|St. John's Cathedral|
|Location||Nazareth, Tamil Nadu|
|Denomination||Church of South India|
|Previous denomination||Church of England|
|Bishop(s)||Rt. Rev. Dr. S.E.C. Devasahayam|
St. John's Cathedral is the cathedral of the Thoothukudi - Nazareth Diocese of the Church of South India.
In 1803, a site of a village was purchased by the Rev. J.C. Kohloff, S.P.C.K. missionary. The same year, that village by name "Shanpathu" with 8 families became Christians, through Rev. Sathyanathan. Its revenue extent is 7 sq. miles. The first church, a thatched building with palmyrah leaves, was built in 1803 and named as St. John’s church. In 1805, the place name was changed to Nazareth.
In the year 1829, Rev. David Rosen laid the foundation for the Nazareth church and in the following year 1830, the second church was built by Rev. Adaikalam. This church was erected under the supervision of Rev. David Rosen. [ citation needed ]At the time of Arthur Margoschis at Nazareth, on his part, he revamped the church. He extended the back portion of the church. Also, Arthur Margoschis planned to build a new big church, but that plan could not be fulfilled during his time.
It was during the time of Rev. C.S.Stapley (1911 - 1924) at Nazareth, foundation and developments for a new church were initiated. In June 1920, the old church was demolished and a foundation was laid for a new church by Rt. Rev. E.H.M. Waller, Bishop in Tinnevelly. For that time, till the completion of the new church, a temporary church was built in front of the present day church.[ citation needed ]
In the year 1924, Rev. C.S. Stapley, the then Presbyter and missionary was transferred, and the charge was handed over to Rev. Canon D. Coilpillai. Coilpillai was the first Indian Presbyter in the history of the S.P.G. Mission. After taking charge, Rev. Canon D.Coilpillai has built this new church. The church was dedicated by Rt. Rev. Norman H. Tubbs, Bishop of Tinnevelly, in the year 1928. The S.P.G. funds helped building this church. Natives of Nazareth, on their part, came forward to fund Rs. 20,000 to build this church. During the period of Rev. John Samuel (1936-1940), the church tower was completely built. The interlude between the formation of the Diocese in 1924 and the formation of the Church of South India in 1947 saw some distinct developments in the life of church.[ citation needed ]
After the increase of various institutions and revenue at Nazareth, its members felt that it is necessary to get bifurcated or trifurcated from the Tirunelvelli Diocese. The C.S.I. Synod has accepted the request of Nazareth and bifurcation was ordered to form Tuticorin-Nazareth Diocese from out of Tirunelvelli Diocese.The celestial ceremony was conducted on 25 October 2003 forming of a New Diocese and St. John's church was elevated to the position of Cathedral of Tuticorin-Nazareth Diocese since 23 October 2003. The ceremony was conducted by the then Moderator of C.S.I, Rt. Rev. Dr. K.J. Samuel in the presence of Moderator Commissionary of Tuticorin-Nazareth Diocese, Rt. Rev. Dt. J.W. Gladston.
The church has 12 Relic features. They are:
Other salient features in this church are, The Pillars - The magnificent pillars towering without clench and supporting the roof, The church's portico which is floored with ornamental roof, The Stratum & Clock - The church tower has 7 stratums at the height of 178 feet, having clocks in four sides and neon cross lights. At the top, there is a neon cross light.
The church congregation is celebrating the following five festivals in a year in a grand manner:
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Nazareth is a town in the Thoothukudi district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
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