A brief history of the church
The church was established at the end of the nineteenth century, precisely in the year 1599 Coptic Calendar of Martyrs (CCM) - 1882 A.D., by a person named Mr. Moussa Tadros Pharaoon.
The sons of the late Mr. Anis Youssef made restorations to the church in 1660
CCM – 1944 A.D., to honor his memory, according to inscriptions found on a marble
plaque at the door of the old church on the ground floor.
This church was devoted to funeral prayers as it was located within the cemetery.
Mass services were held on Sundays only. Its dimensions were 13 meters from north
to south and 10 meters from east to west; i.e. its area did not exceed 130 m2. Prayers
in the church began in 1944 on Sundays only, where two monks, Archpriest Gabriel
Albaramosy (from Baramos Monastery) and Archpriest Armanios Albaramosy, served.
St. George Church in Shatby ranked seventh among the archeological churches
of Alexandria, as stated in Resalet El Mahaba (Message of Love) in 1951, based on
the historical research by the Reverend Archpriest Samuel Tawadros Alsyriany (from
the Syrian Monastery) on the topic “Churches of Alexandria between the past and
In 1952, Archpriest Antonius Mikhail began his service at St. George Church
of Shatby. Books were found dedicated to the church by Archpriest Matta Al Maskeen
(Mathew the Meek) - Undersecretary of the Patriarchate at the time - dated 7 Bashans
1670 CCM – 15 May, 1954, such as: The Book of Sacraments - the section on the Liturgy
of Saint Basil, and Abandoning the Service in Church in 1964. Fr. Antonius also
served later in his life at the Church of Al Amir Tadros Alshatby. He passed away
on February 17, 1989.
In 1962, Archpriest Marcos Abdelmalek served the church until 1980. In 1974,
Fr. Anstasy Shafiq served the church until February 1987. He added an altar to the
west of the church named after the great martyr St. Mina Al Agayby (the wonder maker).
As of February 20, 1987, Fr. Angelos Mikhail began his service by the Papal
decision No. 3/1987 A.D., in addition to his service at the Church of Saint Takla
On March 1, 1987, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III ordained two priests, Fr. Botros Amin Suleiman and Fr. Bishoy Abdelmessih to serve the church. Their service began as of April 9, 1987.
The church was restored (currently the ground floor), the icon holder was made,
and the Service Building was constructed.
Efforts began to visit and provide care to the people of the districts served by
the church (Shatby - Azarita – Al Pharaa’na – Waboor El Meyah).
In 1990, two priests were ordained, Fr. Istafanos Aziz and Fr. Barsoum Yousef Matar,
to serve the area of the church, on June 4, 1990
After the ordainment of Fr. Istafanos Aziz and Fr. Barsoum Yousef, service at Al
Amir Tadros Alshatby Church, and at the Virgin Mary and St. Mark church at the Collège
de Saint Marc, was added upon the priests of St. George Church at Shatby
On June 28, 1992, Fr. Barsoum Yousef Matar was assigned to serve in France,
where he passed away and was buried on November 22, 1996. Fr. Istafanos Aziz was
assigned to serve in the United States of America in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and
he settled there to serve in the USA.
Fr. Shenouda Anis, priest of the Church of Anba Shenouda and Anba Hermena,
Ezbet Dana, was assigned in August 1998 to serve at St. George Church - Shatby (he
was ordained on June 16, 1995). He served for about eight years and then returned
to his original Church of Anba Shenouda and Anba Hermena, Ezbet Dana in 2006.
On March 11, 2000, Fr. Mikhail Tadros was ordained to serve at the church
with the current priests, Fr. Botros Amin Suleiman , Fr. Bishoy Abdelmessih, and
Fr. Shenouda Anis.
In 2000, the church was demolished and rebuilt and expanded on the West side. An
altar was established after the great martyr St. Mercurius Abou Sefein, as well
as a private cemetery for the priests of Alexandria, at the underground level.
On March 25, 2001 A.D. - 16 Baramhat 1717 CCM, the foundation stone was laid,
namely a metal Cross, a Holy Bible, the architectural and construction drawings,
currencies and official newspapers (such as Watany and Al Ahram newspapers), to
celebrate the beginning of construction work of the church on the upper level.
A church was built on the upper level, with bigger extensions on the western side.
It includes the main altar named after the great martyr St. George, and another
altar named after the great martyr St. Mina Alagayby (the Wonder Maker). A terrace
was added to the western side, which includes the Baptism Room, a compartment for
the bodies of saints, a bookstore where religious books and photos are sold, as
well as an acoustic library.
The first Mass at the Church on the upper level (St. George's Church) was celebrated
on the last Friday of the Great Lent on April 18, 2003.
The Service Building was refurbished and a church named after the Archangel Michael
was built at the top of the building. The building includes an elevator, a nursery,
a hall for occasions, a computer center, a library and a cafeteria.
All construction works of the buildings and the church were conducted under the
supervision of the Architect Mina Naguib, the Construction Engineer Mounir Azmy
and the Executive Engineer Gorgy Asham Tawfik.
Funeral prayers are restricted to the ground floor, according to the decision of
the Council of Priests and Patriarchate Undersecretary, Archpriest Rweiss Marcos,
dated December 19, 2013; in addition to mass services and church education classes.
This was agreed by the Council in order to organize the service at the Church and
to limit the use of the upper-floor church to masses and spiritual meetings.
Fr. Abraam Adel Naguib was ordained as a priest to serve the altar of the church
by the late Pope Shenouda III on July 17, 2007.
The Church Baptistery was anointed on December 27, 2009 by His Eminence Anba Botros,
the General Bishop, during the pontificate of Pope Shenouda III.
At the end of 2011,
a new segment was added to the Service Building with an area of about 100 m2 and
four floors high. A new part was also added, namely: a hall of occasions, the sewing
studio, the youth club, as well as the garden attached to the nursery.
Fr. Moussa Mena was ordained on the altar of the church by the Acting Pope, Bishop
Pachomius, on June 3, 2012.
Fr. Botros Amin Suleiman and Fr. Bishoy Abdelmessih
were promoted to Archpriests on September 27, 2012 by the Acting Pope, His Eminence
Fr. Nofir Elham was assigned to serve the church on May 9, 2014.
In 2010, a 3-story service building (ground floor and 2 floors) was constructed
and equipped with an elevator, at Al Amir Tadros Church. Moreover, the church was
renovated and restored and the altar was expanded.
Services and Masses are conducted
at the Church of the Virgin Mary and St. Mark at the Collège de Saint Marc on Sundays
and Fridays, and on special occasions and feasts.
The hand of the Lord still works with us in all matters. Praise and thanks be to
Him because “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it:
except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain” (Psalm 127:1).