Churches gearing up for Christmas

Hyderabad: The churches across the state capital are gearing up for Christmas. With hardly a week left, the city has started ushering in the Christmas season with food festivals, cake making and members of choirs rehearsing songs and preparations for skits. Some churches have already begun organising cultural events like carol singing, Bible quiz etc. The city has several churches that are over a hundred years old and have been continuing traditions for decades.

All Saints Church

The All Saints Church located in Trimulgherry was built in 1860 by the British Army. It has a unique charm and unlike most of the churches in the twin cities, it is adorned with a pink and white border. There are around 300 families who are the members of the church. The church is a classical representation of Gothic architecture in all its grandeur and beauty.

Speaking to The Hans India, Rev D Justus Moni, Presbyter in-charge, All Saints Church, Trimulgherry, said, "The renovation of the church was done three years ago with the help of members. The church conducts a special mass on Christmas which continues till midnight. The choir at night is very special."

Holy Trinity Church

The Holy Trinity Church is located in Bolarum was built in the year 1847. This church was personally funded by Queen Victoria on the land which was donated by the Nizam of Hyderabad. It was initially an Anglican Church and a place of worship for the British Army officers and of other Indian Christian families. There are around 450 families that are the members of the church. The church was built in the Victorian Gothic style.

Speaking to The Hans India, Rev E J David, Presbyter in-charge, Holy Trinity Church, Bolarum, said, "The renovation of the roof of the church is currently going on. Apart from the renovation for Christmas, the decorated crib will be the major attraction of this church. On Christmas, the church will host a dinner for the community."

St Mary's Basilica

The Saint Mary's Basilica Church located in Secunderabad was established way back in 1840 AD. This church has witnessed two major influences: the Gothic revival and classic revivalism. Fr Daniel Murphy is credited as the builder of the St Mary's Church. The church was formerly called the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Hyderabad. In 1886, it ceased to be a cathedral. In 1871, nuns from St. Anne at Turin opened a school that became popular as St. Ann's School.

Speaking to The Hans India, Rev Fr Swarna Bernard, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Hyderabad Rector and Parish Priest, St Mary's Basilica, Secunderabad, said, "The celebrations here include prayer songs, cake cutting and distribution and Santa Claus show. This year, one Mr M Dinesh Kumar has donated Rs 5 Lakh to the church. Months later, the church is now getting its interiors repaired and renovated."

Church of St John The Baptist

This church is located at Marredpally in Secunderabad. This church was established in the year 1813. This is one of the oldest churches in the twin cities. The wooden roof, the brass plaques with names of Britishers, the pipe organ present an old world charm. The church was built for British troops of the Secunderabad cantonment. The church has a strong 2,000 members. Speaking to The Hans India, Rev KM Charles Wesley, Pastor, Church of St John The Baptist, said, "There are several events and programmes that are conducted by the church in the month of December. This is one of the High-Anglican CSI churches in the city. The special Christmas eve service will be held on the night of December 24 from 11 pm to 2 am."

St George's Church

This church is located in Abids and was established in the year 1844. The church is a beautiful structure standing in the St George's Grammar School compound at Abids. The establishment of the British Residency in Koti drew many Christian families to settle down in the Chadarghat-Abids area. The construction of a church was mooted and permission from the Nizam was obtained. The foundation stone was laid in February 1844 and the building was completed and opened for Divine Service on 19 September 1844. It is under the diocese of Medak. There are more than 150 families who are the members of this church.

Rev Fr M Prashanth Babu, Pastor, St Georges Church, Abids, said, "The renovation of the interior and exterior of the church is currently going on. There will be chanting/singing verses on Christmas night rather than reading prayers."

(With inputs from Avinash Bhingarde)

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