Just across the road from where I stay is a quaint, whitewashed 19th Century Protestant Church with red shutters, exquisite stained glass windows, and wooden rafters holding up the ceiling. Just across the road is a little bit of England.
The St Stephen’s Church of the Church of North India Diocese of Mumbai, was built in 1845 by wealthy English entrepreneurs who had made Bandra their home during the British Raj. In the mid-19th Century, Bandra was but a small village with Kolis and Kunbis. To cater to ‘the spiritual needs’ of the British Protestant Christians in the area, the British parishioners got together and pooled in a then magnificent sum of Rs. 8,000. This was, however, not enough. John Vaupel, a high court judge at that time, pitched in with the balance.
The church was consecrated in 1853 – It is the first and only Anglican Church in Bombay’s suburbs.
What is most endearing about the church, for me at least, has to be its simplicity. Surrounded by towering trees, the cross shaped neo-Gothic edifice topped by a lofty ceiling could not possibly seat more than 150 at a time.
Everyday, the prettiness of its picturesqueness, embellishes my view from my window. On Sunday mornings, the strains of the choir float into my apartment. And the lilting voices, embellish my day 🙂