Where to go to Church in Shanghai
As much as we love Shanghai, the city's manic pace, cheap booze and countless other vices sometimes leave us in desperate need of spiritual guidance. In spite of all the unfavourable coverage of China’s attitudes to religion and the popular belief among expats that we should never mention religion or politics for fear of a Cultural revolution style reprisal, many churches here thrive with the blessing (sorry) of the local authorities. Here’s our guide to the most popular places to connect with the man upstairs.
Shanghai Community Fellowship
Set in the heart of the French Concession, SCF holds contemporary non-denominational English services every Sunday afternoon. With around 600 people from all walks of life attending each service and a kids program for infants and teens during the 4pm service, it's a great choice for singles and families alike.
Local authority regulations: SCF is open to foreign nationals and Chinese people who hold a foreign passport/permanent resident ID from another country.
Service times: Sundays 2pm and 4pm (identical content). English only.
Find It: 53 Hengshan Road, near South Wulumuqi Road.
Shanghai West International Fellowship
For those a little further out to the west of the city, SWIF attracts around 200 worshippers to its contemporary, non-denominational English services every Sunday morning. They have a nursery room for parents of under-twos and a kids and youth program for youngsters up to eighteen years. The youth program is also offered on Saturday afternoons. A shuttle bus service is available from Zhudi, Huacao, Qibao & Gaojing Lu every Sunday.
Local authority regulations: Services are only available to foreign ID holders.
Service Times: Sundays 10.45am. English only.
Find It: God’s Grace Church, No 569, Yucai Road, Xujing
Abundant Grace International Fellowship
Out in Pudong, AGIF provides interdenominational services for a community comprised of people from many different countries, cultures and traditions. Whether you prefer a traditional or contemporary style of worship there’s a service to suit you. They also offer a nursery, and kids and youth programs.
Sundays 11am. Trinity Liturgical Service. Suspended over the summer, restarting on 13th August.
Sundays 3pm. Contemporary service for all ages.
Sundays 6pm. Contemporary and loud (their words not ours) service.
All services are in English.
Address: 455 Hong Feng Road, Jinqiao, Pudong
International Church Shanghai
ICS is a non-denominational, multi-national church with over 600 in weekly attendance. They offer a kids and youth program in both services for youngsters aged 4-18 years. They also provide Chinese interpretation at their 9am service.
Sundays 9am. English with Chinese interpretation.
Sundays 11am. English.
Local Authority Regulations: Services are only available to foreign ID holders.
Contact: Via a contact form on their website.
Find It: Shanghai Marriott Hotel Hongqiao, 2270 Hongqiao Road
Saint Ignatius Cathedral
One of the most iconic and beautiful buildings in Shanghai this Neo-Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral is a beautiful spot to attend mass with around 300 fellow worshippers every Sunday lunchtime. Although currently undergoing renovation, masses are held in a smaller building just to the right of the main cathedral entrance.
Service Times: Sundays 12 noon. English
Find it: 120 Puxi Road, Xujiahui
Saint Joseph’s Church
Hosting around 700 people at their English mass each Sunday morning, Saint Joseph’s prime location between Yu Gardens and the Bund make it a great choice for anyone exploring Shanghai.
Mass times: Sundays 11am. English.
Address: 36 South Sichuan Road
Saint Peter’s Church
Located between Xintiandi and Tianzifang this Catholic church attracts around 800 people to Sunday morning mass.
Mass times: Sundays 11am. English.
Find It: 270 South Chongqing Road