Sunday, 30 November 2014

Medak cathedral, largest in Asia and famine, Telengana



Medak Cathedral Medak,S.India. www.flickr.com
Medak Cathedral,Medak in Telangana, biggest church in Asia www.cutytravel.com.
Medak Cathedral in Medak town, Medak district of Telengana (India) is one of the biggest churches in Asia. The Medak diocese, under the Church of South India (CSI), is the single largest diocese in Asia and the second in the world after Vatican. It was built at a time this region experienced  famine conditions. During World War-I, in late 1890s the  entire  district reeled under severe famine (1819-1821) caused by scanty rainfall for three successive years. The workers, who worked on the construction site of the church, were mostly  poor farmers  and  were  given “Food for Work” as there was no work for these farmers in the surrounding areas. Thus the farmers were saved from  daily pangs of hunger, starvation and death  because of  the unique concept of “Food for Work” which was successfully used to build this great church. It took ten years from 1914 to 1924 to build this huge structure.
Medak church,Medak,S.India. inner view. teluguprjalu.blog

The idea to build a church in Medak came from the English Missionary  Charles Walker Posnett of the English  Wesleyan Methodist order. He built a small church dedicated to Christ near a hill, now in ruins, and  is still there. The present Medak Cathedral is constructed in white granite stone and is a massive but outstanding building that can accommodate  5000 people  for the mass at a time.
Medak church,S.India.stained glass window. thehindu.com
The Medak Cathedral is famous  not only  for its capacity to hold  a huge congregation of devotees at the same time but also for the beautiful stained glass windows that adorn it. There are two large stained glass windows on either side of the altar and the third in the center on top of the altar. All have scenes from the Bible. These stained glass windows were not fixed at the time when the church was built but  were added later. The windows were designed by Sir. O. Salisbury and installed at different periods - the Ascension in 1927, the Nativity in 1947, and  the Crucifixion in 1958.
Medak church,Medak,S.India. csinedakdiocese.com

The striking bell tower in front of the church has a magnificent bell and the imposing church tower stands proudly tall, reaching up to the sky and sending a message to heaven. The dimensions of the church and all the numbers associated with it are certainly impressive. The construction of the church began 100 years ago and the church stands for unity and Peace. It is 100 ft. in width and 200 ft in length and the height is 173 ft.


The history of Medak Church is also the history of the life and work of the Methodist Missionary, Rev. Charles Walker Posnett, who arrived in Secunderabad in 1895 from England to look after the religious needs of British soldiers in the region. From there he  came to Medak in 1896,  riding on a horse as there was no other means of transport in those days. The Christians in the area, at the time formed a small community comprising about 200 and they used a small house as a chapel where they could pray and worship. Rev. Posnett  built a small building in the compound where the mission was located to take care of increasing Christian population. 

After some years he thought that the building was not big enough for his parish and he laid the foundation stone of the present Medak Church in 1914 on 1000 acres of land at Ghusnabad. The compassionate missionary mitigated the suffering of the local people regardless of caste, creed and religion and gave them food and work during famine, thus upholding the virtues of human dignity, compassion and love for which Christ lost his precious life. This church is an embodiment of 'True Christian Spirit of love and care' in the right sense.

Ref:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medak_Cathedral