|The church of Epiphany, Kolkata. cnicalcutta.org|
In those days, the Indian communities never took care of a large number of destitute children of this area and their future was a questionable one in terms of education and employment. This church took the credit of being the first one in Kolkata to start a school for those helpless children and the medium of instruction was in the vernacular language. Their mission was to bring the destitute children to the main stream Indian society by giving them basic education and skill to stand on their own in the society. Indeed, it was a good gesture on the part of the church to have cared about the poor, helpless children who.if not taken care of, would have become vagabonds or hobos or anti-social people in the society. Thus this school had set a precedent in the realm of children's education in this region. This school had the unique honor of being visited by none other than than the Governor, Bishop of Victoria and Lady Carpenter, belonging to the Christian Missionary Society (CMS) This visit was meant to appreciate the dedicated work done by the church by serving the poor and needy.
Not many people know of the fact that this church played an active role in the area of social justice by taking the cudgels against the British Indian government and the European landlords who were exploiting the natives. When Indigo cultivation was in full swing, European oppression and exploitation of Indian lands and people in Bengal became a serious problem which ultimately led to “Indigo Riots”. On humanitarian ground, the church members supported the natives. Rev. James Long of this church went ahead and published “Nil Darpan” in English, condemning the irresponsible attitude of the British government under the Crown and the unethical methods being used by European land owners. Obviously, Rev. James Long won the ire of the government and spent sometime in the prison. It was at this time that this Church also became a centre for socio-cultural cum religious meetings. There were all-faith gatherings here.
In 1879, Edward Ralph Johnson, Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan in India evinced keen interest in establishing the Oxford Mission in Calcutta, which he expected, would be a religious brotherhood with its base in India rather than a missionary society with its roots and headquarters in England. From administration point of view, it was good move by Rev. Johnson. In this regard, he wrote to some prominent people in Oxford, Britain to send some university men to work specially among the students of Calcutta University. In October 1879, a positive decision was taken in favor of Bishop Johnson’s appeal to establish the Oxford Mission in Calcutta,
The Chapel was built in 1909. Designed according to the wish of Father Douglas of the Brotherhood (Oxford Mission), the construction was done under the care of C. John Grimes (later Archdeacon), who was then with the Calcutta Port Commissioners as a civil engineer. Initially, it was decided to have a simple structure and later it was rediscussed to have a better and suitable structure using bricks, stones, etc. The bell-tower which is a striking feature, was built in brick in an Italianate or Campanile style (this design had links with some Byzantine or Asian tower-shapes). The roof is made of brick-red painted corrugated iron, with some kind of lining underneath and the work was undertaken in the middle of last century.
As CMS had cut off its link with the church way back in 1909, the Diocese of Calcutta, Church of North India is managing it..