Srinagar Church to celebrate Christmas after 35 years of loneliness – The New Indian Express

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Through Express news service

SRINAGAR: A few days before Christmas there was good news for Christians in Srinagar. The renovated 125-year-old St. Luke’s Church was reopened on Thursday and the bells started ringing there after 35 years.

The church on the foothills of Shankaracharya Butte in the Dalgate district of downtown Srinagar has been all but reopened by J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha. Built by Dr Ernest and Dr Arthurnew in 1896, the church was in poor condition with the structure damaged.

Restoration work worth Rs 70 lakh was undertaken by the J&K tourism department as part of the Smart City project last year. As part of this project, important religious places would be renovated taking into account their heritage aspect.

An official from the tourism department said the church had been closed for 35 years and no prayers were offered there.

“One of the components of the Smart City project is the modernization of shrines, temples and churches. We are restoring all important religious places in Srinagar.

Another official said the material used for the modernization was the same as that used to build the original structure.

According to Rev. Vino Kaul, associate priest of All Saints Church in Srinagar, St. Luke’s Church was open until 1986-87 and prayers were held every morning. Until 1986, a British priest was available for church worshipers.

Suhaib Naqashbandi, an architect involved in the project, said it was a valuable government initiative.

“The structural elements of the church were damaged. The roof was leaking. Suhaib said the focus is on structural stability. “After the restoration of the structural elements, further work was undertaken. The electrification works have been redone, ”he said.

With its renovation and restoration, St Lukes Church is ready to host Christmas prayers this year.

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