|All Saints Church, Khadki, near Pune, MH .flickr.com|
|All Saints' Church , Khadki, near Pune India . travelogueunlimited.blogspot.in|
Soon after the English company took over the control of the city, a summer house came up near Sangamwadi mainly for use by the governor of Bombay. The governor Mount Stuart Elphinstone was a frequent visitor and would stay here to keep him and his family away from the tropical summer heat and humidity of slowly growing Bombay city. Many famous hill stations in India like Ooty and Kodikanal, Darjeeling in West Bengal, Mussoorie in Uttrakhand and Nalthera in Himachal Pradesh were developed by the colonial rulers mainly to escape from scorching summer heat and radiation. In 1864, yet another summer residence was built at a short distance to the west. The first occupant of this home was the first crown governor of Bombay residency, Bartle Fiere. This building is now part of the Savitribhai Phuke Pune university. This residence and the other one at Sangamwadi were close to Christ church which was the old name of All Saints' Church.
The governor, in those days, would attend the Sunday services and in the front part of pews the seats are marked where the senior officers would sit according to their designation. Built in 1834, the church was consecrated by the English priest of Church of England Thomas Carr. Later he became the first ever Bishop of Bombay and the church has records dating back to 1854. In that year one J. Reynolds was the head priest or Chaplain.
The teak wood beams that support the high ceiling, cobble-stoned facade and the massive church bell (weighing 500 kg) were retained. In 1866, some expansion took place as the necessity arose. Befitting the Church's association with the military one can see on two wall panels leading up to the altar two battle standards encased in glass. Soon after the wars, these battalions and regiments were disbanded. Besides, some officers and soldiers who were killed in the war were buried here in the graveyard.
An interesting fact emerges from the Church's records. It is about the 14th Light dragons that was landed here in 1841 and based in the military station at Khadki. The soldiers took part in the Angelo-Sikh wars - first and second. Though they at last emerged victorious, the English company lost hundreds of men in the battles in Ambala, now in Punjab. Most of the casualties are commemorated in the church.
On the wall we also get some information on Bombay Sappers, dating back to 1777 when the Company groomed a group called Marine Battalion. In 1903, it was rechristened as Pioneers and later was disbanded in 1933. The plaque is in the church, but not the colors.This historical church is 150 ft long from east to west and 75 ft broad at the chancel. This post is based on the TOI article mentioned below.