Thanks to generous donations in the first half of the 20th century, The British community in Rio de Janeiro owns a fine property at Rua Real Grandeza 99, Botafogo, where the main users are Christ Church, The British School and The British and Commonwealth Society, the BCS. Many other entities use the properties, including the Freemasons, the Women’s Diocesan Association (WDA), AA and Al-Anon, SCM choir and other community and religious groups. The British School is currently the site’s heaviest user. It occupies the property every school day from early morning to late afternoon.
The properties were originally held in trust by The Establishment of Christ Church and in 1975 were transferred to the BCS to safeguard British ownership and usage of the buildings. A Board of Trustees was set up to oversee the holding and control of the properties, and to ensure respect for the wishes of the original donors.
Ever since the church was declared a listed property, or historic building, (listed in 1987, confirmed definitive in 1997) we have come under close surveillance by the city government and the DGPC (Departamento Geral de Patrimônio Cultural). Although its religious status meant that the church was already immune from municipal taxes such as rates, the DGPC insists on certain standards of maintenance and appearance.