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Sunday, 2 February 2014

Celebrating 1GB Sudogwon-Gijeon Transformation Plan, Part I: Naedong Anglican Church, Incheon Jung-gu

At last, we are celebrating the successful run of 1GB Sudogwon-Gijeon Transformation Plan (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization: 1GB수도권-기전지방변화계획/1GB首都圈畿甸地方變化計劃/1GB Sudogwon-Gijeon Jibang Byeonhwa Gyehoek) where the Population of Moe Girls in Sudogwon-Gijeon Region have reached about 700+ people with the capacity about 1 Gigabytes in our hard disk stash. So, I will reveal five chosen places respectively in three regions (Gyeonggi Province, Seoul Special City and Incheon Metropole). 

Naedong Anglican Church (Hanja: 內洞聖公會聖堂) or also known as St. Michael’s Anglican Church is the Church of England (Abbreviation: C of E) affiliated church, located at 21-32 Gaehang Avenue 45th Street/Gaehangno 45beon-gil, Naedong 3-beonji, Incheon Jung-gu - not far from Freedom Park of Incheon (Jayu Park). The church was founded in 1891 by Korea’s first Anglican bishop, Charles John Corfe, although the original structure was burnt down during the Korean War (1950~1953) and the present structure rebuilt in June 23rd, 1956.

The Anglican Church of England first entered Korea on September 1890. Bishop Corfe established Saint Michael's Church, the first Anglican Church of Korea, in Incheon. This church later became Incheon Naedong Anglican Church - bestowed from the precinct of Naedong, Incheon Jung-gu. The following October, Naedong Church established Saint Luke's Hospital, the first westernized hospital of Incheon, on a nearby site. The original church was completed on September 30th, 1891.

The structure itself is a pleasant mix of Korean and Western elements (quite in keeping with the Anglican tradition of “indigenizing” the church whenever possible) — the basic structure is Romanesque, but it sports Korean giwa tiles, and the roof masonry resembles the bracket system employed in Korean hanok homes.

St. Luke’s Hospital was founded together with the church in 1891 by Eli Barr Landis, a young American doctor/missionary/Koreanologist who came to Korea with Bishop Corfe. Landis was a busy, busy boy — not only did he set up Korea’s first Western-style hospital (treating 3,594 and 4,464 patients in its first two years of operation), but he also set up an English academy in 1891 (teaching English three hours a day, six days a week) and Korea’s first orphanage in 1892. He also learned Korean and did quite a bit of research on Korea and Korean customs. Ultimately, however, the Boss called early — in 1898, he died of typhoid at the young age of 32.

St. Luke’s Hospital is also where the injured sailors of the Russian warships “Variag/Вариаг” and “Korietz/Кориетз” were treated following the Battle of Jemulpo (old name for Incheon), one of opening salvos of the Russo-Japanese War.