St.Saviour's Anglican Church was built on the land of former Pauls Bastions between 1857 and 1859. Architect - J.D.Felsko.
The congregation’s involvement in community outreach programs is a direct result of its history. In the early 19th century, British traders were active in the territory now known as Latvia, and British sailors were a common sight on the streets of Riga. On occasion, the sailors got into trouble and were incarcerated. Partly in response to this issue, British businessmen in 1806 established a British Poor Fund, whose purposes were threefold:
- to provide temporary relief for distressed British subjects;
- to endow a British clergyman to celebrate services according to the Rites of the Church of England; and
- to build a church and residence for the clergyman.
A congregation was founded in 1822, and the foundation stone of the church was laid in 1857. A shipload of earth was sent from Britain so that the church could be built on British soil. Bricks were provided as well. The church was dedicated on July 26, 1859, as the Church of St. Saviour in Riga, and the first regular church service was held in November 1859.
After the Soviet occupation began in 1940, the church was desecrated, but, starting in 1973, it became the home of the Riga Polytechnic Institute’s Student Club. During this period, the church was renewed, and it became a cultural centre and a locale for concerts, exhibitions, and dances.
After Latvia regained its independence in 1991, U.S. missionary Arden Haug founded an English-speaking congregation. In 1995, Pastor Juris Calitis assumed the responsibilities of pastor. He was born in Latvia, but has lived in the United Kingdom, the Caribbean, the United States, and Canada. Today, the church is home to the congregation of St. Saviour and other Christian congregations.
In 1995 the Reverend Dr. Juris Calitis, a Latvian-born pastor, who has lived in Britain, the Caribbean, U.S.A and Canada, became the pastor of a growing congregation.
Since the autumn of 2014 the Chaplain has been Rt Rev'd Jāna Jēruma-Grīnberga, who was born in the UK, and served in both Latvian and British Lutheran Churches (from 2009-2013 as Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Great Britain). Services (in English) at 11am on Sundays; Lunchtime Concerts on Wednesdays at 1pm (donations welcomed).