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Foreign Christians have been free to worship in Thailand for nearly five hundred years. The first to do so were Portuguese traders who settled outside Ayutthaya early in the 16th century. The remains of three Roman Catholic churches and a graveyard can still be seen.

Ayutthaya was destroyed in 1767, and it was ninety years before Westerners began to settle in Thailand again, welcomed by King Mongkut (1851-1868). Protestant and Roman Catholic missionaries came and worked without hindrance amongst the Thai and Chinese communities.  They built hospitals and schools, many of which are still flourishing.  There were also many fine Roman Catholic churches. There was a Protestant Cemetery (1853), which is still in use, but no Protestant church. Instead, Protestants used to meet for informal services in the homes of American missionaries.

The Chapel by the River

On 3rd June 1861, a group of non-Roman Catholic Christians asked H.M.King Mongkut for land to build a church.


Clergy at the Chapel by the River


1864-1892 American missionaries


1894-1900 W.G.Greenstock (Chaplain)


1900-1901 American Presbyterian missionaries


1901-1902 W.H.Robins (Chaplain)


1902-1903 American Presbyterian missionaries


1903-1905 Courcy Blakeney (Chaplain)


On 26th July 1861 King Mongkut generously gave land by the river to the “Community of foreigners who are of Protestant Christian faith”. The British Government agreed to pay part of the cost providing it could take control of the care and management of the church.

The Protestant Union Chapel (also called “The English Church”) opened on 1st May 1864. The preacher at the opening service was the Revd. S.Mattoon of the American Presbyterian Mission.

Canon William Greenstock came as Chaplain in January 1894, supported by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG).

The first confirmation was held in the chapel on 16th February 1896. It was conducted by the Rt. Revd. George Frederick Hose, Bishop of Singapore Labuan & Sarawak.

On 7th April 1904 H.M.King Chulalongkorn graciously gave permission to sell the river site and provided land off North Sathorn Road for the erection of a new church. A procedure for constructing the new church was approved by the church committee.

Christ Church

The church building was dedicated on 30th April 1905: the service was conducted by the Chaplain, the Revd. Courcy Blakeney assisted by Canon William Greenstock of the SPG and the Revd. J.Carrington, Secretary of the American Bible Society


Chaplains at  Christ Church


1905-1907 Courcy Blakeney


1908-1920 Dr H.J.Hillyard


1920-1921 C.R.Simmons


1921           F.Dowland Ryan


1922-1932 C.R.Simmons


1932-1935 E.Edwards


1935-1940 C.W.Norwood


1940-1941 C.G.Eagling


1941-1945 Chaplain interned during the Second World War


1945-1946 British Army Chaplains


1946-1951 C.G.Eagling


1951-1955 W.H.Fowke


1955-1958 J.L.Gilmour


1958-1962 E.J.Pulman


1962-1963 Interregnum-Diocesan Clergy

On 23th July 1937 the British Government relinquished control of the church.

During World War II the Chaplain was interned: the church’s affairs were looked after by the Scandinavian community.

Jubilee celebrations were held on 1st May1955. H.M.King Bhumipol graciously sent a message of congratulations and a jubilee booklet was published.

In 1956 services began to be taken in Saigon, Phnom Penh and Vientiane as circumstances demanded.

An Anglican Church

The Revd. J.E.Ironside was appointed Vicar of Christ Church in 1963.


Vicars at Christ Church


1963-1966 J.E.Ironside


1966-1971 D. N.Bowers


1971-1973 P.D.Kingston


1973-1981 Canon John Taylor, O.B.E.


1982-1984 Ian Bull


1984-1986 Interregnum-John Morrett (Acting Vicar)


1986-1995 Canon Dr Monty Morris


1995-1997 Bruce McNab


1998-2004 Stephen Gabbott


2004-2005 Andrew Dircks


2005-2006 Stephen Gabbott (Interim Vicar)


2006-          Peter Cook

Outreach to Karen displaced persons began in 1982 at the request of the Anglican Consultative Council.

In October 1991 the Revd. Gerry Khoo and his wife Dorothy arrived to further the initiative of the Revd. Monty Morris in organizing a Thai-language congregation.

A constitution was approved at an Annual General Meeting on 9th March 1997.

The Revd. Stephen Gabbott became Vicar in 1998. The church’s stance changed from broad church to Conservative Evangelical.

The centenary of the church building on Convent/North Sathorn Road was celebrated on 30th April 2005, and the book "A Century of Fellowship" was published.

The Anglican Church in Thailand

The Anglican Church in Thailand was registered with the Evangelical Fellowship of Thailand on 9th May 1994.



Anglican Church in Thailand / Thai congregation


1991-2003 Gerald (Gerry) Khoo

2004-          Yee Ching Wah

2010-          Pairoj Phiammattawat


Christ Church Banchang was established in 1996.

The Rainbowland Child Development Centre opened on the ground floor of the old vicarage in 1998.

Christ Church Sawang Daendin was established in 1999.

A Church was planted in Korat Province in 2002.


W.H.Fowke, “A Century of Worship, 1864-1964”, Christ Church Bangkok, 1964

Christ Church, “A Prayer Book for Thailand”, Christ Church Bangkok, 1989

Peter Norman, "Spiritual Oasis", Christ Church Bangkok, 1994

Members of the congregations of Christ Church Bangkok, past and present, "A Century of Fellowship", Christ Church Bangkok, 2005

Canon John Taylor OBE, “A Man With a Mission”, Book Guild Publishing, Sussex, England, 2009; ISBN 978 1 84624 360 8 (Pages 357 – end)

Monty MorrisA Lethal Occupation – but some people thrive on it:  modern parables from a Christian island in a Buddhist sea Copyright Publishing, Brisbane, 2011; ISBN 978 1 876344863

“A Service Book of the Anglican Church in Thailand”,The Anglican Church in Thailand, Bangkok, 2011