A fine piece of architecture

A fine piece of architecture

A fine piece of architecture

Standing tall for last eight decades in the west of Parliament House at North Avenue is the Cathedral Church of the Redemption. Known for its architecture, magnificent interior and choir group that performs during all functions and festivals at the church, the place is a sanctuary of quiet meditation and prayer.

Going back to its history, the church traces its origins to the early decades of the 1900s when Rev T R Dixon was appointed as the chaplain to meet the spiritual needs of the British officers in the capital. With Viceroy Lord Irwin's keen support, a competition was held to select the best architectural design for the church. Among the many designs presented, H A N Medd's design was chosen. He prepared the plans for the new church within a budget of Rs 50, 000.

Interestingly, Medd's design was inspired by the Palladio church of Il Redentore in Venice as well as Lutyens Hampstead church. It was on February 23 1927, the foundation stone was laid by Viceroy Irwin under the spot is the central dome, the exact centre of the church.

 The Cathedral Church of the Redemption was finally opened to public worship on Sunday, 18 January 1931. Built in white Dholpur stone, the Church's solemn and austere exteriors lead to a magnificent interior, which has a wonderful play of arches. The small and recessed openings let in streams of sunlight and strong surges of breeze. The entire interior is white stone except for the vaulted ceiling.

What adds beauty to the church is its choir gallery and paintings. The church has some fine paintings adorning its aisles. A copy of the fifteenth century Italian Renaissance painter Giovanni Bellinis’ Madonna and Child with two Cherubs is placed above the high altar. Meanwhile, the choir gallery over the main western entrance has the unique William Hill and Norman and Beard pipe organ.

At the time of festivity, the fifty plus choir, a combined group from the English, Tamil and the Hindi choir, performs in the church. The English, Tamil and Hindi sections perform carol services. The English choir conducts the neighbourhood carols and the Tamil choir the carol rounds.

Since Christmas is only a few months away,  you must block your time and visit the place on the festive day.

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