Renovated oldest Church of Srinagar reopened after 30 years
at 9:18 pm
SRINAGAR: The oldest Church of Srinagar, located on the slopes of a hill where the famous Shankaracharya Temple is situated, has been reopened for prayers for the public after a gap of 30 long years.
The Saint Luke’s Church, a monument over 125 years old, was reopened today, just ahead of Christmas, after completion of renovation and restoration work.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, who inaugurated the reopening ceremony through virtual mode, said the lost glory of the oldest Church in Srinagar has been restored.
He said the St Luke’s Church, built in 1896, is a unique symbol of J&K’s composite culture, as he noted that it is situated on the southwest slope of Shri Shankaracharya Hill where the famous temple of Lord Shiva is located.
Special prayers were recited to mark the day, while a documentary on the history and restoration of the church was also showcased on the occasion.
The restoration and conservation work of St Luke’s Church has been carried out under the ‘Smart City Project’.
The inside of the Church has also been redone with construction of Alter, wooden flooring, seating, window panes, access gate and porch.
“India is home to diverse religions and cultures for centuries. But, despite much diversity, we are living in unity without any discrimination,” observed the Lt Governor.
Sinha urged the people to inculcate the spirit of social harmony and strengthen the values of brotherhood, peace and selfless service.
St Luke’s Church is a single-storey building constructed on a cruciform plan.
It is built on the Gothic Style of Architecture which is distinct from the other important monuments dotted in the landscape of Srinagar.
Attached to the porch, there is a bell tower which is three-story in height, mounted by a high pitched CGI roof with dormer gables on each side.
Before the restoration works, the Church was lying in a dilapidated condition, with the structural members suffering major damage.
The CGI roofing was completely damaged, the rainwater intrusion from the roof aggravated the decay of important components.
Initially, the structural integrity of the Church was analyzed by experts and the envisaged vision was to restore the Church in its original shape and character keeping intact the Architectural glory of the Church.
The ceremony was witnessed by Mayor of Srinagar Municipal Council Junaid Azim Mattu, Chief Priest of St. Luke’s Church Father Eric among others.