Many unknown Interesting facts of St. Marks Church, Bangalore

St. Mark's Cathedral, Bangalore.

 Belonging to the Central Karnataka Diocese, St. Marks church of Bangalore  is a   cream-colored European classical beauty  built in the early part of 19th century and still  continues to emanate old world ambience and charm, This first  Garrison  Anglican Church that had served a large gathering of British troops, drew inspiration from the fascinating St. Paul Church of London. Located in a nice place with serene and peaceful ambience at the west end of Mahatma Gandhi Road, MacIver Town, Bangalore, it has a simple but impressive  architecture  and so far it has completed 210 years of existence   It serves as the Cathedral (Ecclesia Matar) of the Church of South India, Karnataka Central Diocese.

The following are the interesting facts about this historical church:

St. Marks Cathedral, Bangalore. (Old Postcard Re-print)Wikipedia

 01. St. Mark's Cathedral  founded in 1808 is  named after Saint Mark (believed to be the first gospel writer), one of the twelve disciples of Lord Jesus Christ.

 02. The construction that began in 1808  was completed in 1812. But the consecration was held in 1818 in the presence of the Bishop of Calcutta and a large number of priests.
03. It began as a Garrison Anglican Church, catering to the spiritual needs of the Madras Army of the East India company stationed in Bangalore. The British faced frequent threats from the powerful warrior Tipu Sultan of Mysore and had a large contingent of British soldiers officers, etc stationed there.

03. The early  membership was just 400 and  grew gradually over a period of time to  2000 with the arrival of more Europeans.

04. It was  the only  church under the control of the government - East India company, Madras Presidency. Part of the construction work was funded by it. 

923 Fire Damage, St. Mark's Cathedral - Kenneth AndersonWikipedia

06. Necessity arose to accommodate more patrons.  A perusal of the history of this church would reveal that it was an unstable and eventful  one  often marked by a series of collapses, damages and reconstruction of the building,  It has a chequered  history of ups and downs. Between 1901 and 1927, the  new church building  had experienced a series of mishaps and every time a new building had to be rebuilt. 

1923 Fire Damage, St. Mark's Cathedral - Kenneth AndersonWikipedia

07. The very first renovated church was dedicated on 26 August 1902 by Bishop Whitehead of Madras.

08. After the  fire mishap in 1923,and later during construction work, the congregation  was temporarily held  at the St. Andrew's Kirk, Cubbon Road, till St. Marks's was rebuilt in 1927.

09. The church has a memorial for the lives of the British army who fought in the Moplah revolt in the Malabar area (the present state of Kerala; 1921 violent rebellion against British authority and Hindu landlords and Brahmins by Muslim).

10. After the Moplah revolt, the military colors of the 77th Moplah Rifles infantry Regiment  was disbanded for various military and political reasons and  was buried on west wall of St. Marks. 

11. There are numerous  Memorial plaques  for the British officers who lost their lives in Bangalore Cantonment..

12. There is an interesting memorial plague here for   Lt.. Col Sir Walter Scott, 2nd Baronet, who died at sea in 1847. He  was the nephew of Scottish writer of great repute Sir Walter Scott.
Lillian Zachariah, St. Marks Church, Bangalore, Pipe organ.

13. The pipe organ of the St. Mark's Cathedral installed in 1929,  was a gift  from  Avis F Cowdrey of the Cowdrey family.  Avis used to visit this church often and was the father of  illustrious English cricket captain Michael Colin Cowdrey. The Cowdrey family collected  a large sum of money to install a German-made pipe organ at the cathedral at the turn of the century.
Michael Colin Cowdrey was three times British national team captain and one time head of the International Cricket Council.He was a famous English Test cricketer in the 1950s and early 1960s. He  represented  the famous English Cricket club MCC, England and was a good batsman.The organ donated  by his family fell into disrepair and was fixed by the Swiss experts for Rs. 5 million.

Michael Colin Cowdrey. English Criket player. Cricket Country

Above image: Michael Colin Cowdrey CBE (24 December 1932 – 4 December 2000) was born on his father's tea plantation at Ootacamund (Ooty, Tamil Nadu), Madras Presidency, although his birthplace was usually mis-recorded as Bangalore north. He played for Oxford University Cricket Club (1952–54), Kent County Cricket Club (1950-76) and the England cricket team (1954–75);  was the first cricketer to play 100 Test matches, celebrating the occasion with 104 against Australia in 1968. In all he played 114 Tests, making 7,624 runs at an average of 44.06, overtaking Wally Hammond as the most prolific Test batsman, and taking 120 catches as a fielder, breaking another Hammond record. Cowdrey made 22 Test centuries (an England record until 2013) .............

14. The stained glass  work was created by M/s Sreenivasulu Naidu & Sons, Madras. The stained glass on the west facing window was created by the architect of St. Dunstan's Society, England and cost INR 4500.00.

15.On 1 July 1928, Bishop Tubbs of Palayamkottai , now in Tamil Nadu,  was the first to preach on the marble pulpit, delivering the sermon 'The reunion of Christendom'.

16. This simple-looking church once carried the tag of the ugliest building in the Bangalore cantonment area at the turn of the century for looking like a matchbox.

17.  Bangalore  was the first city in India to have electricity in 1905, and the cathedral was one of the first churches then to have electricity installed as early as 1908 itself. 

18. It was in 1961 Rev H F J Daniel, became the he first Indian 
Presbyter of the cathedral.,_Bangalore