Chennai: One of Chennai's most popular landmarks the St George's Cathedral was built by the British in 1815 after their fort along the Marina beach was short of space. The Church was consecrated in 1816 and was declared a cathedral in 1835.
The splendid architecture of the cathedral has a 139 foot high steeple, magnificent pillars and a medieval art on stained glass. A commemoration service and a public reception a few days ago marked 200 years since the structure was first built.
"We are happy and proud to celebrate the life and mission of the cathedral over the last 200 years" said Rev Immanuel Devakadatcham, the Presbyter. Mr PJ Kurien, deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha was also present at the ceremony.
The church at the heart of the city draws worshipers and tourists. In a sense, it's also the headquarters of Church of South India (CSI).
Moderator Most Rev Dr G Dyvasirvadam says the cathedral is relevant even in the modern context. He explains, "It stands for unity and fraternity. The cathedral stands as a symbol of strength and participated in human empowerment be it during Gujarat earthquake or the recent floods in Chennai. Young and old men and women participated to bring normalcy in many areas".
The Cathedral houses a two hundred year old pipe organ made by Hill and Company and is one of the very old musical instruments in the city. A lady member of the congregation was excited to share that her husband was in the choir from the age of six under choir master late Mr Abraham.
Another worshipper at the Cathedral Samuel Devaprasad, said, "It's the seventh generation that worships here at St George's. We are happy".