Marathi church celebrates 150th anniv Sunday

MUMBAI: A grand heritage church on the eastern flank of Grant Road railway station is preparing to host its landmark 150th anniversary on Sunday. The facade of Emmanuel Church is illuminated with fairy lighting fixtures, the interiors are spruced up, each and every function and relic calls forth the respect of Jesus Christ.

The present edifice was inaugurated January 10, 1869, the same yr that Mahatma Gandhi was born. Emmanuel Church is affiliated to the Church of North India (CNI) and comprises Marathi-speaking Christians and a couple of Gujaratis. Mass is held in both languages.

Northward migration has left this church with a handful of 200 parishioners, simply 75 families, yet these remain fiercely proud in their heritage.

Emmanuel Church is a Grade 2 heritage structure. Priest in-charge Rev D S Gaikwad stated, "Our church was restored in 2005 with an eye on this grand occasion. Its exterior and interior is a thing of beauty, be it the stained glass windows with Biblical inscriptions or the unique baptismal tank, which draws Christians from other churches also. Baptism is ordinarily conducted by sprinkling water, here special fonts are available for children and adults." There was a pipe organ too, that decayed owing to termite infestation.

Church secretary suggest Deepak Jadhav stated, "Special divine service will be held at 5.00pm Sunday which will witness the presence of CNI Bishop Prakash Patole as well as 30 priests whom we have invited. We have crafted 100 special silver coins inscribed with the image of the church and the number 150 to distribute as souvenirs."

Well identified playback singer Usha Timothy of 'Jab jab bahar aayi' and Rafta rafta dekho aankh meri ladi hai', will sing gospel music written and composed by her. She stated, "I am happy to join this celebration because I am a devotee of Jesus. It was he who led me to sing 'Tu raat khadi thi chhat pe' with Mohammed Rafi at age 13, and brought me to Kalyanji-Anandji with whom I performed for 20 years. All I have I owe to Jesus. This is my thanksgiving."

Parishioner Cyril Dara, a church activist, says they're preventing to save lots of the historical Robert Money technical highschool and junior faculty in the premises from being handed over to every other birthday party.
Marathi church celebrates 150th anniv Sunday Marathi church celebrates 150th anniv Sunday Reviewed by kailash soni on January 12, 2019 Rating: 5
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