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Mu En Church

Mu En Church, formerly known as Moore Memorial Church, is located near the intersection of Yuqiaqing and Hankou Roads (now 316 Middle Xizang Road). It was initially established near the intersection of Hankou and Yunnan Roads by Edward Selby Little, a missionary of Methodist Episcopal Church South. Mu En Church was rebuilt in 1929 on its current location, where the McTyeire School used to stand, as the congregation expanded exponentially in 1920s and completed in 1931.
The west-facing half-timber building has a site area of 1,347 square meters and a building area of 3,138 square meters. Designed by Hungarian architect Ladislav Hudec, Mu En Church features exterior walls constructed in a textured pattern with alternating protruding red bricks. The main church lies in the center and there are 1,000 seats in the three side halls. In the southwest corner is the bell tower with a four-storey attached hall and an affiliated school in its vicinity. The dark-brown-bricked exteriors and the quoin-inlayed corners and window frames endowed mystery and classic simplicity to the church, which was recognized as “the most magnificent church in China”. The five-meter high motor-driven neon cross was mounted on the top of the bell tower in 1936 with the donation from an American worshipper, and this shinning and rotating cross has since given extra fame to the church.
The church was renamed “Mu En Church”, literally meaning “receiving the bliss of God” as all Christian denominations in Huangpu District started joint service in 1958. The church resumed its religious functions as well as management and utilization by the Christians in 1979 after being used by Nanjing Middle School during the Cultural Revolution.