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St. George’s Cathedral

200 + year old Cathedral

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St. George’s Cathedral was opened in 1815. It is stated that the church was completed by the people themselves with the aid of a lottery fund. It cost 41,709 pagodas; furniture, the organ and the architect’s commission increased the cost to 57,225 pagodas. The East India Company’s Senior Engineer Col. J.L. Caldwell designed the church and his assistant Capt DeHaviland, finished the construction. The site with an advantageous location was called the Choultry Plain. Though the Presidency Chaplain conducted the services from 1815, it was on 6th January 1816, that the first Anglican Bishop in India, Rt. Rev.Thomas Fanshaw Middleton consecrated the church to “the service of God according to the use of the Church of England”. He wrote “I was assisted on this occasion by seven of my clergy, a great number to bring together in this country”.
The stained glass windows of St. George’s Cathedral are a marvel by itself. On either side of the altar in vibrant colors are two panels describing two important events in the life of Jesus. The left panel is a vivid depiction of the Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. One can see the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a dove. The right panel depicts the resurrected Lord with Mary Magdalene
The Cathedral has eight bells that were manufactured by Messrs Mears & Steinbank, Founders, London in the year 1871. The gold chalice and paten for Holy Communion were donated by Lt. Col. Herbert St. Clare Carrunthers in 1908. They weigh 3 lbs 7 ounces in 18 carat gold. It was in 1835, that St. George’s Church became prominent as the Cathedral of Madras. The chancel was later lengthened with a ten foot radius semicircular apse. The Vestry and the Lady Chapel were also added later. In 1884, the Trustees replaced the plaster roof of the nave by one of teakwood and patterned it with papier-mâche