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St. Thomas Church, Hisar

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St. Thomas Church, Hisar

St. Thomas' Church
St. Thomas' Methodist Church
Entrance of the church
Location Hisar, Haryana
Country India
Denomination Methodist
Churchmanship Anglican
Website http://dioceseofdelhi.org/
History
Authorising papal bull 3 December 1860
Founded 3 December 1860 (1860-12-03)
Founder(s) George Edward Lynch Cotton
Dedication Thomas the Apostle
Dedicated May 1864
Consecrated 31 December 1865
Cult(s) present Thomas the Apostle
Associated people Father Joel Singh
Architecture
Status Church
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Historical Monument by INTACH
Style Victorian
Groundbreaking 3 December 1860
Completed May 1864
Construction cost INR 4500
Specifications
Capacity 40
Length 53 ft (16 m)
Width 25 ft (7.6 m)
Number of floors 1
Materials Wood, tiles
Bells 1
Administration
Archdiocese Malankara Orthodox Church
Diocese Anglican Diocese of Delhi
District Hisar
Clergy
Archbishop Metropolitan Job Mar Philoxenos
Bishop(s) Sunil Kumar Singh
Pastor(s) Isaac P. Mann
Chaplain(s) Sebastian Vadakumpadan
Logo of Methodist Church in India

St. Thomas' Church is located in Hisar city of Haryana, India. It stands on the National Highway 10 of India. It has been declared as a historical monument by Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage. The Church is dedicated to St. Thomas, one of the 12 main disciples of Jesus Christ.[1]

History

Plaque at St. Thomas Church, Hisar

The proposal for building the church was put up in 1860. Construction started on 3 December 1860 and was completed in May, 1864 at a cost of 4500 rupees. The church was Bishop of Calcutta on 31 December 1865.[1] Till 1899, the worship in the church was restricted to Christians only. The Church and accompanying graveyard were handed over to the Methodist Church in Southern Asia in 1950 by the C.P.W.D. The centenary service was conducted by F. R. Willis, Bishop of Delhi on 8 January 1966.

Architecture

The church is built in Victorian style of architecture. The ceiling is covered with wooden panel. The main structure consists of an altar, a baptistry, a pulpit and two vestries. The pulpit of the church is adorned with velvet curtains.[1] The floor of the church is made up of geometrical tiles. A graveyard is also located near the entrance of the church.

Structures

The main hall cover an area of 1325 square feet and can accommodate around 40 people. The walls of the hall are 2 feet thick. The bell is another feature of the church. It was made at Roorkee in 1874. The graveyard is located near the entrance to the church. It contains graves of the John Wedderburn, collector of Hisar and his family who were killed by the rebels during Indian Rebellion of 1857.

Krantiman Park

It is the oldest park in the city of Hisar and is a part of St. Thomas' Church Complex. It was built by East India Company and was then known as Company Bagh. A memorial was built here in 1857 in the memory of John Wedderburn and other people killed during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. In all 23 Europeans and Christians were murdered, 12 at Hissar and 11 at Hansi. There is a pillar with the names of the people killed on all sides. Due to the presence of pillar, the park was from then onwards known as Laat Bagh as Laat was the local word used for a pillar. The renovation of the park was done by Yudhvir Singh Malik, Deputy Commissionerof Hisar in 1983. A bust of Chandra Shekhar Azad was erected in the park in 1984 and it was renamed as Krantiman Park. The park was inaugurated by Bhajan Lal, Chief Minister of Haryana on 11 July 1984.[1]

Rebellion of 1857 in Hissar

In May 1857 detachments of the Haryana Light Infantry and the 14th Irregular Cavalry were stationed at Hissar, Hansi and Sirsa, the headquarters being at the former place where Major Stafford was in command. The Civil Officer at Hissar at the time was Mr. Wedderburn, Magistrate and Collector. As soon as news of the outbreak at Delhi and the capture of that city by the mutineers was received, Mr. Wedderburn had the treasure removed to the building used as the residence of the Superintendent of the Cattle Farm, where it was likely to be more secure and capable of defence than in the Government treasury at the kacheri.

