The Early Days
The original St. Mary’s Church was consecrated by the Right Revd George Frederick Hose, the Bishop of Singapore, Labuan & Sarawak, on February 13, 1887. The original church was a simple wooden building located on Bluff Road on top of a hill now known as Bukit Aman, where the headquarters of the Royal Malaysian Police is now located. The wooden church, which cost $1,363 to build, accommodated 95 people at full capacity. It served as the centre for worship and spiritual life for the small group of Anglicans around Kuala Lumpur during that period.
In 1893, a decision was made to erect a new building to house the growing congregation and a new site was found beside the Padang or Parade Ground (now known as Dataran Merdeka or Independence Square) of the Selangor Club bounded on the north side by the Gombak River.
The foundation stone was laid on Saturday February 3, 1894 at 5.30pm by the British Resident of Selangor, Sir W. H. Treacher, in a ceremony officiated over by Bishop G. F. Hose. The British Resident, armed with a silver trowel, laid the foundation stone of St. Mary’s: ‘In the Faith of Jesus Christ and in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.’
On February 9, 1895, the ‘first brick church erected in the native States of Malay Peninsula was consecrated by the same Bishop G. F. Hose in the presence of a large and representative congregation including the Rev H. W. Haines, Archdeacon Henham and Mr A. R. Venning.
The pipe organ installed in the church was built in 1895 by Henry Willis, the famous English organ maker who also made the organ for St. Paul’s Cathedral in London and the original Grand Organ of the Royal Albert Hall. When the Diocese of West Malaysia was established in 1970, St. Mary’s Church was made the seat of the Bishop of West Malaysia.
The back of the main Church was extended to accommodate a hall called the Jubilee Hall.
1968 – 1969
On 28th of April 1968 the foundation stone for a double storey annexe was laid by Rev Canon Paul G. T. Samuel. This annexe comprises an upper room, chapel rooms for administration and an office for the Vicar. In addition there are utility rooms, a kitchen and living quarters for the Verger’s family. This built-in, which replaced the ‘old wooden Parish Hall on stilts’, was dedicated by the Rt Rev Chiu Ban It, Bishop of Singapore and Malaya on 5th February 1969.
On 8th September 1983, Feast of St. Mary the Virgin, St. Mary’s Church was proclaimed the Cathedral Church of St. Mary the Virgin and duly dedicated by the Bishop of West Malaysia.
2006 – 2007
Between 2006-2007 several renovations to the buildings took place. The Multi-Purpose Hall was built and in addition to new offices, a library and an apartment was added.
Today, St. Mary’s still stands in its strategic location in the most historical and charming section of the nation’s capital. The congregation continues to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Kuala Lumpur and visitors to our city.