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Friday, February 23, 2018

CSI All Souls Church (Coimbatore)

Upon completion of construction, Bishop Gell consecrated All Souls’ church on January 27, 1872 and the reverent Henry Pope was the first resident Chaplain. Podanur and Palghat outstations were also assigned to him. All Souls’ church was formerly affiliated with the Church of England in India.
The Church and the adjoining building have the characteristic feature of an anglican church. Cruciform shaped, its chancels accommodate the choir on one side and the members on the other side. The chancels have low wooded roof, double side gabbled entrances supported by a single column and two pointed arches. The arched openings lead to a 12 feet wide hall culminating to the raised sanctuary. A king post truss spans the steep tiled timber rafted roof. The walls are ashlars stone masonry. Pointed arches reflect the gothic revival style; huge stained glass windows and a profusion of smaller arch windows create an effect of space and light. The steeple houses the belfry.
With the turn of the 20th century All Souls’ family became a cosmopolitan mixture of congregation of Indian and Eurasian origins.
With the promulgation of Indian Church Statuary Rules, 1940, all the protestant churches in South India and Sri Lanka are affiliated to Church of South India on September 27, 1947. The last English Chaplain of All Souls’ church was Rev. Roy Martin who served from 1969 to 1980. This era witnessed tremendous growth of the Church with a multilingual complex Tamils, Malayalis and others, along with some Europeans and Africans who came to study in leading institutions in Coimbatore city. Rev. Roy Martin took the initiative to educate the children in Christian virtues and started the All Souls’ Junior Church.
A wedding in progress

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