Date Visited




Pro-Cathedral and Collegiate Church of Saint Paul


The Pro-Cathedral and Collegiate Church of Saint Paul was constructed between 1839 and 1844 following a visit by Queen Adelaide, the widow of United Kingdom’s King William IV who commissioned its construction.



The Pro-Cathedral and Collegiate Church of Saint Paul was commissioned by Queen Adelaide (1792 – 1849), the widow of Great Britain’s King William IV (1830-37), as during a visit to Malta she noticed that Anglicans had no place of worship on the island. The foundation stone was laid by her on 20 March 1839 and was to become known as Adelaide’s Church.

The church was constructed between 1839 and 1844 of Maltese limestone in a Neo-classical style and was modelled on St Martin in the Field in London.  With its tower and spire at the northwest corner rising over 60 metres it contains 6 bells which were made in Britain. The front façade has a portico with six ionic columns leading into the interior. Although the visitor's entrance is at the side of the portico

During World War II the cathedral received minor damage. During restoration works following the war, a quire and rood screen were built on the west side of the cathedral. A pulpit was incorporated with the screen which was dedicated to Sir Winston Churchill. The new chancery was dedicated by the Archbishop of Canterbury on 2 December 1949 in the presence of Princess Elizabeth. The east side of the cathedral was transformed into a baptistery.

The internal dimensions of the building are 33.5 metres x 10 metres and has Corinthian columns leading down the nave to the High Altar.


The High Altar was built in 1949 and conceals the foundation stone which is in the wall behind the altar. Behind the altar hangs a painting titled Ecce Homo, by A E Chalon, donated in 2014.


Before WWII the altar stood at the other end of the Nave, the east end, but was returned to its original location at the west end in the late 1940s. Above the altar is a painting that depicts Christ being mocked by Roman soldiers before his crucifixion.  Around the altar are oak panels which detail the armed forces who were involved in the siege of Malta between 1940 and 1942 during WWII.  The crests above the panels are of the Commonwealth forces that defended Malta.

To the right of the altar is the Bishop’s Throne, this was manufactured and shipped to Malta from Britain and was assembled between 1948 and 1950.

At the same time that the throne was constructed, the baptistry was erected at the east end of the building.

Hanging on the walls behind the baptistry are silks used in the coronation of King George VI in 1937.

Along the side of the church are numerous memorial panels, plaques and flags commemorating those who have been involved with the cathedral.


At the far end on the left side, is the Lady Chapel. This has an ornate screen and gates, which were donated by the Royal Marines.





              All  Photographs were taken by and are copyright of Ron Gatepain

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