"St Stephens Church Ooty - Visit the St Stephens Church in Ooty, one of the oldest churches in the Nilgiris to explore the Christian heritage of Tamilnadu."

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St Stephen's Church in Ooty Tamilnadu Tourism

Holiday Inn Gem Park Ooty
Holiday Inn Gem Park Ooty
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Address: Sheddon Road, , Udagamandalam
Location: Suburban
Property Type: Business And Leisure Hotel


Hotel Sinclairs
Hotel Sinclairs
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Address: Gorishala Road, Post Box No. 81 , Udagamandalam
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About St. Stephen's Church

Location: Mysore Road, Ooty, Tamilnadu
Consecrated On: November 5, 1830
Famous As: One of the oldest Churches the Nilgiris, Tamilnadu

The St. Stephen's Church, located on the Mysore road, near the Collectorate,is one of the oldest churches in the Nilgiris. It dates back to the days of Rt. Hon'ble Stephen Rumbold Lushington, the then Governor of Madras, who keenly felt the need for a cathedral exclusively for the British, in Ooty.He laid the foundation for the church on April 23, 1829, to coincide with the birthday of King George IV. St. Stephen's Church was consecrated by Rt. Rev. Turner, Bishop of Calcutta, on November 5,1830,and was given the name of the Governor since he was the driving force behind it. It was thrown open to public communion on Easter Sunday-April 3,1831.

St. Stephen's Church Ooty - An Inside View

The church has a fine pew with a raised chancel. There are stained-glass painting on the eastern side as well as behind the chancel depicting Mary holding baby Jesus in her arms and the crucifixion of Christ among others. On the Western wall, above the panelled doorways, is a large life-like painting of the Last Supper. The vestry is in the cellar down the chancel. The pulpit is on the left of the chancel and attached to it is a small flight of steps. A pleasant surprise awaits one in the attic of the third tier of the church. Here, instead of the big metallic bell, one comes across novel but antique hammer like structures (four in number) tied on to inverted "V" Shaped planks, with ropes. There are four thick iron bars on the Eastern as well as the Western side screwed on to thick wooden beams and they hang from above at different heights in a slanting fashion, and face each other. There are pulleys attached with solid wires, which operate the hammers, and which reach the ground floor through the gaps in between the planks on the floor. The entire structure is housed on a tall, sturdy stool, which is open on all the fourth sides. When the wires are pulled from the floor, a rhythmic musical sound is produced.

St. Stephen's Church Ooty - Church Facts

In 1947 St. Stephen's Church Ooty came under the Church of South India. It bestows pastoral care not only on the local parish but also on the member of the planting community. The chaplain holds services regularly in the tea estates. An Anglo-Indian orphanage was maintained for long but it was wound up with the starting of the St.George Home in Keti.

For the first time, an Indian chaplain, Rev. M. Dorai was appointed in June 1981. Till then it was the British who were chaplains. The last British chaplain was Rev. John White. The 150th anniversary of the church was celebrated in April 1981.