One Hundred and Forty Years ago.... a Historical Sketch
St. Mark's Cathedral was the only Government Church in
City which catered to the spiritual needs of English speaking Congregation. This Church was not large enough to accommodate the large Congregation. There was a big demand for the construction of a New Church from the local Congregation. The British Government was hesitant to grant permission for a new Church as the East India Company had a policy of one station, one Church. As a result of local disturbance the Directors of East India Company made an exception to their policy and approved for the construction of a second government Church in 1845.
The site for the new Church was chosen by Bishop Corrie. The Holy Trinity Church is at the East end of the Parade Grounds and Richmond Road ( Now M.G. Road and Richmond Road), towards the Cavalry Barracks. Straight as the crow flies at the other end of the South Parade is the Statue of Queen Victoria facing towards the Church. Perhaps on a clear day, long ago in the past one could possibly see the Statue from the porch of the Church, now, one may be able to view it from the Church belfry. The original estimate for the cost of construction was under Rs. 27,000/-.
The foundation stone was laid on the chosen site on 16th February 1848 by Major General Aitchison, Commanding Mysore separation. The Arch Deacon of that time had suggested various improvements and especially for the erection of a lounge attached to the Church. Therefore, they had to spend another Rs. 6,500/- and so the total cost of the building had exceeded Rs. 33,500/- The Church was dedicated by the then Bishop of Madras, Bishop Dealtry, on 16th September 1851. In fact, the Church was not ready for use and it took another 10 months to make the Church ready for worship. The Church was ready on 25th July 1852. But, the first Divine Service with Holy Communion was celebrated within the walls of Holy Trinity Church on 8th August 1852.
To first Baptism Service was conducted on 27th July 1852 itself by the appointed Chaplain of Holy Trinity Church, Rev. W. W. Lutyens.
M. A., the child who got the priviledge was a girl name Frances Eleanor. The first couple who got married was Ebenezer Gay and Elizebeth on 15th September 1852. The Church could accommodate 700 people, and was said to be the largest Military or Garrison Church in Southern India.
The beauty of Holy Trinity Church is not alone in it's tall tower and unparalleled pillars but also in its high class statues, of generals and other officials, mural tablets and memorials inside. The Holy Trinity Church is certainly a massive and majestic piece of architectural gandeur. The decorative memorials and articles inside are `history in stone' that speak the stories of great men and women. If one goes to the tower of the Church one can admire the strength of the structure, the solidarity of the wooden ladders and the view of the beautiful city of Bangalore. We learnt that the Cross which surmounts, it was the present by the Queen Victoria's Own West Kent Regiment. `In memory of those who died whilst this Unit was in Bangalore' (1928-32). Many of the older monuments were also made in London by famous firms, the most beautiful being the one of the young Soldier in full uniform, in memory of Lieut. Augustus Croft Dobree, who died in 1867, aged 22.
There was also another wall monument of Gen. Clement Delves Hill, clad in the garments of ancient Rome, who died on January 20th, 1845 by the Gersoppa Falls. His brother was a famous commander of the peninsular war. Another monument To Arabella, the wife of Lt. Gen. Sir James Wolfe Murray had full Latin stanzas from Virgil inscribed on it. Some told of tragic occurrences.
Maj. Gen. Faunce was lost when, after the campaign in Burma, his vessel was found in the Bay of Bengal, and in the same month his wife died on her voyage to England. Their married daughter died in Tellicherry a few weeks later. There are many more tablets and memorials which speak about the great people who toiled and equipped this House of God. The stained glass which depicts the baptism of Jesus in splendid color is a rare piece;
The three pairs of angels which are carved in wood of the roof which is above the Choir pews and the altar, symbolizes the angels guarding the Holy of Holies. Indeed it is a marvelous workmanship.