Friday, 24 May 2019

Time-honorned Emmanuel Church and Holy Trinity Church of Kolkata - early colonial places of worship

- Emmanuel Church, Kolkata /cnicalcutta.org
The history of  Emmanuel Church  is an interesting one.  Though founded in 1829 by  a LMS Missionary Rev. Gogerly.  the decision to  have a church built was taken up way back in 1806 at the vestry of Union Chapel (Lenin Sarani).  In the  same year -1806 some Portuguese merchants,  having almost escaped from the jaws of death  due to heavy wind while sailing through  in the river Vidyadhari, came to  Kestopur. Upon entering the Kestopur canal they, with the help of local people,  chose an  elevated land to stay in safety.  As there was  no place of worship for them, they built a small cottage church to express their gratitude to the Providence and for worship.  Subsequently a  generous Hindu landlord by the name of  Kalachand Mondal came forward  and donated some land for the construction of the church building.  

Thus this historical church in   Krishnapur, Dist. 24 Parganas, near Krishnapur Mission Bazaar, Kolkata had a humble beginning.  The credit goes to Portuguese merchants who put up the cottage for worship first./
https://www.cnicalcutta.org/church_emmanuel_church.html

Holy Trinity Church,Kolkata. /cnicalcutta.org
Rev. James long  noisebreak.com
Holy Trinity Church located on  Amherst Street, Kolkata  has the unique distinction being the first Church in Bengal in which the liturgy was read in Bengali. Founded by  Archdeacon Corrie, who became the Bishop of Madras, the site on which the church stands now,  used to be a a tannery.   It was in 1820  the Calcutta Committee purchased an estate in Mirzapore (Amherst Street)  for Rs 20,400/-.on the recommendation of Mr. Pratt, the then Secretary of the Church Missionary Society, Calcutta.  Archdeacon Corrie was, in the 1800s, a Chaplain. In the early period the surrounding area was not inhabited as there was thick forests with swamps and   stinking water tank.  In 1823, a new street called Amherst was  laid close to the church and, over a period of time, the adjacent areas unhealthy areas became  residential,  The church was opened for  service by Rev. Deer in November, 1826.

Designed  as a chapel initially, it was known as “CMS Chapel” for many years. Some additions such as the choir-seats and altar were made  to the original building.  As it was started by  Corrie,  the natives of this place used to call it  “Corrie Church” until 1887. The close-by street to the south side of the estate was known as Corrie Church Lane. Now, it is renamed as Dr. Kartik Bose Street.
Kolkata, Holy Trinity Church. interior. noisebreak.com
An interesting fact about this church is it was served by one Rev. James Long(1814-1887), an Angelo-Irish priest.  Being a long resident of Kolkata  from  1842  to 1872, as a member of Church Mission Society,  he had a long association with the Chapel and St Paul’s College and School. Rev. Long was an affable man, educator and humanist and it was quite natural,  he earned the love and affection of the people of Bengal. Besides, he  openly supported the locals in the  anti-I
Clock of Holy Trinity Church, /www.blogger.com/
Indigo plantation movement. The East India Company, in order to make enormous profit on Indigo, compelled the locals to plant indigo plants in the fields. Besides, they paid poor wages to the workers. Being an honest man Rev. Long took the cudgels against the unjust English company   and fought for their cause. No doubt, the 
 Church was later known as Long Saheb-ka girja for a long time. Charged with libel, he was imprisoned by the English company for the simple reason that he had published the English translation of the anti-indigo planters well known Bengali play ‘Nil Darpan’ by Dinabandhu Mitra.   There is a road in South Kolkata named after Rev. James Long called James Long Sarani Sarani.
 Before the unification of the Church of North India it was an Anglican Church run by the  Church Missionary Society. The roof of the church was rebuilt after 2003 and later the church under went major renovation. There is a big clock on either side of the Church steeple. Inside the Church  there are rooms  with memorial plaque  to honour the contributions  made by the  distinguished devotees, including that of James Long. Also located close to the Chapel are  St. Paul’s College on one side and the city’s first school for girls.  Since  1874 the Priest-in-Charge has always been an Indian: this was not true of many churches across colonial India . 
http://noisebreak.com/churches-synagogues-colonial-calcutta-holy-trinity-church/