The architecture of New Delhi was the crowning glory of the British Raj. Robert Byron described New Delhi as ‘The Rome of Hindustan’ The British built New Delhi as a systematically planned city. Sir Edward Lutyens was made responsible for the overall plan of Delhi. St. Martin’s Church marks the culmination of the British architectural ventures in India This building took Lutyen’s ideas onward. Lutyen’s method of geometric design and massing was abstracted by Shoosmith into something timeless and uncompromising in its austerity, touched with modernism in details such as the pulpit and the lectern.
St. Martin’s Church, Delhi Cantt, is a massive fortress like garrison church, quite unlike any other British Church in India. Phillip Davies, in ‘Splendors of the Raj’- in 1985 described it as a massive monolith of 3 and a half million bricks looming straight out of the arid Indian plain… a great lumbering dinosaur of a building.’
Gavin Stamp described it by stating ‘It is without question one of the great buildings of the 20th century.’
St. Martin’s Church is almost windowless- the windows are sunken. And it is a monolith structure.
This towering and imposing building which presents a beautiful sight and has never failed to draw attention now needs our attention.
This church is a true example of a spectacular piece of architecture and stands as an abiding symbol of peace, love and harmony. This is one of the architectural heritages of our country.
We wish to apprise the readers, of the present state of this beautiful church, which has been handed over as a legacy. Time has taken its toll. The extreme climate of Delhi has affected it – the loose plaster falling off, cracks in the walls, internal seepage. Also the penetrating roots of the plants have posed damage to the structural stability. It needs to be restored and preserved lest it goes into oblivion.
Any church is the body of Christ. It is a holy place where God Himself is present. We ought to give total reverence to it. The serenity and the holiness must be kept at any cost. The place of worship should be a place of worship. If we can be instrumental in bringing back this church to its past glory, we will be blessed in the sight of the Lord and our reward will be in heaven. Your concern and support will act as a succor to keep the church alive. Remember it in your prayers and be generous to meet its needs. Let us pray that the people may be inspired to know what they ought to do.
If we have the resources, the magnanimity and a kind heart, we shall surely extend our valuable co operation to restore and maintain this building of God to bring glory to the name of Almighty.
“Only one life it will soon be past; Only what is done for Christ will last.”
So, let us all wake up……. The mission may be difficult but not impossible.
Pictures - 23/05/2013
Updated - 09/07/2013