Wednesday, 18 September 2019

St.Paul's, Kolkata set a precedent by allowing Christ related concert inside the church during Christmas!!

St Paul's Cathedral, Kolkara, India en.wikipedia.org/

Church tower of St. Paul's Cathedral en.wikipedia.org

172 year old St. Paul Cathedral, Kolkata is one of the most  popular churches in Asia where the only public event that had been held for 171 years was the midnight mass on Christmas Eve. From 2019 on ward, concerts related to Christ  will be allowed on the Church premises and it will be free for all. Thanks to CNI (Church of North India) whose  managing body has jurisdiction over this early colonial church built in Calcutta to meet the spiritual  needs of a big Christian community lived there. The purpose of this arrangement is to help other communities access the free concert on the church premises  and and enjoy the entertainment for a few hours in an atmosphere charged with religious fervor. 

In  England, long before, in the run up to Christmas,  on  four Sundays in many English churches concerts will be held inside the church as part of ''Advent Christ''. This practice has been vogue for a long time and it marks the beginning of new Christian year with  celebrations of Christmastide - Christmas season, starting on the Christmas Eve and going up to Epiphany (12th day of Christmas),
St. Paul's cathedral, Kolkata, gettyimages
ie, January 6th.  The date of beginning of Christmas Advent varies. At St. Pauls musical concerts were held to celebrate the great event last year during the Christmas time. Last year concerts included a symphony, vocal singers and string instrumental players. Incidentally, Calcutta Diocese is the oldest  one in India - about 200 years. Admission is normally free and the aspirants have to get a pass beforehand. During the coming Christmas season, 2019 the Church has a plan to introduce Bengali singers as part of the concert to make the Bengali-speaking people feel  at home. 


Last year in the second week of December, tremors in Sikkim and NE part of India  had  light impact on this historical church and the facade on the east side facing Nehru street showed considerable  damage, minor one that needed attention. Besides minor subsidence, cracks developed in many places and the heritage lovers and the cathedral authorities are making efforts to restore this great cathedral. The estimated cost is roughly Rs 4 crores. The church, any way, needed repairs and restoration and plans are afoot to get the old cathedral restored as early as possible. It ia main heritage site in Kolkata that carries the legacy of colonial rule that had its roots in Bengal long ago.
St. Paul' cathedral , Kolkata timesofindia.indiatimes.com

 Tit-bits:

St. Paul's Cathedral with Anglican background in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, is well-known for its Gothic architecture. Completed in 1847 after eight long years,  besides being the largest cathedral in Kolkata and the first Episcopal Church in Asia,  It was also the first cathedral built abroad  in the  the British Empire. community in Calcutta in the 1800s. This cathedral was  reconstructed to a revised design in  "Indo-Gothic" and  Gothic architectural style after the 1897  and  1934 earthquake.  
St. Paul's cathedral, Kolkata, gettyimages

Following this natural calamity the tower of the cathedral was rebuilt along the lines of the central Bell Harry tower of Canterbury Cathedral. On its completion, St. Paul's replaced St. John's Church as the cathedral. It is located to the east of the Victoria Memorial and at the southern edge of the maidan, a park and  can accommodate 800 to 1,000 people at a time for the services. The architects were  William Nairn Forbes and C.K. Robinson and the cost of construction work was about Rs. 4,35,669. Bishop Daniel Wilson, the founder of the cathedral, the other notablee were buried in the graveyard. John Paxton Norman, an acting Chief Justice who was assassinated in 1871 was also buried here.  Yet another interesting fact is the cathedral  has a statue of Bishop Heber (1783–1826; an English bishop, man of letters and hymn-writer), who was the Second Bishop of Calcutta; his statue was sculpted by Francis Leggatt Chantrey.
St John's church in Trichinopoly, wikipedia
 
Above image:  St John's church in Trichinopoly, Tamil Nadu where Heber preached his last sermon and where he is buried.....................



St. Paul's cathedral, Kolkata, gettyimages

Bishop Heber, on a visit unexpectedly died on 3 April 1826 in a church founded by German missionary Christian Friedrich Schwarz in Tiruchirappali city, Tamil Nadu. The famous Bishop Heber School (founded by  Friedrich Schwarz), Bishob Heber  College and the busy Bishop Huber Street In Tiruch city bear his name in his honor.
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Paul%27s_Cathedral,_Kolkata
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/in-a-first-st-pauls-to-open-its-doors-to-concerts/articleshow/66929560.cms
 https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/171-year-old-st-pauls-cathedral-set-for-renovation-in-new-year/articleshow/67111269.cms