During 1945 about 2500 German Prisoners-of-War were sent to Malta to help with the reconstruction of buildings and island's infrastructure. Their Camp was at Pembroke. There was a high percentage of Roman Catholics amongst them so Lieut-Colonel Cocks ordered the building a small Catholic chapel on the site. Many of the men were craftsmen and had the skills for such a project. By May 1946 it was completed, and Archbishop Gonzi blessed it. Contained within the chapel were the Stations of the Cross painted by a prisoner who also fine painted the statues. A small bell was salvaged from a WWII blitzed Maltese church. By February 1948 Pembroke Camp was officially disbanded after a complete repatriation program. After the closure of the POW Camp the chapel was taken over by the Roman Catholic British troops stationed in the Pembroke area. At the end of 1957 this chapel was blessed and dedicated to Our Lady and St. Boniface. The chapel had been partly rebuilt and refurnished, having a trim garden and enclosed by a stonewall. After the British forces departed from Malta in 1979 the chapel fell into disrepair. By 1987 the large area around Pembroke had been redeveloped by a number of new housing schemes and had a growing population. Architect Richard England was commissioned to restore and enlarge the chapel which was now rededicated to The Risen Christ.
Again by 1999 the number of residents in the Pembroke area had increased even more and totally new facilities were needed, so the former POW chapel that had been on the site for more than fifty years was demolished and the area cleared. Construction began of a much larger building complex dedicated to The Risen Christ.
|First P.O.W. chapel|
|New Risen Christ|
In 1915 during WWI when Malta was an important hospital base for the British and Commonwealth troops in the Mediterranean area, the Army built what was then called St.Andrew's Church Room, situated halfway between St.Andrew's and St.George's Barracks. After WWI, the Church Room was handed over to the War Department in 1921 and used for voluntary services by the men based at these barracks, but it only accommodated about sixty people and was therefore far too small for Parade Services. During December 1932 plans for an extension to the Church Room were drawn so that it could accommodate up to 700 worshippers. Money was raised from civilians and supplemented by generous contributions from soldiers of both battalions quartered in Pembroke barracks. By August 1933 building work had begun and it was completed three months later. This extension to the church was thirty feet long, and comprised a choir, and a chancel with a sanctuary. With all the building work completed the service of dedication took place on Sunday 12th November 1933. The extension permitted over two hundred people to be seated comfortably. The first parade service in the expanded Garrison Church was Palm Sunday 1937. After the withdrawal of the British Forces from Malta in 1979, the church building was taken over by a local sports club as its HQ.
|Christ Church garrison church|