A Brief History

The first church in Santiago for the English-speaking community was the Union Church of Santiago, founded in 1885 and incorporated in 1906 as an inclusive interdenominational Protestant fellowship. Membership included people from many countries.

In 1904 members of the British community founded the British Protestant Church under the chairmanship of the Anglican Bishop of South America and the Falkland Islands. Services were initially held in homes of the members until a church was built in Calle Santo Domingo in 1922 in downtown Santiago – called St. Andrew’s.

By the end of the Second World War most of the English-speaking community had moved out to the eastern suburbs, so the present site was bought on Avenida Holanda 151. The new and larger St. Andrew’s Church was completed in time for Easter 1947.

In 1963, the Anglican diocese of South America was divided into smaller units and Chile finally became a diocese in its own right. This meant that St. Andrew’s became the Cathedral Church of the new diocese, which now ministered not only to the English-speaking congregation but also to the fast-growing Chilean Anglican church.

The Union Church was prospering as well, with over 200 families worshiping together at the church at the corner of Pedro de Valdivia and 11 de Septiembre in Providencia.

However, this ecclesiastical glory was not to last. The political upheavals of the early 1970’s resulted in a major exodus of many English-speakers (and others) who were able to leave Chile. It became clear that the English-speaking community was not large enough to support two churches.

In November of 1971, the Union Church building was sold and its congregation joined with that of St. Andrew’s to create the Santiago Community Church, an interdenominational church which continued in the Anglican tradition. In 1979 the statutes were formally changed to recognize the new name and in 2005 a new internal regulation re-affirmed the international, interdenominational focus of it ministry.

The Anglican Church of Providencia (“Iglesia Anglicana Providencia”) also uses the church building for services and meetings under an amicable rental agreement.