St. Thomas Church, Hisar

St. Thomas' Church
St. Thomas' Methodist Church
Entrance of the church
St. Thomas' Church
Location in Hisar, Haryana
29°08′55″N 75°43′25″E / 29.14861°N 75.72361°E / 29.14861; 75.72361Coordinates: 29°08′55″N 75°43′25″E / 29.14861°N 75.72361°E / 29.14861; 75.72361
Location Hisar, Haryana
Country India
Denomination Methodist
Churchmanship Anglican
Website http://dioceseofdelhi.org/
History
Authorising papal bull 3 December 1860
Status Church
Founded 3 December 1860 (1860-12-03)
Founder(s) George Edward Lynch Cotton
Dedication Thomas the Apostle
Dedicated May 1864
Consecrated 31 December 1865
Cult(s) present Thomas the Apostle
Architecture
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Historical Monument by INTACH
Style Victorian
Groundbreaking 3 December 1860
Completed May 1864
Construction cost INR 4500
Specifications
Capacity 40
Length 53 ft (16 m)
Width 25 ft (7.6 m)
Number of floors 1
Materials Wood, tiles
Bells 1
Administration
Episcopal area Delhi Episcopal Area of The Methodist Church in India
District Hisar
Clergy
Bishop(s) Bishop Subodh C Mondal
Vicar(s) Rev Isaac P. Mann District Superintendent
Priest in charge Rev Isaac P. Mann
Deacon(s) Mrs. Rajni S. Mann & Ms Hephzibah Desai

St. Thomas' Church is located in Hisar city of Haryana, India. It is located in central part of Hisar near railway station. It has been declared as a historical monument by Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage. The Church is dedicated to St. Thomas, one of the 12 main disciples of Jesus Christ.[1]

History

Thomas is traditionally believed to have sailed to India in AD 52 to spread the Christian faith, and is believed to have landed at the port of Muziris, Tamilakam (modern-day North Paravur and Kodungalloor in modern-day Kerala state) where there was a Jewish community at the time.[2][3][4] The port was destroyed in 1341 due to a massive flood that realigned the coasts. He is believed by the St Thomas Christian tradition to have established Ezharappallikal or Seven and Half Churches in Kerala. These churches are at Kodungallur, Palayoor, Kottakkavu (Paravur), Kokkamangalam, Niranam, Nilackal (Chayal), Kollam and Thiruvithamcode (half church).[5]

Methodism is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity which derive their inspiration from the life and teachings of John Wesley (1703-1791). It originated as a Christian revival within the 18th-century Church of England and became a separate Christian Church after Wesley's death in 1791. Because of vigorous missionary activity, the movement spread throughout the British Empire including the british Raj, the United States, and beyond, today claiming approximately 80 million adherents worldwide.[6]

In 1856, the Methodist Episcopal Church From America started mission in India. The Methodist Church in India began its work in 1856, when William Butler came from America. He selected Oudh and Rohilkhand as the field of effort, and being unable to secure a residence at Lucknow, began work at Bareilly. The first War of Independence broke up the work at Bareilly, but in 1858 Lucknow was occupied and Bareilly re-occupied and the work of the Mission started anew. and It was only in 1870, with the arrival of William Taylor, the famous evangelist, who led revival meetings in India that, Methodism became a national factor.[7]

The proposal for building the Methodist church in Hisar was put up in 1860. Construction started on 3 December 1860 and was completed in May, 1864 at a cost of 4500 rupees. The church was consecrated by George Edward Lynch Cotton, Bishop of Calcutta on 31 December 1865.[1] Till 1899, the worship in the church was restricted to Christians only. The Church and accompanying graveyard were handed over to the Methodist Church in Southern Asia in 1950 by the Central Public Works Department, India. The centenary service was conducted by R. Rev. F. R. Willis, Bishop of Delhi on 8 January 1966.

Architecture

The church is built in Victorian style of architecture. The ceiling is covered with wooden panel. The main structure consists of an altar, a baptistry, a pulpit and two vestries. The pulpit of the church is adorned with velvet curtains.[1] The floor of the church is made up of geometrical tiles. A graveyard is also located near the entrance of the church.

Structures

The main hall cover an area of 1325 square feet and can accommodate around 40 people. The walls of the hall are 2 feet thick. The bell is another feature of the church. It was made at Roorkee in 1874. The graveyard is located near the entrance to the church. It contains graves of the John Wedderburn, collector of Hisar and his family who were killed by the rebels during Indian Rebellion of 1857.

Krantiman Park

It is the oldest park in the city of Hisar and is a part of St. Thomas' Church Complex. It was built by East India Company and was then known as Company Bagh. A memorial was built here in 1857 in the memory of John Wedderburn and other people killed during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. In all 23 Europeans and Christians were murdered, 12 at Hissar and 11 at Hansi. There is a pillar with the names of the people killed on all sides. Due to the presence of pillar, the park was from then onwards known as Laat Bagh as Laat was the local word used for a pillar. The renovation of the park was done by Yudhvir Singh Malik, Deputy Commissionerof Hisar in 1983. A bust of Chandra Shekhar Azad was erected in the park in 1984 and it was renamed as Krantiman Park. The park was inaugurated by Bhajan Lal, Chief Minister of Haryana on 11 July 1984.[1]

Administration

The church was officially handed over by the Govt. of India to the Methodist Church in Southern Asia in 1950 but the archdiocese of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and Anglican Diocese of Delhi (now under Haryana Dioceses after its creation) also hold worship services in the Church. The Methodist District Superintendent & Pastor-in-charge is The Rev. Isaac P. Mann. It is a part of the denomination Methodist Church in India. The Resident & Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church for Delhi Area is Bishop Subodh C. Mondal.[8] The archbishop of the archdiocese of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Churchis Metropolitan Job Mar Philoxenos and the CNI bishop is the Rt. Rev. Sunil Kumar Singh.

Nearby Attractions

See also

Further reading

  • Juneja, M.M. Hisar City: Places & Personalities 2004, Haryana: Modern Publishers, 744 pp.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Hisar Jano" (PDF). Jambh Shakti Trust. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 June 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  2. The Encyclopedia of Christianity, Volume 5 by Erwin Fahlbusch. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing - 2008. p. 285. ISBN 978-0-8028-2417-2.
  3. "Saint Thomas". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  4. The Jews of India: A Story of Three Communities by Orpa Slapak. The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. 2003. p. 27. ISBN 965-278-179-7.
  5. History Archived 4 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine., Payyappilly Palakkappilly Nasrani family
  6. "Member Churches". World Methodist Council. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  7. Methodist Church in India - history
  8. Appointments as announced at the 32nd Regular Session of The Delhi Regional Conference and with effect from June !st, 2015.
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