Cathedral Church of the Redemption India
The Cathedral Church of the Redemption India nestles in the corner of Church Lane covered with Tall shady green trees and surrounded with a well trimmed green lawn. You can approach this Church from Connaught Place from where you will need to travel from Baba Kharak Singh Marg (Road) up till Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital circular road. From here, you enter North Avenue Road and travel straight down this Avenue up till you arrive at Church Road which is sandwiched between Parliament House on its west and the Jaipur Column on its north. On this Road, take the Church Lane where this ancient Church stands majestically. The area is filled with utter serenity and calmness that will relief anyone from the daily stress of life.
Initially, all Church Services were held at Toga Ashram at 1, Alexandra Place at Gole Post Office which could only accommodate 60 people at one time and hence the concept to build a permanent Church started way back in the 1900s, when Reverend T.R. Dixon who was appointed as the Chaplain felt the need to create a permanent structure where British Officers living in Delhi could meet their daily spiritual needs and also a place that could accommodate a large number of devotees.
Reverend T.R. Dixon presented this proposal and heavy donations were received from Viceroys, Royalties and Christians from other faiths out of which King George, Queen Mary and the Indian Church Aid Association were the first few to donate generously. A Committee was set up to supervise the construction of this Church and during the outset of the First World War Reverend Dixon along with Sir Hugh Keeling, Kunwar Maharaj Singh who was the Chief Engineer of Delhi, Mr. C.A. Croft who was the Chief Commissioner, The various Chaplains of Delhi and Chaplains of Raisina, Rai Bahadur Shoan Lal, Reverend J. C. Chatterjee and an Agent from Imperial Bank where the donations and funds were kept were chosen as the high profiled members of the Church Committee.
Sir Edwin Lutyens proposed the Site Number 110 as the venue for constructing this Church as it was approved by the Church Committee. Many designs were presented by various architects in the presence of Sir Lutyens and the winning design of Henry Alexander Medd (1892-1977) was selected and approved by Lutyens and the Committee on 11th November 1925 under the construction budget of INR 50,000.00. The foundation stone was laid at the central point of the Church on 23rd February 1927 by Viceroy Lord Irwin who personally supported by appealing for funds from England. Through Lord Irwin’s support and the stunning design of Architect Henry Medd, the Church took Shape and was completed in 1931. The Church reflected the imprints of the Palladio Church in Venice and the Hampstead Church designed by Sir Lutyens. It was officially opened to public on 18th January 1931, a Sunday to mark its auspiciousness.
The Cathedral Church of the Redemption India was consecrated by the Bishop of Lahore with the assistance of Rev. Storrs Fox and Rev. P. Dass who were the Chaplains of Delhi on 15th February 1931. An elaborate and emotion-filled Service was held despite the absence of the Images of Lord Jesus, St. Mary, St. John, Choir, Church Organ, Pulpit and many other important Church objects and items. On 21st April 1947, post Independence of India, this Church established a new Diocese of Delhi and appointed Arabindo Nath Mukherjee as the first Bishop of this Diocese. Through eight long decades, this Church still exudes the royal charm and peaceful ambience that is home to many priests and a haven for all Indian Christians.
The Cathedral Church of the Redemption India is maintained by the Pastorate Committee whose members are specially elected by the Church’s General Body. A monthly subscription is paid by permanent members that go towards the maintenance of the Church apart from the Sunday donations and funds offered by people during every mass held at the Church whereas the Presbyters are responsible for maintaining the well-being of the Parish and its people.
The Cathedral Church of the Redemption India is also known for serving the community through various activities and their educational institutes that fall under the Church Diocese like St, Stephen’s College, St. Stephen’s Hospital, Queen Mary’s School, St. Thomas School, the Victoria School and the Leprosy Patient’s Children’s Education Fund or LPCEF in short. LPCEF was initiated in 1971 by Father Amos Rajamoney and the Brotherhood of the Ascended Christ to channelize funds for the educational benefits of children whose parents suffer from leprosy.
The Cathedral Church of the Redemption India has no restrictions for entry. It welcomes people from all religious sects and all backgrounds to offer their prayers and seek blessings of Lord Jesus and all the Christian Saints, irrespective of the person’s caste, creed or title.