Category: Churches in Tamilnadu

St. George’s Church, Madurai

It is recorded that Madurai was captured by the British in 1763 and detachment of European Troops came to be stationed in the town. Rev.Schwarts, the famous missionary in Tanjore was now and then ministering to the congregation in Madurai. Rev.Fredrick who followed him later planned to build a church on behalf of the S.P.C.K.(Society for Propagation of Christian Knowledge). A small church was built in 1800. This chapel has been described as a small building and a very plain structure.

In 1822, the Europeans in Madurai and other Christians of the Anglican persuasion desired to build a bigger church to meet their growing needs. Mrs.Sophia Elizabeth Rash, then a resident of Madurai possessed some land within the fort and was willing to sell it for a small sum if a church was built upon it. Mr. Daniel Burby, a writer in the collector’s office purchased as much as would be required for the church for Rs.164/= in October 1824 and made it over to the Tanjore Mission. Then a collection was made in the station and a sum of Rs.153/= was raised. The then Collector, Mr. Rhouse Peter (also known as Peter Pandian) added Rs.1,100/= to this; and a chapel was built in 1827 on the site purchased by Mr.Burby. This new church was owned and managed by the Tanjore Mission of S.P.C.K.

In 1868 the S.P.C.K. conveyed the above building to the Bishop of Madras to be held in Trust by him for the purpose of the Church of England. In 1869, Mr.Robert Fischer of Madurai wrote to the Bishop of Madras and placed Rs.1,000/= at his disposal for the improvement and enlargement of the existing chapel or for the erection of a new one. Eventually it was decided that the old church should be demolished and a new one built on the same site.

The foundation stone of the new church was laid on 2nd June, 1875 by Colonel J.F.Fisher, R.E., the District Engineer. The design was prepared by Mr.R. Chisholn, consulting architect to the Government of Madras. The whole expenditure incurred on the building and furniture was Rs.40,000/=.

The sale price of the materials of the old church amounted to Rs.470/=. The whole cost was borne by Mr.Robert Fisher and his sister Mrs.Jessie Foulkes, wife of a Madras chaplain. The new church was consecrated on the 15th of June,1881. The church is built of black stones and it is all called “Stone Church”. The building measured 50 feet length, 25 feet breadth and a 7 feet wide verandah on both sides. The graves of Mr.Rhouse Peter and George Fredrick Fisher with tomb stones are located in a chamber beneath the Altar.

With the passage of time the church was found too small to hold the growing congregation. Consequently steps were taken for extending the fabric of the church. Foundation for the extension was laid in 1968 and the construction was completed in 1970. The consecration took place on the 20th December,1970. In the new church the altar has been shifted from the east to the west. A Community Hall was constructed in 1994.

Our Lady of Perpetual help Church, Nalattinputhur, Kovilpatti, Thoothukudi

Our Lady of Perpetual help Church, Nalattinputhur, Kovilpatti, Thoothukudi

Infant Jesus Shrine, Coimbatore

Infant Jesus Shrine, Coimbatore

Annai Velankanni Shrine, Besant Nagar, Chennai

In 1971, this Church was a substation of St. Louis Church, Adyar. Fr. P.T. Arulappa, the then Parish Priest, St. Louis Church, Adyar and a great Missionary started Our Lady of Vailankanni Church under trying conditions. The Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore, Most Rev. Dr. R. Arulappa, erected it as a separate Parish in 1973. The imposing 97 feet belfry was declared open by the then Chief Minister, Dr. M. Karunanidhi on 27th August 1972.

On 15th August 1985 a bigger Church was blessed and consecrated by Archbishop Most Rev. Dr. R. Arulappa. By the efforts of Rev. Fr. P.J. Lawrence Raj, several extensions and renovations were made to this Shrine. A beautiful community hall, stalls Museum and class room blocks were constructed in May 2000, nearly 8 grounds were purchased and a beautiful stage was erected and dedicated to Jubilee 2000. In 2001 a small Chapel for the blessed Sacrament was built. In 2002 grotto depicting the miracles of Our Lady of Good Health was created. In 2003 Mother Mary’s Square and Reconciliation Chapel was constructed.

From 2000 to 2003, 3 grounds were purchased in which the new Convent building stands. On 8th September 2005 this Church was decreed as a Shrine of the Archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore by the Most Rev. Dr. A.M. Chinnappa SDB, Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore.

Annai Velankanni Shrine
Elliot’s Beach Road,
Besant Nagar, Chennai – 600 020
Phone 044 2491 1246 / 2446 6923
http://www.vailankannishrinechennai.org

- This informations were complied from the Directory 2005 of Archdiocese of Madras – Mylapore.