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History of The Anglican Church in Poland


Anglican Church in Poland Brief Timeline

Anglican Church in Poland

The history of the Anglican presence in Poland goes back to the sixteenth and seventeenth century when chaplains were attached to embassies sent by Tudor queens and Stuart kings to Poland. There were also chaplains with the merchant communities at Gdansk and Ebląg. The Warsaw, Krakow, Gdansk and other chaplaincies developed considerably in the Nineteenth century, although obstructed by Tsarist authorities.  Some of the chaplaincies flourished under the restored Republic, and in Warsaw, a large chapel complex was built near the present PAN building in the 1920’s. This complex was badly damaged by enemy action in 1939 and remained vacant throughout WWII. The site was confiscated under the post-war regime.

Services were maintained in Warsaw throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s and it became possible for a priest from the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA) to take regular services in the 1990’s. The Church of England Diocese of Europe was able to send a full-time priest to Warsaw in 1997 and weekly services have been held continuously since then.  Services were restarted in Krakow in 2012 and in Gdansk in 2016.  (Adapted from Dr. Joseph Donnelly)

Dorotowska 7

The church building where its office and small services are held is located at Dorotowska 7 in Ochota, Warszawa.  The pre-World War II building was designed by Bronisław Colonna-Czosnowski and was erected in 1932.  The design was quite modern for the time and the building is entered in the Warsaw register of monuments.

Res Sacra Miser Chapel

The Chapel where Sunday services are usually held is of classical design and was erected in the years 1696-1699 for the Sisters of the Discalced Carmelites.  The sisters also had a convent next to the chapel in a former palace.

In 1819, the Carmelites were forced by the tsar's order to leave the convent and they returned to Krakow.  Their property was handed over to the Warsaw Charity Society.  The Sisters of Charity began to take care of the chapel at that time.

During the Warsaw Uprising in World War II, the chapel was partially destroyed.  After the end of the war, the chapel was renovated and was used again as a church beginning in 1949.  A year later, a care facility for the elderly was organised in the former convent.  At that time all the buildings, except the chapel, were taken over by the communist authorities.  In 1955, the order to demolish the chapel was issued by the communist authorities.  In the face of numerous protests by residents, however, this decision was withdrawn.  The chapel continues to be part of the St. Ann parish of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Warsaw.  Restoration work to uncover the paintings and decoration of the chapel is ongoing.  

Anglican Church in Poland Brief Timeline

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