St. Mary's Church in Chennai Fort
Chennai is fully filled with many historical places and holy places. There are many churches filled all over Chennai. Every church has its own historical importance. St. Mary's church was one of the oldest church in Chennai. To describe about the internal structure of the church we can very well tell that it has the structure and look similar to the churches that are constructed in Rome. The same ideology was followed in Rome was followed when constructing this church. Although there are many historical monuments in Chennai, churches are taken care by the authorities in a greater manner as it stands to be new and fresh even after several years. It will also be very interesting to see the internal construction architecture of the Church. There were many religious leaders who have given a visit to this holy church in Chennai. The external appearance of the Church is also in such a way that it gives a good show for the eyes. The credit goes to the people who are involved in maintaining the beauty of the church even after several hundred years. These monuments in Chennai also provides a good recreation for the People of Chennai and also adds beauty to the Chennai and make Chennai more popular all over the world.
History of St. Mary's Church in Chennai Fort
A church with vast history and many interesting aspects is St. Mary's Church which is situated within the walls of St. George Fort in Chennai. It is the first Anglican Church in India and it is proudly know as "'Westminster Abbey of the East".This church has a similar structure like churches of Rome. It was built during the British reign by William Dixon and it was designed by Edward Fowle in the year 1678. After two years On October 28th 1680 the church was consecrated by rev. Richard Portman. Later in the year 1701 the church tower was erected. In the year 1710 the sanctuary where people take refuge was built. In the same year 'the steeple' a tall tower on top of the church was built. Then later in the year 1795 'the spire' a tall pointed structure on top of the tower of the church was added.
In the year 1877 a beautiful alters was presented to the church by the princess of Tanjore. Later in 1985 the church was reconstructed by the famous karaikudi artisans. At present the governments along with the priest of the church are taking care about the reconstruction work. The 325th anniversary celebrations of the church started last October, but due to the reconstruction work the celebration are planned to be completed next year. The maintenance of the church is the most important thing to be noted as this church still stands as a very powerful monument even after several centuries. There are also various steps and precautions taken to save this wonderful monument.
Architecture of St Mary's Church in Chennai
The historically famous St. Mary's church was designed by Edward Fowle the great designer of that era. The church is built on 5400 square feet area and its premise is about 90 ft high. The walls of the church are nearly 5 feet thick .The wall have been built with bricks and plastered with lime. The main aspect of the architecture is that the building is bomb proof. The carved structure of the roof is rounded in the manner of wagon's roof and is 4 feet thick. These bomb proof structures were designed to withstand seventeenth century cannon-balls. The church consists of a large 'nave' that is a long central part where many people gather to worship. The nave is twelve feet wide and this was further extended to house choir. At the end of the nave a large gallery made of Burma teak pillars is present, where the governor seats are arranged. There are two long narrow paths where people walk along rows of seat toward the church alter. Later at various years the sanctuary, steeple, spire was built to enhance the look and architecture of the church.
Significance of St. Mary's Church in Chennai
St. Mary's church is the first ever historical church standing with a great significance along with the other forts in Chennai. This significance makes the church to live even after 300 decades. The walls consist of a copy of a large painting of the last supper which was a master piece of Leonardo da Vinci's. The painting was bought by the British troops after the world war. The silver plaque containing the writing is fixed to the walls of the church. Many silver plates containing old age designs and structure of mother Mary and Jesus are kept near the alter of the church. A bible as old as 1660 AD is kept in this church adds to its significance. The interior of the church consists of many layers containing the wooden work and glass arches of the old age architectures. Further the church contains tombstones of the governors, British soldiers who died in the wars .It has an up to date register of the peoples who got baptized in the church, marriages held in the church and tombs of the people in the church.
Celebrations in St Mary's Church in Chennai
During the time of Christmas we can see a very big crowd in St Mary's Church near St George Fort in Chennai. People from various places of Chennai join together for celebration in St. Mary's fort in Chennai. The frequent prayers will also take place in the church which will be accompanied by various people from all over Chennai. Prayers will also take place whole night on the Christmas and also there will also be some other programs and celebrations in St Mary's Church in Chennai. Every year Christmas celebration is wonderful as the kids also love to be in church and enjoy the wonderful occasion. This church is said to be one of the powerful holy places in Chennai for Christians.