Third Station/ Chinese Rhenish Church Hong Kong
Address/ 86A Bonham Road
The German Barmen Mission came to China to spread the Gospel in 1847. At the beginning, it evangelised in Mainland China and had yet plan to set foot in Hong Kong. Since the missionary society originated from the Rhine in Germany, it later changed its name to ‘Rhenish Missionary Society’. In 1899, the Chinese Rhenish Church Hong Kong was established, and in 1914, fifteen years later, its church was built on its present site in Sai Ying Pun. The style of the architecture belongs to Eclecticism, displaying a mix of Gothic and Romanesque architectural styles. Before each worship, the copper bell on the roof is struck to inform followers living nearby.
In 1910, the Chinese Rhenish Church founded the Rhenish Mission School on Second Street; it was later moved into the parish hall on the ground floor of the Chinese Rhenish Church building. In order to address the problem of out-of-school girls at that time, the school was registered as ‘Hong Kong Rhenish Mission Girls’ School’ in 1919. In 1960, the school changed its name to the Hong Kong Rhenish Mission School which allowed both male and female students until its closure in 1970. In 1936, the Chinese Rhenish Church established a kindergarten, which has moved to the Emmanuel House rebuilt in 2007.
The Rhenish Church was subject to different circumstances during the two world wars because of its German background. After World War I, the Hong Kong colonial government instructed that missionary societies and their properties were to be taken over and run by British pastors until 1927. Subsequently, Chinese priests and followers started to manage the finances and administration of their churches. During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong in WWII, the church was not disturbed by the Japanese army and was able to continue its services and gatherings. This was possibly because Germany and Japan were allies. The church was also allowed to initiate a co-operative society, and bought food to distribute to church members who struggled to make their ends meet.