An additional troop of cavalry was obtained from the Nawab of Dadri and the customs peons were called in and placed as sentries at the city gates.

Up to this time there appears to have been no suspicion of the fidelity of the native troops, though disturbances in the villages appear to have been anticipated. Meanwhile, however, the storm was brewing. It broke at Hansi on the morning of 29 May at 11 A.M. when the troops stationed there revolted. Major Stafford and some others who had received intimation from one of the native officers and a loyal Bunya, named Morari, managed to escape, but the rest of the Europeans and Christians were massacred and their bungalows set on fire.

Meanwhile a, rebel sowar was despatched to Hissar,and on his arrival at 2 P.M. the troops stationed there re-volted. Lieutenant Barwell, the Officer Commanding, on going out to enquire the reason of the disturbance, was shot by one of the treasury guard, and the mutineers went off to the jail to release the convicts. A body of them then galloped on to the kacheri where the Collector was engaged as usual; seeing what had happened, he at once bravely set off towards the city to guard the treasure, but was murdered by some of the rebel sowars.

Two of the English clerks, Messrs. Jefferies and Smith, succeeded in escaping into the Bir. After the murder of the Collector the uproar became universal. The native troops, the Dadri sowars and the Customs peons all joined in, the convicts in the j ail were released, and houses of the Europeans were set on fire, while two ladies Mrs. Jefferies and Mrs. Smith, with their children, were cruelly murdered by their servants. Mrs. Barwell and Mrs. Wedderburn, with their children, were residing at the house of the Superintendent of the Cattle Farm, and they and their children were there massacred by the mutinous troops, while Mr. David Thompson, the Tahsildar of Hissar, was murdered by his chaprasis. In all 23 Europeans and Christians were murdered, 12 at Hissar and 11 at Hansi.

Thirteen persons, including Mr. Taylor, the Superintendent of the Cattle Farm, and Mr. Waghorn, the Civil Surgeon, escaped, in most cases with the assistance of natives, whose fidelity formed a bright contrast to the general disloyalty of the district. On the morning of 30 May, a person named Muhammad Azim, an assistant patrol on the Customs line,who styled himself "Shahzada," entered Hissar with the intention of putting himself at the head of the revolt in the district. He stayed a few days, and then went off towards Delhi to procure assistance from the Emperor.

At this time General Van Cortlandt was Deputy Commissioner of Ferozepore, and had, at the beginning of the disturbances in May, raised, by order of Government, a levy of Sikhs. On 1 June intelligence was received at Ferozepore of the events which had transpired at Hissar and Sirsa. On 8 June the General marched towards Sirsa with a force of 550 men with two guns, and he was accompanied by Captain Robertson as Political Officer. At Malaut a reinforcement of some 120 men was received. The first encounter with the rebels took place at Odhan on 17 June, when some 5,000 Bhattis attacked the advancing force, but were decisively routed. On the 18th the village of Chhatrvan, where Captain Hilliard and his brother-in-law Mr. Fell, had been treacherously murdered, was burnt to the ground. On the 19th a force of rebel Bhattis and _Pachadas was again encountered at Khaireka on the bank of the Ghaggar and almost annihilated with a loss to the British force of 6 killed and 32 wounded. On the 20th Sirsa was reached when the Bikaner contingent of 800 men and two guns, loyally sent to our aid by the Raja of Bikaner, marched in as a reinforcement. The civil organization of the district was at once reestablished, and in a short time things reverted to their former state.

Meanwhile, on 21 June, a force of 400 Bikaner horse and two guns, under Lieutenant Pearse, was sent on to garrison Hissar which was threatened by the insurgent Ranghars of Mangali, a village which took dleading part in the insurrection. On 8 July, after restoring order at Sirsa and leaving Mr. Oliver there as Superintendent of Bhattiana, General Van Cortlandt marched vid Fatehabad for Hissar, which he 'leached on the 17th, having halted six days at Fatehabad to receive the submission of the revolted Pachadas.

