Brief History of All Saints Cathedral

The story of All Saints has several aspects to it: it is the story of God’s faithfulness, believer’s devotion, and the generosity of Muslim leaders.

  • All Saints Cathedral is the mother church of the Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa.

  • All Saints was not the first Episcopal / Anglican church to be built in Egypt. St. Mark’s Church in Alexandria (later St. Mark’s Pro-Cathedral) was erected on land given by Mohammed Ali Pasha in 1839.

  • Profile picture of Mohammed Said Pasha

 

  • The presence of All Saints in Cairo goes back to 1862 when the Governor of Egypt, Mohammed Said Pasha, agreed with Prince Albert (later King Edward VII of Britain) to donate a land for the building of an Episcopal / Anglican church in Boulaq, Cairo. Before that date, the Anglicans worshiped in a room at the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate.

 

  • Portrait of Samual Gobat

 

  • On 23 January 1878, All Saints Church was consecrated by The Rt. Rev. Samuel Gobat, the Bishop of Jerusalem.

 

 

 

  • In 1909, as All Saints became too small for the congregation, St. Mary’s Church in Garden City was consecrated. St. Mary’s was used by the Bishop as the Pro-Cathedral until 1938.

  • The Cathedral standing near the bank of the Nile

  • In 1928 King Fouad I of Egypt approved the sale of a piece of land to the Anglicans for the construction of a new Cathedral. In 1935 the land was handed over and in 1936, King Fouad I officially granted permission for the Anglicans to build their Cathedral at Maspero, along the banks of the Nile in Cairo (this is why she is called “The Cathedral on the Nile”).

 

  • The foundation stone is lowered into the ground

 

  • The foundation stone was laid on 20 November 1936 by the Rt. Rev. Llewellyn Gwynne.

 

 

 

  • It is said that in response to the generosity of King Fouad I to the Anglican Community in Cairo, land was donated by King George VI to the Muslim community of London on which the Islamic Centre at Regent Park is now located. The land was given to the Egyptian Ambassador Nashaat Pasha at that time.

  • Dignitaries present at the opening of the Cathedral in 1938On 25 April 1938, the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, the patron saint of Egypt, The Rt. Rev. Llewellyn Gwynne, the Bishop of Egypt and Sudan, opened the Cathedral Church of All Saints in Cairo. The Most Rev. & Rt. Hon. Dr. William Temple, the Archbishop of York and Primate of England, consecrated All Saints Cathedral. It is worth mentioning that King Farouk I donated two copper doors to the Cathedral.

  • In 1956 when the British left Egypt, the Egyptian Anglicans (Archdeacon Adeeb Shammas, Mr. Habib Said, and Mr. Ibrahim Wakid) continued to worship in the church.

  • Under President Anwar Sadat the project of 6th of October Bridge necessitated the transfer of All Saints Cathedral in Maspero to another place. Therefore, the Governor of Cairo made an agreement with Archdeacon Isaaq Mussad, the representative of the Diocese at that time, to demolish the All Saints Cathedral in Maspero and for the Government of Cairo to build the new Cathedral on another piece of land.

  • President Anwar Sadat issued a decree in 1974 to rebuild the Anglican Cathedral at the present site in Zamalek. On 1 July 1977, the foundation stone of the new Cathedral Church of All Saints was laid by Bishop Isaaq Musaad.

  • The modern Cathedral that stands in Zamalek

 

 

  • On 25 April 1988, All Saints Cathedral in Cairo was consecrated by The Rt. Rev. Ghais Abdel Malek.

 

 

  • Since then, All Saints has become not only a house for prayer but also a home to many ministries, such as The Alexandria School of Theology, Refuge Egypt, The Episcopal Training Centre, EpiscoCare, The Wady Shop, the Cathedral Library, Ecumenical Relations, Interfaith Office, and the Prison Ministry. Many of these ministries serve the whole community, Christians and Muslims, Egyptians and Expatriates. It is truly a house for all nations and it fulfills our aim to provide holistic service.

Archbishop of York in his colourful robes at the 75th anniversary celebrationsToday, and at the end of the story of the first 75 years, we remember with joy and affection this great heritage of faithfulness, devotion and generosity. We look forward to the future, trusting on God’s faithfulness and grace.

 

Bishop Mouneer with head of churches in Egypt outside the Cathedral

Bishop Mouneer's opening speech at the 75th anniversary celebrations