180-year-old church in San Thome restored

The CSI St. Thomas English Church in San Thome which is about 180 years old was recently restored. The community here got together for a Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, February 27.

Once known as ‘St. Thomas by the Sea”, this small, white church on the shore built in 1842, was a
prominent Anglican church at that time in Madras. It is now a part of the Church of South India.

On Sunday, the church looked resplendent – decorated with red and white flower arrangements
and the walls freshly painted a pristine white.

In his sermon, the Presbyter Rev. J Paul Sudhakar said, “We are a privileged community to be present here at this historic moment… the Lord has enabled us to have this Church renovated.”

After the sung Eucharist, Dr. Rabinder Boaz, the secretary of the pastorate committee, took
the congregation through a pictorial journey of the restoration of the 180-year-old church

“We must be thankful to God that last year there was a tremendous deluge and that monsoon
actually opened our eyes to the need for this restoration. Layer by layer, there was much
damage and destruction. The roof, the ceiling, the beams, walls and doors, many areas were
crying out for attention” he said.

While most of the doors and woodwork have been refurbished and used, the church now has a brand-new roof with interlocking tiles imported from Spain, giving it an appearance of just as it would have
looked before the 1950s.

The treasurer of the pastorate committee Gemina Martin said, “It is a very challenging project. Sunil Vamadevan and Sharada Vamadevan, the architects helped us a lot. They did not take
any remuneration from us for our service… they spent hours in this church, looking at nook
and corners and advising us what to do, and how to restore it.”

Ezhilarasan was the engineer in charge of this project.

  • Report by Fabiola Jacob
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