St. Peter’s Church. Bandara, Mumbai, a heritage church

St.Peter’s Church,Bandara Mumbai Flickr
Almost every state in India has many churches that are older than 120 years and many of them were built in grand style - invariably Gothic. There are many French and Portuguese churches across India  in places where they had their settlements way back.  In many cantonment cities one can find old Angelical churches for the briish soldiers and officers. In the colonial days the churches took care of the spiritual obligations toward the European communities as well as Indian Christians - mostly converts. Besides, the missionaries  ran schools to impart education, hospitals and orphanages. No doubt, the same trend continues today. Mumbai and its suburbs have many historical
St.Peter church,Bandara.Pope's visit Dec.1964,
churches mostly built during the colonial days. St. Peter's church in Bandara is steeped in history and i
t is a Grade - II Heritage  structure declared by the Govt. of Maharastra.

St.Peter's - the Old Church at Bandara was completed in September 1853; in the previous year the foundation stone was laid on April 12, 1852 by Bishop Hartmann. It is fairly a big church, measuring approximately 100 feet  by 75 feet. In 1867, a second story was built on the one story structure to provide a residence for the priest and run a school. With moving of the boy's orphanage from Bombay  in the early 1860s, the church building became over-crowded; this is when St Stanislaus’ High School had its early beginning.

St Stanislaus’ High School & church St Peter's Church, Bandra
The New Church: Since the space was too small to run the orphanages for boys and girls (total strength 2215 pupils) on the upper floor and the divine service on the ground floor in August 1887, the then Archbishop of Bombay  impressed on the Parishioners the need to have a more spacious Church for divine services and to run the schools.

St.Peter's Church,Bandara. ChurchTimings
Archbishop Thomas Roberts, S.J. in September, 1938 blessed the foundation stone of the present St Peter’s Church. The new church measuring 130 ft by 80 ft brought cheers to the Church members because it could accommodate one thousand people at a time, providing a soothing ambiance with 20 stained glass windows that would allow enough Sun light inside the church.  Total construction cost: Rs. 270000.00.

St.Peter’s Church, Bandara
In front, as one enters, stands The  life-size marble statue of Christ has the inscription:' I am the Resurrection and the Life' in the front part,near the entrance.

The stained glass windows made in China depict many Biblical  themes -
the baptism of Jesus by St John the Baptist, Christ entrusting the sheep to Peter, the life of St Stanislaus.  The façade shows the Last Supper of Leonardo da Vinci carved in relief. The altar is made of Carrara marble.  The marble cupola above the tabernacle is  supported by six Alpine green colonnades. Two life-size angels in marble, each holding aloft a flam beau adore both ends of the altar. Two small stained-glass windows, depicting angels in adoration are set on either side of the altar. The other captivating feature is a huge, larger-than-life-size  statue of the Sacred Heart above the altar  flanked by stained-glass window exhibiting scenes in the life of St Peter.

On December 5, 1964 the Pope  visited St Peter’s and blessed this place of veneration. The Pope presented the golden chalice to the church as  a memento of his historical visit to this church.