From Hissar, a Tahsildar, Ahmad Nabi Khan, and a few sowars were despatched to restore the civil power at Hansi. On the 20th the Ranghars of Jamalpur, a village 'which was the leader in the revolt, attacked Hansi, but were repulsed by the Tahsildar and his garrison. Re-inforcements joined at Hissar, and on the 8th the force marched to Hansi, leaving a garrison at Hissar.

Meanwhile the Shahzada returned from Delhi with reinforcements for the rebels amounting to 1,500 cavalry, 500 infantry and 3 guns and the insurgent Ranghars of Mangali, aided by some men from Jamalpur, made an attack on Hissar, but were decisively repulsed by the garrison, aided by some re-inforcements from Hansi. On 2 September, the Jamalpur rebels made an attack on the tahsil at osram, where they killed Nand Lal, Tahsildar, Piyare Lal, Thanadar, and Khizan Singh, Kanungo. On 6th General Van-Cortlandt burnt the illage of Hajimpur near Hansi, which was a stronghold of the rebels, and on the 11th an attack was made on the village of Mangali which as carried by storm and burnt. This was followed up on the 13th by he capture and burning of the village of Jamalpur which was defended by the rebel Ranghars and the Delhi troops under the Shahzada.

This practically concluded the military operations in the district, and thereafter it began gradually to settle down, but the Haryana Field Force was not finally broken up till 1 May 1858. After order had been restored 133 persons were hanged in the Hissar District for the part which they had taken in the revolt, and 3 others were sentenced to trans· portation for life, of whom 2 were subsequently pardoned. The proprietary rights in seven villages were forfeited, among them being Mangali and Jamalpur, while fines were levied on as many more. At the same time many mafi grants and pecuniary rewards were given to those who had rendered conspicuous service.

The attitude of the various classes of the population at this trying period is worthy of notice. The inhabitants of the towns and the Bagri villagers were, with rare exceptions, incapable of combining for mutual defence, and their only resource was flight. They made no attempt to interfere with their neighbours, but on the slightest threat of danger they fled with their valuables, leaving their heavier goods a prey to the first body of plunderers, however insignificant. The Musalmans of the Ghaggar valley and of the district generally, finding the forces of order nonexistent, rose to plunder their weaker and less-spirited neighbours. The Ranghars of the district especially those who were Musalmans, threw themselves heart and soul into the revolt. Large numbers of them had been serving in the native regiments which had mutinied in other districts, and many of these returning to their villages helped to fan the flame of insurrection. The rebels, however, could never make any stand against disciplined force, and their numbers alone rendered them formidable, and after their defeats any insurrectionary movements on their part subsided.

The Jats, Sikhs and Deswalis maintained a strictly defensive attitude, and were both strong enough and energetic enough to maintain themselves against the attacks of the insurgents. The inferior police officials and customs peons either deserted their officers or actively combined for plunder, but the native officials of the district seem to have on the whole remained at their posts as long as could be expected while several distinguished themselves by their fidelity.

The neighbouring States of Patiala and Bikaner sent considerable bodies of troops to aid the authorities, and though their services were not of a very valuable kind, still the fact showed a feeling of loyalty on the part of these States, which should never be forgotten. They also afforded a ready refuge to fugitives and treated them with hospitality.

Administration

The church was officially handed over by the Govt. of India to the Methodist Church in Southern Asia in 1950 but the archdiocese of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and Anglican Diocese of Delhi also continued to hold worship services in the Church. The Methodist Pastor-in-charge is The Rev. Kamal Paul and the District Superintendent is Rev. Isaac P. Mann. It is a part of the denomination Methodist Church in India. The Resident & Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church for Delhi Area is Bishop Subodh C. Mondal.[2] The archbishop of the archdiocese of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Churchis Metropolitan Job Mar Philoxenos and bishop is Sunil Kumar Singh.

Nearby Attractions

Blackbuck female deer
Shatavar Endangered Ayurvedic Herb

See also

Further reading

  • Juneja, M.M. Hisar City: Places & Personalities 2004, Haryana: Modern Publishers, 744 pp.

External links

  • Official website of Diocese of Delhi

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Hisar Jano". Jambh Shakti Trust. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Appointments as announced at the 30th Regular Session of The Delhi Regional Conference concluding on 16 April 2013.


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