Christ Church, the first one under the CSI, Thiruvananthapuram - early colonial Anglican church

CSI Christ church, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

I  wish the readers happy Christmas, let the new year bring you happiness, welfare. peace of mind  and prosperity. Lets us look  forward to a virus-free new period from the ensuing year on.

Do you know the Christ Church  of   Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala  was the first CSI  House of worship in that city.?   This church came up to meet the spiritual needs of   countless Europeans  families living in the Cantonment of the Palayam area. Most of them had links with the military.  It all began with  the  first chapel in 1838   In the later period toward the  the mid- nineteenth century, this early chapel, fell into disuse. The main reason was, it is said, the cantonment chapel slowly came under the control of  the London Missionary Society, so the  British  opted to have their own house of worship to meet he aspiration of Anglican congregation in the midst of others denominations like Roman Catholics, Syrian Christians and other groups. 

Christmas greetings 2021

Plague Christ church, TV Puram,

CSI Christ church. TV. Puram,

Above image: The Christ church, Thiruvanathapuram, now a CSI church since 1956. was earlier a civil church maintained by the colonial government (under the East India company),  and was under the religious  authority of the Metropolitan of Calcutta and the Bishop of Madras...........................

As the demand for a spacious new church was on the increase with support from  General Cullen, Resident of erstwhile Travancore, and the Bishop of Madras, during the reign of  Uthram Tirunal Marthanda Varma, a ne church came up on an acquired plot in Palayam. Founded in 1858,  Christ church  became the first C.S.I in this city. The  foundation stone for the church was laid by General Cullen on December 13, 1858 and upon  completion of the structure,  consecration took place  on November 15,1859 under  Rev. Thomas Dealtry, Bishop of Madras. The structure was built in gothic style, but the fa├žade  appeared to be more religious in nature than other contemporary churches in India  then.  Later additions, never changed the pleasant  appearance  of the church. It is fine piece of architectural work  located in the prime area of the city. 

vintage photo CSI Christ church, Thiruvananthapuram 

Christ church,

stained glass windows Christ church, T.V.Puram.

The Architect  was  none other the popular Laurie Baker (2 March 1917 – 1 April 2007) who lived in Kerala  India till his death and who was well known for innovative cost-effective energy-efficient architecture,   He  made the church  more spacious with  aisles and nave without compromising on its old charm and look. He did a good job on  spatial planning  and added buttress to the thick walls for extra support to the roof over the congregational space that  rests on top of them The outer walls have narrow Gothic  windows retaining the originals  designed by the master architect. The separation of altar and the congregational space  was effected by central Gothic arch and two smaller arches (later built).  Today, enlarged congregational space can be accessed through the entrance foyer with an impressive bell tower.  it  houses the unique  four piece ‘tubular bell’ donated by the then justice of the High Court  Mr. Hunt in 1915. The three stained class windows  (dating back to 1889) are well placed  in such a way when the sunlight falls on  them the resultant  amazing glow lights up the interiors and and the diffusion is quite  colorful.  

CSI The Christ Church.

Above image:  Consecrated in 1859, the Christ church, Thiruvananthapuram  is the oldest church in the city. Gothic style elegant building is adorned with beautiful stained glass windows portraying The Good Shepherd.............................

Tubular bell, Christ church 

Above image, Christ church, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. This 4 piece tubular bell in the bell tower is a rare one in the world made in 1889); yet another rare possession in this church is an old hearse (made in England), now well restored It rests in a specially made glass box erected in front of the church......................................

In the grave yard of the church below the cool shadows of the trees lie the mortal remains of some important persons of past era  having close links with the old  history of Travancore. Louis baker, the architect of this church  designed an old age home and the common vault with 350 cells. He lies buried in one of the vaults. nov. 2017