圣约翰座堂; pinyin: Shèngyuēhàn zuòtáng; Wade–Giles: Shêng4-yüeh1-han4 tso4-tʽang2), today known as Gospel Church (Chinese: 福音堂; pinyin: Fúyīn táng; Wade–Giles: Fu2-yin1 tʽang2), is a Protestant church situated on Yangtianjing Street in the county-level city of Langzhong, Nanchong, Sichuan Province. Founded in 1908, the church was formerly the Anglican cathedral of the Szechwan Diocese of the Church in China,[2] and the largest Anglican church in Southwest China.[3] Originally designated as a pro-cathedral.[4]

St John's Cathedral, Langzhong
Gospel Church
St John's Cathedral, Paoning.jpg
St John's Cathedral, circa 1914.
31°35′N 105°59′E / 31.58°N 105.98°E / 31.58; 105.98Coordinates: 31°35′N 105°59′E / 31.58°N 105.98°E / 31.58; 105.98
Location5 Yangtianjing Street, Langzhong, Sichuan
DenominationSichuanese Protestant
Previous denominationChurch in China (under the jurisdiction of the Church of England)[1]
ChurchmanshipLow church evangelical
prev. cathedral
Founder(s)William Cassels (China Inland Mission)
DedicationJohn the Evangelist
Past bishop(s)William Cassels
Functional statusActive
Architect(s)George A. Rogers
StyleGothic Revival with traditional Sichuanese elements
ProvinceChina (formerly)
DioceseSzechwan (formerly)


Interior of St John's Cathedral, 1910s.
Survey of the mission work of China Inland Mission and Church Missionary Society in Paoning, published in 1913.

The first Anglican church in Langzhong (then known as Langchung, Paoning or Paoning Foo [Baoning / Baoning Fu]), the Trinity Church, built in 1893, had become too small as the number of converts had increased.[2][5]

After a series of problems, St John's was eventually built on Yangtianjing Street, under the supervision of William Cassels, one of the Cambridge Seven, and the then missionary bishop in the Diocese of Western China. Construction began in 1913 and finished in 1914.[6]

The cathedral was designed by the Australian architect George A. Rogers, and built in the fusion of neo-Gothic and traditional Sichuanese architectural styles.[7] It occupies an area of nearly 4000 square metres, with a cemetery, a library, a well, a flower garden and a vegetable garden. Cassels died in 1925 and buried in the garden of St John's.[6] Montagu Proctor-Beauchamp, also one of the Cambridge Seven, was buried in the cemetery of the cathedral in 1939.[8][9]

After the communist takeover of China in 1949, Christian Churches in China were forced to sever their ties with respective overseas Churches, which has thus led to the merging of St John's into the communist-established Three-Self Patriotic Church.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bird-Bishop, Isabella (1900). The Yangtze Valley and Beyond (volume II). London: John Murray. p. 5. Paoning is a great centre of China Inland Mission work. The directors of this body, which is undenominational, endeavour so far as is possible to group the missionaries of each ecclesiastical body together, and in this part of Sᴢᴇ Cʜᴜᴀɴ they all belong to the Church of England.
  2. ^ a b Wang, Meng (2010). ""剑桥七杰"与阆中圣约翰教堂" [The 'Cambridge Seven' and St John's Church in Langzhong]. 守望吾土吾乡 (in Simplified Chinese). Yinchuan: Ningxia People's Publishing House. ISBN 9787227044475.
  3. ^ "中国式教堂建筑巡礼之三:百年古老福音堂重放昔日光彩" [Chinese-style Church Architecture Tour 3: The Century-old Gospel Church Restored to Its Former Glory]. (in Simplified Chinese). 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  4. ^ Broomhall, Marshall (1926). W. W. Cassels: First Bishop in Western China. London: The China Inland Mission. pp. 289–290.
  5. ^ Gray, G. F. S. (1996). Anglicans in China: A History of the Zhonghua Shenggong Hui (Chung Hua Sheng Kung Huei). Episcopal China Mission History Project. p. 34. CiteSeerX
  6. ^ a b John (10 April 2019). "剑桥七杰之一:四川圣约翰堂首任主教盖士利传" [One of the Cambridge Seven: An Introduction to William Cassels, the First Bishop of St John's Cathedral in Sichuan]. (in Simplified Chinese). Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  7. ^ Wong, Sik Pui (2019). Lee, Po Ching (ed.). "劍橋七傑——蓋士利主教(上)" [Cambridge Seven: The Bishop William Cassels (part 1)]. (in Traditional Chinese). Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  8. ^ "2014馬禮遜學園史蹟之旅--華西古道行,成都、閬中、重慶7日遊" [2014 Historical Sites Tour Organised by Morrison School: 7-day Tour of Ancient Roads in West China, Chengdu, Langzhong and Chongqing]. (in Traditional Chinese). 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  9. ^ Wei, Wai-yang (2014). "閬中古城名醫多" [Famous Doctors in the City of Langzhong]. (in Traditional Chinese). Retrieved 27 May 2021.