Union Church embraces its calling as a missional church nearly 180 years ago, while reaching out today to a city and a world in need of hope through faith in Jesus.
Union Church was founded in 1844 by the Reverend James Legge, a Scottish member of the London Missionary Society. Rev. Legge was active in Hong Kong society, also founding the first government school, now called Queen’s College. He was a gifted linguist and preached in English and Chinese. Some of his English translations of the Chinese classics are still in print and in use today. Rev. Legge served as the pastor of Union Church from 1844-67 and 1870-73. He returned to the UK in 1873 and became the first professor of Chinese at Oxford University.
Our church was first known as Union Chapel and was located on Hollywood Road. In 1866, the church moved to Staunton Street and in 1890 to the Kennedy Road site. During World War 2, the church building was destroyed. It was rebuilt between the late 1940s and 1970.
By the mid-1990s, we realised the need to redevelop our church building as ongoing maintenance was not sustainable. Planning work for a new church structure began. Despite financial crises, changes to government regulations and other challenges, the Lord was at work - sowing seeds that would multiply in His time.
The day came in 2017 for our final worship service in the 2nd rendition of our church building at Kennedy Road. A signal 8 typhoon threatened our ability to meet – but the winds subsided, and we united for one evening service on 27 August 2017. As a church family, we celebrated God’s faithfulness during a moving time of worship.
While the site at 22A Kennedy Road was being redeveloped, Union Church was blessed to receive new premises in a commercial office building in Wan Chai. Our temporary home was perfect during the six-year period as He redeveloped our hearts, ushered us through the city’s civil unrest, and protected us during Covid. Our church family has become deeply attached to the Wan Chai neighbourhood.
In Autumn 2023, we will move to the new church building at 22A Kennedy Road, giving thanks to God for all He has done in the life of our church. We receive His blessings with open hands, letting them flow to all in Hong Kong in need of Jesus’ love, compassion and salvation. It is our prayer that from our base in Kennedy Road, we will continue to serve three neighbourhoods: the Mid-levels, Wan Chai and our digital neighbourhood. To God be the glory!