An architectural gem in Chinese renaissance style
Chinese renaissance palace for Christ
St Mary’s Church looks like a modern version of a Chinese palace. And that’s exactly how it was designed; a mix of oriental architectural motifs and a modern-style brick building. This is one of the city’s finest examples of Chinese Renaissance style, which was hugely popular from the 1920s to the 1940s. No costs were spared to build its four-tiered roof with green glazed Chinese roof tiles, red entrance columns, a snow-white Christian cross and double staircase with stone balustrades.
A palace for Christ the King
St Mary’s was built in this lavish style to sway local believers. According to clergy staff back in the day, “St Mary’s Church was designed to as a palace fit for Christ the King”. St. Mary’s was designed by a famous local firm, Chau & Lee Architects, who also created the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce Building and the Sham Shui Po Chinese Public Dispensary. This was the only building in their portfolio designed in this eclectic style!
Have a look inside to see the intricate decorations and motifs - they’re extraordinary. The church's stained-glass windows are designed in a unique mix of East and West. The panel is octagonal - also known as ‘bagua’- and it has a Christian cross motif in the centre, but the four quadrants are devoted to a typically auspicious Chinese motif: the bat. Nice to know: the large stained-glass panel dedicated to Virgin Mary was designed by renowned theologist Reverend Polam Wong.