St. Paul the Apostle Church, Kynsey Road
St. Paul the Apostle Church, Kynsey Road
Date of Consecration
1959 - 03 - 29
Colombo Archdeaconry
Revd. Adrian Aaron

The Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Kynsey Road is the fourth building which has been home to the parish of St. Paul , during the nearly 200 years of the parish’s existence in Sri Lanka.

The first Church was built in 1816, opposite the old town hall building, near Gasworks Street, Pettah which was one of the noisiest and busiest parts of town. The Church was built in that particular location in response to a need felt for an Anglican Church in the Pettah region. It was located in a large residential quarter, situated in a multi street corner, where roads radiated towards Pettah, Grandpass, Smallpass, Mutwal, Wolfendhal with access to the wide social strata of the community.

The building had verandas and a sweeping cadjan roof, facilitating a comfortable place for prayer and contemplation. Although dedicated and brought into use in 1816, the Church was not consecrated until 1821 by the Bishop of Calcutta who also had the responsibility for Ceylon. This first Church building served the parish till 1845, when it was badly damaged by fire caused by fireworks falling on the cadjan roof. Resisting the suggestions for moving the Church to another site, the loyal parishioners insisted on restoring the Church exactly where it stood and it was brought back to use in 1846.

The parish continued to flourish. However, increasing commercialism in the region, drove residents away to the surrounding areas such as Maradana, Dematagoda, Borella. By 1921, it was found that only 3 families out of the 300 families that comprised the parish in the early year lived within the original boundaries of the parish.

In 1926, the decision was made to sell the Church premises and use the funds to build a new church, in close proximity to the homes of the people whom the Church should nurture and serve.

The physical transference took place on 24 October 1926 to a temporary Church located at Regent Street. The people of the parish were faced with the task worship and service in the new surroundings. The Vicar at the time of the move was Rev. H.P Horton, who later became the Dean of the Wells Cathedral in England. Rev. Horton was succeeded by the former curate of the parish, the Rev. Leslie O Toussaint in 1928.

On 1 June 1930, the Rev. Basil Jayewardene assumed the incumbency in succession to the Rev. Toussaint. He addressed himself to the most important needs of the parish. Firstly to construct a chapel for prayer on the site on which the sanctuary of old St. Paul’s stood in Pettah and secondly the construct the new Church at Kynsey Road.

The construction of this Church was initiated by Rev. Basil Jayawardene in June 1930. He influenced the building committee towards a more open and spacious type of building in which the ritualistic practices could be performed and viewed unhampered by the structural elements. Having examined many possibilities they decided to adopt Byzantine architecture based on the model of St. Sofia’s Cathedral in Istanbul.

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Contact Details

Postal Address
Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Colombo 10, Sri Lanka
0112 69 30 37

bishop of colombo rt revd dushantha rodrigo


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