My first visit to St. Peter's in 1997 or 98 was for a rather very naive reason. I came to know of a woman priest Rev. Pearl Prashad leading St. Peter's congregation. So I wondered how it would be like to hear a lady preach from the pulpit. It was this curiosity that took me there. It wasn't any different I must add. Since then I have come to know the Rev. Prashad very well. Here's a piece that I wrote in 2012, which appeared in the eNewsletter of CNI Synod: http://www.cnisynod.org/1212/left6.htm
(Picture Courtesy: Mr. Uttam Singh)
Now part of the Church Of North India churches, St. Peter's was built as the railwaymen's church of the Protestant Anglican communities of Charbagh and Alambagh in Lucknow. The Bishop of Lucknow, George Herbert laid the foundation stone for this Church on March 21st 1914 and the construction commenced in December of the same year. It was dedicated for divine services on October 8th, 1915.
Stone commemorating the laying of the Church foundation - its right next to the main entrance door
Entrance to the Church compound
Picture of the main Church building taken on a bright Sunday morning. Extensive restoration work has happened in the last few years.
View of the entrance gate and the Sunday school on right
Church as it appears from the lawns.
Frank Lishman (1869 - 1938) designed the Church and the preliminary design was also published in the Annual Report on Architectural Work in India for the Year 1912 - 13. As per Mr. Uttam Singh (the Church organist and a long time member of the Church) tells me that "the congregation of St. Peter's was already formed before the church building was constructed and it is said that they used to assemble somewhere in present day's Loco Workshop but no record is available in the Church".
Picture taken in 1984 (Picture Courtesy: Mr. Uttam Singh). Notice the small white cross over the arcade (as seen in recent pictures) is not there - its clearly a recent addition.
10/04/2016 update - Ms. Maureen Young (who came across this post) has shared the following pictures, it is the cover page of the Church magazine dated January 1938 and the page from inside the magazine.
Here's quoting from Ms. Young's recent email to me:
"My Mother kept this as my brother and myself were both baptized here whilst we were living in Lucknow in the 1930’s. I note the Chaplain at the time was The Revd.R.S. Waterson, other names mentioned are F.M. Bowder Esq., Sidesman. A Mrs. Fox, Miss S. Paine, and Miss L. Sear are mentioned as being Organists."
Thank you Ms. Young for sharing this.
View from the Church Lawns. On either side of the entrance to the arcade are the Ten commandments in Hindi.
Earlier the Church compound was not limited to the current area. It was a large area covering the Church Road which starts from Opposite Railway hospital and its second end was near Fateh Ali Ka Talab crossing. (Information courtesy: Mr. Uttam Singh)
Ten Commandments on the side of the entrance to the Church - 1
Ten Commandments on the side of the entrance to the Church - 2
The ten commandments were inserted in 1989 at the time of platinum jubilee of the Church.
The Parsonage as it appears from the Church lawns
The old parsonage was a huge bungalow no. C1. It was acquired by Railways and in lieu of the parsonage they built the current rather humble parsonage which is like a type IV railway quarter. Its no. is IV/12, Church Road. (Information courtesy: Mr. Uttam Singh)
Here's an excerpt from Rosie Llewellyn-Jones' Lucknow Then and Now "The east wall has deep overhanging eaves, simple sleek buttress forms, and tall thin lancet windows, which allow light to penetrate the nave of the Church during morning services. Collectively these plain finishes contribute to the handsome styling of the Church".
View of the Transept and the Chancel
View of the Apse as it appears from outside
View of the Transept from the side of the parsonage
Here's another excerpt from Rosie Llewellyn-Jones' Lucknow Then and Now "The brick building varies its northwest and southwest exposures to protect the south side with a full arcade on the ground floor, whereas its northwestern aspect pushes the side chapel out two floors in height".
The first question I had post reading the above was: where is the side chapel? I haven't seen one inside. For that we need to head inside the building.
The main entrance door to the Church
Calling out the repairs to the Church wall. Please note that due to repairs and restoration over the years the look and feel of the building both outside and inside has changed. I'll share examples further in the post.
Another commemoration stone calling out the platinum jubilee year of the church building
View of the nave from the entrance door.
The ornate baptismal font - 1
The ornate baptismal font - 2
On the left to the main entrance door are the memorial stones of the faithful departed. This was not their original place on the church walls. During recent restorations these were placed in this common location in the Church.
Memorial - 1
Memorial - 2 (pre-independence memorial)
Memorial - 3 (another pre-independence memorial)
Memorial - 4 (Williamson and others of the Oudh and Rohilkhand Railway)
The aisle on the right (perhaps ending in the side chapel, there are no signs of it now)
The aisle on the left (door at the end leads into the current vestry). Notice the charts put up on the walls and pillars prepared by the Sunday school children.
The Chancel and the Apse with the Holy Altar.
The choir pews in the Chancel on the left
The choir pews and the pulpit on the right
Close up of the Holy Altar (Picture Courtesy: Rev. Henry Johnson's FB Page)
View of the Chancel from the pews (during the Sunday service led by the current Presbyter Rev. Virendra Singh)
The congregation as it lines up to receive the Holy Communion.
The stained glass window above the Altar (apology for the poor resolution picture).
Windows on the left overlooking the parsonage. Notice the tiles on the wall and the marble stones for the floor. Part of the recent restorations - not in lines with how it originally would have appeared. But at least its well kept.
Below are the pictures of the faithful servants of God that served here in the recent decades.
Late Rev. Cecil Singh (originally a British Methodist minister, later Presbyter in the united Church of North India). Picture Courtesy: Mr. Uttam Singh
Rev. Pearl Prashad (Retired) took the charge of St. Peter's from Rev. Cecil Singh
Rev. Henry Johnson (Picture courtesy: Rev. Johnson's FB page)
Rev. Virendra Singh, the current Presbyter in charge (Picture Courtesy: Rev. V. Singh's FB page)
If any of you have some old pictures or more information on the Church, then please do share it with me on my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do leave your valuable comments on the post.