The 200-year-old Gorakhpur Church, a masterpiece of British architecture

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Gorakhpur: The bright yellow 200-year-old Christ Church building near the bustling Collectorate in the heart of Gorakhpur city is a masterpiece of British architecture. Due to its solid construction, it has rarely undergone renovations since its establishment in 1820 by Commissioner RM Bird.

While the 200-person capacity hall looks majestic with thick 22-foot-high pillars on either side, 15-foot-high wooden doors on either side, pews and images of Jesus -Christ, including a rare Belgium -a glass painting of Christ carrying children in his arms, adds to the beauty of the well ventilated church. The central cylindrical dome topped with a large cross and a portico attracts visitors.

In addition, there was a large mechanical clock from the British era installed on the front of the dome, which later became dysfunctional and was replaced by a portrait of Christ.

The two-acre campus with all-around greenery and flowering plants makes the Church campus vibrant. The marble plaque inside the church has an illustration by RM Bird who established it between 1820 and 1830 and Daniel Wilson, Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan of India, who consecrated it on March 1, 1841 The plaque describes the theme of the church as’ The rich and the poor meet. The Lord is the creator of all.

Additionally, the location of the church is seen as an added benefit, as this part of town never experiences flooding due to its comparatively higher elevation.

Those associated with the church say the building has rarely been rebuilt since its inception 200 years ago and is still going strong to last another 200 years. They say that three parts of the church, the hall, the dome and the portico were built in several phases.

“The Nawab of Oudh transferred this region to the East India Company in the 18th century. The British built this church for their military officers and after independence it was opened to the common people, ”said Reverend DR Lal, priest in charge of the church. He adds that Christ Church was the first commission church in Gorakhpur. The church is led by the Church of North India (CNI).

The Church is currently attending a week-long Christmas celebration program under the supervision of the responsible priest, Treasurer Dr SK Lawrance and Secretary Amar Joy Singh.

-Abdul Jadid

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