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Klaipėda Irvingite Church (currently Catholic Church of Christ the King)

Koordinatės: 55.713114, 21.125835
Objekto adresas: Bokštų Street 10, Klaipeda, Lithuania
Savivaldybė: Klaipeda

Irvingism is a branch of Protestantism. The source of this movement is related to the Presbyterian priest Edward Irwing, who lived in Scotland in 1792-1834, whose purpose was to restore the apostolic ministry and thus prepare for the second coming of the Christ. Perceiving the world events as signs of the approaching end of the world, he preached about the upcoming doom and encouraged people to prepare for it. The first apostles that didn't acknowledge the rule of the pope were ordained in 1832. As a result, in 1933 the Irvingite sect was separated from the National Scottish Church. In 1834 Irvingites started referring to themselves as the followers of the Catholic Apostolic Church and this date marks its establishment. In 1836 they distributed an invitation to leaders to all Christian churches to unite and wait for the coming of Christ. The invitation was ignored, yet Irvingism had spread into Switzerland and Germany rather quickly. Keeping in mind that the Irvingite movement started in Scotland circa 1830, we could say that the Irvingite community, established in Klaipėda in 1836-1838 was one of the first Irvingite communities in the continental Europe. At first it consisted of a small group of 22 people, mostly craftsmen and small-scale tradespeople of Scottish descent. The community acknowledged only adult baptism and the sacrament of the Holy Supper only for believers. They also used to completely change their lifestyles and gather for common prayer twice a week. Both inside and outside of the Irvingite church was simple. Its architectural style reminded of the nearby Klaipėda Baptist Church.
It is believed that the formation of the Irvingite community in Königsberg in 1853 was largely influenced by emigrants from Klaipėda. Eventually the community in Königsberg became the centre of the New Apostolic Church (NAC) that sprung from the Irvingite community in the entire region. In 1867 it already united 411 members and the number doubled in just a few years. The major teachings of the NAC are quite similar to that of the Orthodox Christianity: they believe in the Holy Trinity, the incarnation of the Son of God, the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus Christ and his resurrection. The faith of the community is based on the Old and New Testament. This Church acknowledges only three sacraments: the Holy Baptism with Water, the Anointing of the Sick and the Holy Supper. This Church doesn't have the Eucharistic celebration.
In 1945, by the request of Telšiai bishop, the building of Klaipėda Irvingite Church was given to Roman Catholics and the church was given the title of the Christ the King. It was the only Catholic church in Klaipėda up until 1988. In 1997 the church was reconstructed according to the project of the architect Saulius Prikockis by adding an apsis and a sacristy. In 2011 the building has undergone major renovations according to the project of the architect Saulius Manomaitis. During the same year the church was decorated with the icons of the Christ the King and the Passion of Christ, painted by the artists Dalia Skardžiūtė, Carlo Bertagnin OFM and Paulius Vaineikis OFM. The major focus of the interior is the painting of the Christ the King on the main altar, painted in the same style as the Stations of the Cross. The icon of the Christ, King of the Universe, features the Christ, sitting on the throne with the Universe under his feet. In 2013 the church acquired new stained glass windows and in 2014-2015 its interior was renewed according to the project of Henrikas Ratautas from Kaunas. The church was furnished with dark oak furniture – benches, a confessional, an altar table, decorated with gilded details, a baptistery and a stool for newly-weds. Currently this Catholic parish is led by the parson Virgilijus Poškus. On weekdays the church hosts mass in evenings, while on Saturday and Sunday they take place several times in the day.

Submitted: Klaipėdos apskrities viešoji I.Simonaitytės biblioteka | http://www.klavb.lt/lt/

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  • Description:

    Irvingistų bažnyčia - dabartinė katalikų Kristaus karaliaus bažnyčia : [skaitmeninė nuotrauka] / Laurencija Budrytė-Ausiejienė. - Klaipėda, 2017.10.01. - 1 vaizdas

    Source: Laurencijos Budrytės-Ausiejienės asmeninis archyvas

    Publisher: Klaipėdos apskrities viešoji I. Simonaitytės biblioteka

    Contributor: Klaipėdos apskrities viešoji I. Simonaitytės biblioteka

    Type / format: Skaitmeninė nuotrauka / jpg

    Irvingistų bažnyčia - dabartinė katalikų Kristaus karaliaus bažnyčia