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St. George's Anglican Church

Zoutelaan 77, • Knokke, Flanders 8300 • Belgium • +32 50 609 691 • Anglican

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St. George's Anglican Church, Knokke



About us:

St. George's serves the English speaking community in this popular sea side resort on the Belgian coast.

This small church was founded by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (now USPG) when the English residents in Knokke were numerous. Since the second world war their number has dwindled. The church is part of the Diocese in Europe.

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Prior to 1911, Church of England services were held on the sand dunes, and in a chapel which was to become the office of the Centrales Electriques des Flandres et du Brabant. Those were the days when the British made a predominant contribution to the popularity of Knokke, both as a place for holidays, and as an attractive retirement proposition for those retiring from the Army and the Colonial service.

In due course it was decided to have our own English Church, and thus it was that by stages the present delightful building in Zoutelaan took place. The first step was to construct what is now the nave, and this took place in 1911. Misfortune struck quickly, for in that same year, the East and West Windows were blown in by a violent gale, and had to be replaced. This was followed by a different storm: that of the First World War. With the advent of the Germans in Flanders, they took over St. George's to use as a stable. The tiled floor, being too slippery for the horses, was torn up, and mangers {which can still be seen) were built around the walls. Windows were broken again and blocked up. After the war it was found that the plaster had been destroyed, and much damage done by shrapnel and shell-fire. In point of fact the building continued to be used for a while as stables by the Belgian Army, after the German retreat.

In the '20's the popularity of St. George's was such that it was often necessary to duplicate the services in order to accommodate the congregations. In 1926 fears were expressed about the safety of the fabric, and the patrons, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, sent over Mr. E. E. Lofting, Architect-Surveyor in charge of Westminster Abbey, to investigate. Following his recommendations a gallery was constructed to strengthen the fabric, and the tower was added to give access thereto. It remained to add the Chancel and Vestry, and by 1928 the church had taken on its present appearance.

Destruction of a part of the church occurred during the Second World War, and the Church Records were lost. Largely through the efforts of the late Mr. Charles Piercy the building was eventually restored and opened again for services in 1953. The Memorial East Windows {depicting Christ walking on the Water) was paid for out of subscription largely collected in England by Mrs. Bush. It was given in memory of the "Officers and Men who gave their lives for King and Country in the Naval Action at Zeebrugge, St. George's Day 1918".

Links

This church is part of the Archdeaconry of N.W. Europe, within the Diocese in Europe, and is also listed on the overview of Anglican Churches in Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg.

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Our Services & Events

Holy Communion:

please enquire

Weddings:

by appointment

Our Staff

Peter Tilley

Chaplain: The Reverend • peter.tilley@telenet.be