English Church Services Resume in Shanghai

Starting in February 2020, all English-language church services were suspended until further notice. (I believe this was a nation-wide policy, but cities like Shanghai and Beijing, with large foreign populations, and most affected.)

Last year, I posted these thoughts on the matter:

I hear a lot of foreigners assuming that this is the government taking the opportunity to “tighten its grip” on religion, and that’s certainly possible, but I’m not so quick to assume malicious intent. I think it’s just way easier for the government to control the situation when there are no foreigners or foreign languages involved, and it just doesn’t want the hassle. (Nor does it place great value or priority on any kind of freedom of religion, however.)

I still feel the same way. The government has taken a “we’ll get around to it when we get around to it” approach to religious services in English.

Well, about 15 months later, the time has finally come. Last Saturday, May 15, services in English resumed:

St. Peter's Catholic Church: Welcome back!

The announcement came with a few guidelines:

COVID Guidelines for church (English)

So… still slowly making progress towards “normal”…?


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Thanks for sharing. God bless you!

  2. Very good Sunday service. Thanks for sharing. Is chapel open for prayer when there is no mass?

Leave a Reply