On 25th January, 1998, "St. Paul’s Day", at 6.15 a.m., a blast from a bomb at the adjacent Temple of the Tooth, caused extensive damage to the church. Thankfully there was no one injured, but all the roofing tiles came down and the timber ceiling badly damaged.
All doors and windows were broken, including the main, precious stained glass window, which broke into tiny fragments. These pieces were faithfully collected by Professor Nimal de Silva, a Buddhist, serving at the
Faculty of Architecture of the University of Moratuwa, whose staff laboured hard to restore this beautiful, priceless stained glass window.
They put together all these pieces and had it re-installed, almost in its pristine glory.
Restoration of the roof and wooden ceiling were carried out under the supervision of a government Cabinet Minister, a follower of Islam. Work was done with the least delay and a special Service of
Thanksgiving was held a month after the blast.
The selfless actions of so many of different faiths, can only be expressed as a sincere labour of love.
The doors were not replaced for almost two years, during which time St. Paul’s functioned as the “Church of the Open Door”.