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Saturday, 28 July 2012

St. Mungo’s Church of Scotland, Lucknow Cantonment, Lucknow

I could only get this single picture of the beautiful St. Mungo’s Church of Scotland, Lucknow Cantonment as I was not allowed to take a picture from a point within the campus. It is located within Army’s regional recruitment centre. I visited the centre this July 2012 during my Lucknow visit. I requested a ‘Jawan’ (who approached me to check the purpose of my visit) to allow me a quick round of the church building – To my surprise he kept insisting that it was not a Church. I only realised the reason later that in 1976 the Church had been deconsecrated, handed over to Army and was no more a “place of workship”.

I was asked to wait while he went in to seek some permission and I had to wait for 20 minutes in the Lucknow sun. Later I was told that I could only read the board outside the Church Building from a far of point. I was not allowed to take any pictures as well. But whatever I could see from a far off point the condition of the Church was very poor. Doors had been reduced to frames and ceiling was falling down from many places. It’s a surprise as I’ve seen other old building now handed over to Army being maintained very well.

Next time I'll try and take proper permissions from the local Army headquarters and then try. It is a beautiful church (even after all these years of neglect) and it saddens my heart to see that a monument of Lucknowi and Scottish heritage is in a danger to being lost for ever.

St. Mungo's Church of Scotland was consecrated on Sunday 31st November 1909 by the Rev. G. T. Chree (Presidency Senior Chaplain of Bengal) and ever since Indian independence it has been in dispute off and on between the Church and Local Army establishment.  I hope to get a closer view next time.

View from the main road

Sorry about the poor quality of the picture, it was taken using my mobile phone camera. I wish we could do something to restore the building into its pristine condition.

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