|St. Matthias' Church, Vepery, Chennai. hurchwilliam.blogspot.com|
St. Matthias' Church, Vepery is 195 years old and Since St. Matthias died a martyr, the Patronal festival is not celebrated here. However, the festivities are held on the day's eve, March 23, every year.
A generous Armenian merchant, Coja Petrus Uscan, gave lots of funds and helped finish the church between 1730 and 1740. Uscan also had the stone steps built to access St. Thomas Mount. He died in 1751 and his tombstone is in front of the porch of St. Matthias' bearing his epitaph in Armenian and Latin.
When the construction of the church was on wife of Gov. Thomas Munro, lady Munro took a personal interest in the church work. It was the congregation of St.Matthias which helped build St.Pauls which is close to this church. During the French occupation, Roman catholic services were held by the French priests when the church was repossessed by the English it became popularly known as the English Church. While under the French, Hyder Ali gave a donation of Rs. 300 in the year 1779 for building a chapel.
It is quite interesting to note the wedding ceremony of Robert Clive and Margaret Maskelyne was solemnized here officiated by the Danish missionary, John Fabricius. St. Matthias was brought under the management of CSI and still the Angelo Indian tradition of worship is being strictly followed here, besides, holy Communion is served everyday at 7 a.m.