Saturday, 21 February 2015

The St. John the Baptist church,Meerut - oldest church in North India

The St.John the Baptist church  en.wikipedia.org.
St.John the Baptist church built by, the Rev. Henry Fischer,1821.en.wikipedia.org
The St.John the Baptist church,Meerut. 1821.www.indiamapped.com/

The St.John the Baptist, or John's Church, is a parish church in the diocese of Agra under Church of North India and is located in  the cantonment area of Meerut city in Uttar Pradesh,North India. The church, which was built from 1819 to 1821, is the oldest one in North India and near to this church lies St. John's Church cemetery.  It a fine example of an Anglican parish church of the early 1800s.

The parish was founded in 1819 mainly to serve the military people stationed there . The British East India company had a garrison stationed locally and it's founder, British Army chaplain and
Church of England clergyman the Rev. Henry Fischer, was posted to Meerut to take care of the Church services of the Europeans. 

The architecture of  St John's  is very close to that of English parish church, popular before the revival of Gothic style which became a common feature of numerous churches world over. The designer of the church followed the Palladium type of model, most suited for tropical, hot climate with a large open interior space  for worship and services. The vast open space allows free air circulation inside the building, keeping the interior cool and cozy displacing  stifling, dry  temperatures. The high ceiling is an added advantage to keep the interior cool.
 

The wooden pews and kneeler's brass eagle lectern, marble baptistery, and stained glass windows all date back nearly two centuries. The other antique that draws the attention of the visitors is the 200 year old non-functional  pipe organ with manually operated bellows to supply air to the organ.

The parish motto ''Unity, Witness and Service'' found at the entrance implies that parishioners and guests  are  the same before the church. A total of 10,000 people can be seated in this spacious  church at the same time. The Church practices the Anglican rites and the rites of the Book of Common Prayer.



Some Facts:

Former name:     Saint John the Baptist Garrison Church
Founded:     1819
Founder:     Rev. Henry Fischer
Dedication     Rt. Rev. Reginald Heber (Bishop)
Consecrated:     1821
Country     India
Denomination:     Church of North India

Architect:     Captain George Hutchinson
Completed     1819



Capacity     3000
Diocese     Diocese of Agra


St. John's Church, Meerut in 2009en.wikipedia.org

St John's Church follows the Anglican rite and Book of Common Prayer liturgy.
Some of the graves here  are  pretty old - more than a century old.They include  engraved headstones, carved pillars and some very elegant old tombs many of which are in ruins due to weathering process. The grave has overgrown bushes, plants, etc., and is poorly being maintained.


http://www.indiamapped.com/churches-in-india/st-johns-church-meerut
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._John_Church,_Meerut_Church