The oldest Christian church in the city is expected to undergo a complete renovation over the next two to three years to restore its appearance to the way it looked 136 years ago, city officials said yesterday.
Restoring the Holy Trinity Church will require "several million yuan," most of which is expected to be raised by the Christian Council and the Three-Self Patriotic Movement Committee of the Protestant Churches of China, officials said.
Currently, the two organizations are conducting feasibility studies on the project.
"Our government fully supports the renovation of the old church, which is not only an important religious site but an excellent historic building," said Wang Lin of the Shanghai Urban Planning Administrative Bureau.
She said most of the renovation fund will come from the two Christian organizations while her bureau will provide support.
Located at the corner of Jiangxi Road and Jiujiang Road, the church was built in 1869 and is also known as the "Red Church."
Architecture experts said the Holy Trinity Church is a typical Gothic-styled construction that covers more than 7,000 square meters.
It was named an excellent historic building and placed under municipal protection by the local government in 1989.
According to officials with the Shanghai Commission of Ethnic and Religious Affairs, there are now more than 10 million Christians in the country.
(Shanghai Daily July 29, 2005)