Today I did something I haven’t done in at least five years. I went somewhere with the specific purpose of photographing something.
For Thursday Doors, which is “a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world”, I visited St. Andrew’s Church, something I have been wanting to do for years! There is something about human nature that makes us put off doing things that are so easily accessible to us. I have lived in Bangalore for many years, yet have only made the time to do this today. I really hope this is a sign of things to come. I guess I owe a big thank you to Norm’s Thursday Doors!
It was a rainy, dull day, so I didn’t have the sunlight to help me in my photographic endeavours and I also realised that I perhaps need to consider buying a new camera to replace my seven year old one! Nevertheless, I was so happy to have dedicated some time to a hobby of mine that mostly lies dormant these days and also to have visited a beautiful church that is a part of our country’s rich heritage.
Inside, the design of the church is simple and quaint, contrasting well with the vibrancy of the beautiful stained glass and the magnificence of the pipe organ, which was installed in 1881.
I was astounded to learn that the church was built in just two years, between 1864 and 1866!
Several plaques and tablets adorn the walls, alluding to the rich history of this originally Presbyterian Scottish church, named after the patron saint of Scotland.
One plaque was dedicated to the N.C.O’s and men of the 2nd Battalion, Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, who died between 1910 and 1913, while stationed at Bangalore.
Another is dedicated to The Reverend James Jollie, Senior Chaplain Church of Scotland, who served as the minister of St. Andrew’s Church for eight years. He was born in Leslie, Fifeshire, Scotland in 1844 and died in Madras, India in 1889.
I have borrowed excerpts from the church’s website, which says that, “the foundation stone for this magnificent structure was laid on Nov. 22, 1864 by Lady Grant, wife of Lieutenant-General, Sir Hope Grant, the then Quartermaster-General of Her Majesty’s Forces and the building was completed and opened for Divine worship on Nov. 18,1866 within a period of two years at an overall cost of Rs. 45000/- including the land. The dedication sermon was preached by the Rev. Stewart Wright, one of the then chaplains of the Church of Scotland in the Madras Presidency, and pastor in charge of the newly formed congregation.”
In 1866, The Illustrated London News reported that “The church building is purely Gothic, measuring 105 ft in length by 57 ft in breadth with a height of 43 ft. The height of the tower is exactly 90 feet. The interior of the building is extremely beautiful. The windows including a very large gable one are filled with stained glass. The pulpit is of teak wood richly carved and in keeping with the style of the building. The pulpit, velvet cushion and hangings along with a very fine harmonium were the gifts of the ladies of the congregation to their pastor. The whole cost of the building including the ground on which it is erected amounted to 4500 pounds Sterling, which was partly defrayed by Government and by private subscriptions. Altogether it is one of the handsomest churches in India doing great credit to Major Sankey, chief Engineer and to Mr. R. C. Dobbs, the Executive Engineer of Mysore”