While in the Southern India where churches have been there for centuries even before the Portuguese presence, in the Northern regions of India, more churches came up only when lots of British people started taking up jobs with the thriving East India company in the 17th century and later under the Raj after 1857. The churches mainly catered to the christian services badly needed for the European soldiers, traders and others and their families. Invariably the churches were busy during festival times and ceremonies associated with Baptism, wedding, etc. Many churches also had a separate grave yards for the departed souls. In those days when a soldier dies in action or due to diseases, it is difficult to take his body back to his native place for a decent burial, considering the arduous sea travel from India back to England. Further, a church is the only place for the lonely Europeans in a strange land of different religions to satisfy their spiritual moorings. That is the reason why many colonial churches have a big grave yard and innumerable soldiers, traders, missionaries lie buried there. The presence of a large contingent of Europeans in central India gave a fillip to the construction of many churches in this region. The expenses were met by donation from dignitaries and public subscription. The churches were mostly built in Indo-Gothic or Gothic style and the interior is highly embellished with beautiful paintings and Baroque style ornamentation.
|Red Church Indore.www.myhappyjourney.com|
| 1928, St. Raphael’s School, started in the parochial |
shed of the Red Church straphaelsgirlschool.edu.in
|Interior part. Red Church, Indore dare-to-think-beyond-horizon.blogspot|
Red Church located near the famous Holkar Palace on Godhra High way, is a Catholic church. It is in the busy part of the city of Indore and is being visited by lots of people to seek Lord's blessings. It is also famous as St. Francis of Assisi, catering to a sizable Christian community living here. The church is believed to be one of the oldest ones in this region. Unfortunately, I could make only futile efforts to get details about the church. There were many pictures of this church from some sources, none carried details about its origin and other other information.
The catholic community here started a school near the Red Church. St. Raphael’s School, was the cherished dream of one Franciscan priest Fr. Raphael and Fr. D’Silva, the then parish priest of the Red Church transformed Fr. Raphael dream into a reality; he was parish priest of Indore from 1912 – 1927. In 1932, the administration of the school was handed over to one Fr. George Proksch (1932 - 1948) a great admirer of Indian Culture and a staunch patron of Indian art and music. He was the first Principal of the school.
| White Church www.ixigo.com|
Old Red Church Indore. www.dreamstime.com
White Church, built in 1858 by Protestant Christians living in this area, is a beautiful colonial church in the center of the city of Indore near Maharajah's palace Rajwada. It is a nice place to wind up our drab and dull life because the church and the surroundings offer a serene ambiance. The church came up in this part of central India with the help of Sir Robert North Hamilton, Governor General of India, of the British empire who bore almost all the expenses. It was almost at the fag end of the Sepoy Mutiny the foundation work for the church had begun. It was designed by Engineer Ross McMahon who simply followed the European style of architecture. During the colonial days the church was patronized by the army officers, soldiers and others. In those days only churches provided them an opportunity to get spiritual experiences to be at peace with themselves.
Surely visits to such colonial structures take us right back to the heydays of the British and such remnants of past history need to be preserved and well maintained for our future generation. In such places, the colonial history is frozen with time and preservation is a necessity.
People belonging to other faiths come here to get the blessings from Christ. On Christian festival days, the church is well decorated and well illuminated on Christmas Eve. There is a small community of Protestants living here and the church conducts regular masses for them. Unlike many Catholic churches, this Protestant church is not well maintained, perhaps, it may be due to fund crunch!!