The Anglican Church in St. Petersburg occupied the building at 56 English Embankment (English Quay - once almost exclusively occupied, like the street in the rear of it, by British merchant princes) - first rented (from 1723 to 1753) and then purchased (1753) by the British community from Peter Sheremetev, son of Field Marshal Boris Sheremetev.
The first official record of church service was taken on March 6, 1754. In 1815 Giacomo Quarenghi was commissioned to remodel the church. This was the last project by Qaurenghi (he died shortly after completing the church renovation) and he executed it in the style of strict classicism.
The ground on which these buildings stand is English soil, it having been granted to the Church in perpetuity of freehold by Peter the Great. The Church itself, dedicated to St. Mary and All Saints, was erected in 1815 in the severe classical style. It is of considerable seating capacity, and is remarkable for its fine stained-glass windows and for the splendid mosaics —mostly memorials —that here and there adorn its walls. The interior is plain almost to bareness, but the High Altar is a strikingly handsome feature, and the warm (if not artistic) colouring of walls and pillars is an effective antidote to any impression of cheerlessness that might otherwise be given.
Two months in Russia, July-September, 1914. Merry, Walter Mansell.
The British Parliament made Guarenghi a grant of £5,000, and the Russia Company a contribution of £4,000 towards that purpose.
Very little has been written about the English colony at St. Petersburg. They are, in the main, the descendants or successors of the English merchants who settled in Archangel in the reign of Philip and Mary, soon after Sir Hugh Willoughby had discovered Archangel. "The English Factory," as they were called, removed to St. Petersburg soon after its foundation by Peter the Great. I have not myself visited Archangel, but a friend who was there in 1902 tells me that there is still a fine English church there, outside the town of Archangel proper, across the river Maimax at Solonbal.
Russia Travels, Annette Meakin, 1807
The first church belonging to the English worship in Russia dates back to 1753 , when a company from England doing business in St Petersburg, bought the premises that would serve the needs of the religious service. In 1813 a community of Russian merchants donated to the English chapel the sum of 25,000 rubles (100,000 francs), and in 1815 the British Parliament granted for the same purpose a second grant of around 120,000 francs. The number of English residents, including those around St. Petersburg is about 2000. Divine service is held every Sunday at 11:00 and 4:00. The chaplain lives in the premises belonging to the church.
St Petersburg Guide, Jean Bastin, 1874