Established in 1819, All Saints Church Jakarta is the oldest English-speaking institution in Indonesia. First as a base for the London Missionary Society’s mission to China, then as a colonial chaplaincy and for the last fifty years as an international church, All Saints has both witnessed and participated in Indonesia’s colourful and turbulent history.
The name only dates back to 1950. For over a century before that the Dutch new it as Engelse kerk and the Indonesians as Gereja Inggris, literally “the English Church”. At its foundation, the Church at Menteng that we now know as All Saints Church was a collecting station for missionaries aiming to gain entry to China and Japan and other Asian nations. To this end land was purchased in 1819 in the name of the London Missionary Society Mission Station in Batavia
Change of names
In 1843 the church became the Church of the British Protestant Community (BPC) because it became increasingly less of a missionary station and more a place of worship for the growing foreign community of Batavia (Jakarta). At this time the BPC Committee also became responsible for recruiting and remunerating chaplains. In 1950 the Church became known as All Saints and has become an International Church of approximately 30 different nationalities and many church backgrounds.
Book on the history of All Saints
Andrew Lake, a previous vicar of All Saints, wrote a book on the history of All Saints Jakarta: Changes & Changes. The book tells the amazing story of how the English Church survived through the hectic colonial and post-colonial era in Indonesia.