Christ Church, Tiruchirappalli, TN (completed 250 years in 2016) - 2 nd Anglican church

 The 255 year old  Christ Church  on the Nandi Kovil street, Teppakulam built   on a land gifted by Mohamed Ali Khan, the Nawab of Arcot, near the Rock Fort, under the supervision of German Lutheran missionary Rev. Christian Frederic Schwartz (1726-98)  is, no doubt, a historical church steeped in history.  It was here  Fr. Schwartz  served as the first military chaplain;  it took four years to complete the conduction work - 1762-1766. Rev. Schwarz spent 48 years in Tranquebar, Thanjavur and Tiruchirappalli doing missionary work. 

Second   oldest English Church  after St. Mary’s Church in Fort St. George Chennai,  there is a plaque in the Church which acknowledges the Nawab’s  munificence  by way of grant of land which states:

 “The Church was dedicated to the glory of God under the name of Christ Church by the Rev. Christian Frederic Schwartz on 18th May 1766. The Nawab of the Carnatic gave the land.''

Christ church, Tiruchirappalli,

It was built with  funds subscribed by officers of the British garrison. It belonged to the SPG - the Society For the Propagation of the Gospel.  The cost of construction was around 2000 pagodas including bricks, lime and the wood for its doors and windows coming from Fort St. George in Madras (present Day Chennai. Fluent in  many Indian languages like Tamil,  Sanskrit and Hindustani Hindi, he also built a Protestant  church in  the prime  area of the city of Tanjore (Thanjavur)  now called Schwartz church (previous name: Christ Church) on a land donated by the Maratha Maharajah Serfoji to whom he was a tutor and guide. 

Christ church of Tiruchirappalli  that was dedicated to public on  18 May 1766,  has distinctive colonial architectural  features that have survived  through the passage of time  The bell in the belfry imported from England and installed during consecration, is still in use.  Access to the bell tower is through fine wooden staircase. made of quality wood.  A part of the area in the fort is called Chatram (choultry), a busy area in the city. (Chatram in Tamil means   free shelter for the long distance travelers to rest and relax overnight  in those days. It owes its origin to the Mission House out side the church   for the travelers. The church's original structure had a bomb proof roof (at that point of time it was a sensitive place - a sort of war-prone area) later it was rebuilt with concrete roof in the late 1970s as the old ceiling became structurally weak.  The impressive stained glass windows  in the church have also survived this far particularly, the one dedicated to missionary Rev.  Casper Kohlhoff  who was with the diocese for 42 long years. 


It was here Bishop Reginald Heber of Calcutta gave his last sermon on the steps of the Mission House, before his accidental death the same day  in the bath on April 3, 1826.   There are twelve graves dating from 1766 to 1797 in the grave yard of the  church. It belonged to the SPG - the Society For the Propagation of the Gospel.
The  Postal department came up with  the release of a special postal cover with cancellation stamp by  Post Master General, Southern Region, Madurai, on Tuesday, May 17.2016.

Above image: The Back of the Special Cover is inscribed “Rev. Frederick Schwartz came to Tamilnadu on the June 17th 1759 and constructed churches, educational institutions in Trichy, Tanjore, Triunelveli and Ramanathapuram. (


Christ church,Tiruchirapalli, TN  coins and more

Above image: Christ Church Fort, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu in its 250th year, is an integral part of Tiruchi's  history. The valediction of C.S.I. Christ Church Fort’s 250th anniversary year was celebrated recently on 27 May 2016 with a host of celebrations   highlighting its contribution to the realm of  education and social services. The Cancellation Stamp is inscribed: “Teppakulam Fort Christ Church Ke 250vein Varsh Ke Punya Smaran Mein” (in Hindi) and “250th Commemoration of Christ Church Fort Teppakulum” (in English). There is an image of the church in the centre of the Cancellation Stamp. The Cancellation is of Tiruchirappalli and is dated “17.05.2016”  The Rs.5/- stamp depicts India-France: 50 Years of Space Co-operation (

Part of the anniversary event included  rendition of sacred music by  none other than  nadaswaram exponent Paul Sheik Chinna Kasim, and a concert by the former and present choristers of the church. 

Rededication was done by Rev. Solomon Duraisamy on November 11, 1980.  In the same year  Electrical lights replaced the oil lamps  that had been used to  illuminate the interiors for a pretty long time, a tradition being observed by the Hindus in the temples. The churches in Tiruchirappalli and Thanjavur stand as good examples of the communal harmony among the various religious groups.  Both Hindu Maharajahs and Muslim rulers  were of help to the missionaries of past era.