Festive mood at Ggn's oldest church
Gurugram: Consecrated in 1866, the Church of Epiphany is older than Sacred Heart cathedral church at Connaught Place, the biggest church in the national capital that was built in 1935. Even though it is situated in Civil Lines, which is one of the busiest areas in the city, the place wears a deserted look. On Tuesday, the scenario gets completely changed with hundreds of residents thronging to this 152-year-old structure to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Amid the glow of thousands of candles that were lit, the worshippers were treated with the sweetness of festivity snacks and the melody of carols remembering Jesus and Mary.
"I used to go to churches in Delhi before I actually came to know about the Church of Epiphany. Not only it has been an enriching experience bujt also very pleasing to see that how Gurugram has a colonial past," said Akansha Sachdeva.
While most of the people, who visited the church on Tuesday, were not aware of this historical past and the religious structure which has been a witness of the metamorphosis of Gurugram from Guru Dronacharya's village to the millennium city.
Dating back to 1862, the building, then a protestant garrison church was consecrated by the bishop of Calcutta in 1866.
It was looked after by the government until 1942 when it was entrusted to the society for the Propagation of the Gospel.
It was earlier a part of the Diocese of Lahore, the Church of the Epiphany came under the Diocese of Delhi upon the formation of the Church of North India in 1972. It may be Anglican in denomination but the Church of the Epiphany has members hailing from the Presbyterian and Methodist churches as well as from Baptist missions.
There are over 200 families that reside inside the complex which is steadily growing.
In January 2009, a fine new building came up. While the old church can accommodate over 60 worshippers, the new hall one can accommodate about 300.
A walk around the building gently unfolds the aspects of its Colonial-era aesthetics—the tall thin lancet windows, the tiny bell tower and the gabled roof that slopes down on both sides.
The ceiling rests on a frame of timber roof truss—its coffee-coloured wooden beams exuding mysteries of a bygone time. A red carpet leads to the altar, a simple metal cross. The stained glass panel behind depicts the crucifixion.
Over the years, a day care centre and an old age home have also been set up within the complex.