St. Marks Cathedral was a beautiful old British church which stood tall at the entrance to the famous Bangalore M.G. Road, across the street from Queen’s Park. It was the CSI flagship church. The church hosted many of the elite Bangalore Christian families who regularly worshipped there. Bishop Cottons girls and boys schools were affiliated with it and boarders regularly attended the Sunday morning service. Vishranthi Nilayam and UTC had affiliations too. (Please read the very interesting history of this beautiful church in the article below.)
My maternal grandparents started attending it in the mid 1960s when they moved from Delhi to Bangalore. My parents became members of St. Marks the year after they were married. This was the church I was born into, baptized, confirmed, and married in.
My memories are of the absolutely heavenly music, Professor Sebastian played on the grand pipe organ and the choir joyously singing hymns under Uncle Sugirtharaj’s tutelage. And, I cannot forget Anand Uncle proudly carrying the cross down the aisle each week. But, I also remember the service from the Book of Common Worship being repeated innumerable times that it felt very boring and often made me mindlessly say them – though in and of itself it was beautiful and meaningful. The Sunday school was set for elementary school aged kids. We sang the usual joyful songs, learned a Bible hero story and colored our papers in the parish hall. Except for my grandpa who was in leadership, the rest of us were pretty much Sunday Christians.
Now looking back, it was a beautiful church but I am heartbroken to say that as far as I can remember, I don’t remember the gospel being preached at all through my 22 years there. I have been away from that church since our move to the U.S. 30 years ago. I wonder what Jesus would say about it today? It has an interesting history of being built and collapsing many times – is this a significant reflection of the spiritual reality of the church? Praying that it would be free of the chains of worldliness, legalism, morality and corruption to stand as a bright gospel light in the city of Bangalore.
It’s not a church that matters but it’s the worship of our one true God! It’s the truth of the Gospel which gives us eternal hope and life. I have since learned that salvation is by grace alone, by faith alone, not by works so that none of us may boast! For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. ~John 3:16
– Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Updated: Dec 10, 2017