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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cathedral Church Of Resurrection, Lahore Centenary 1987. (1987-12)

Opposite, the Lahore High Court, located just off The Mall, with Mcleod Road and Fane Road, on the other two sides, having a constant stream of noisy traffic; yet within a peaceful and quiet Close, amidst lawns and trees, stands the attractive and imposing structure - the magnificent Cathedral Church of the Resurrection. Popularly known as the "Kukar Girja", because of a weather-cock, which once adorned its Towers, but fell down a long time ago, during an earth-quake. The Cathedral Close, an area of over eight acres, given through a Deed of Grant, in 1872, houses the Cathedral, the Bishopsbourne, the residences of the Cathedral Clergy, the St. Hilda\'s House and the prestigious Cathedral School. The spacious area of the Close, ensures quietness, within and outside the Cathedral.
THE CATHEDRAL:
Designed by J. Oldrid Scott, a leading English church architect of his times In design, the building is cruciform. It is considered as one of the finest architectural achievements in South East Asia, as \'Witness to the living God\'. The style of architecture is decorated \'Early English\', carried out in red brick, with grey stones, from the quarries of Tarraki, beyond Jhelum. The brick-work is subdued in colour, blending well with the stone-work. The marble floor, with beautiful grey tones, was the gift of the Freemason\'s in the Punjab. On the pillars and arches in the Sanctuary and the Choir, are some finely executed carvings.
The proportions of the Cathedral are so good, that although the size is not so considerable, yet the impressions of the height and the width, associated with some older Cathedrals, is well conveyed. The length is 226 feet, including the 70 feet Choir, Nave to Choir-steps is 110 feet, Ambulatory is 15 feet. Width across the Transepts, including the Porches, is 152 feet. The Porch by itself is 31 feet. The height to the centre-line of the Vaulting is 65 feet. The height of the twin towers is 120 feet.
The Cathedral contains the Cathedra (Throne of the Bishop) and is the centre of the ecclesiastical province. The Diocese has contributed much to the fields of Education and Health services. It also runs homes for the destitute, children from broken homes, widows and orphans.
MEMORIALS:
The Cathedral is well furnished with marble memorials, and many brass wall-tablets. The stained glass at the eastern end in the seven trefoil Windows, Vaulting of the ceiling of the Nave, Choir and-Transepts, and the carving on the pillars and arches in the Sanctuary of the Choir, were donated by Bishop Mathew, the second Bishop of Lahore, in memory of his wife. The two Screens in the North East and South East Bays, are memorials, Commemorating Officers and Men of the Supply and Transport Corps and the Punjab Light Horse, then headquartered at Lahore.
Behind the Altar, stands a Reredos, of elaborately carved teak wood, richly gilded with blue arid gold tapestry panels. A memorial to Bishop Durrant, the fourth Bishop of Lahore. Another memorial, which occupies the whole width of the north wall, to a height of 13 feet, made of teak-wood paneling, has fourteen bronzes, bearing the Regimental Crests and the names of the officers.
The Northern Transepts are to the memory of those, who had laboured in the field, viz. Rev. Robert Clerk, Rev. Moulvi Imad-ud-Din Lahiz, Rev. Thomas Russel Wade and Miss Charlotte Maria Tucker, who had served the Church of England and the Zenana Missionary Society, dedicatedly for eighteen years. In the North Aisle of the Nave, is a tablet to the memory of the eldest son of Sir Henry Lawrence, who had founded the Lawrence College at Murree, and the Bagh-i-Jinnah, which was previously known as the "Lawrence Gardens".
Among the many noteworthy and priceless stained - glass window pieces, within the Cathedral (All the work of Leonard Walker), contain allegorical figures. These are on the South Aisle of the Nave. These recall the colour of the medieval glass, found in pre-Reformation Cathedrals. "They rival the glittering jeweled splendour of the best stained-glass in the Gothic Cathedrals of England and France". On the west end of the Nave, is a window consisting of three lights, to the memory of Bishop Mathew, on the subject - "The Resurrection of Christ."
In the Northern Transept, is the Bishop French Chapel, to the memory of the first Bishop, who built the Cathedral. The Reredos, contains scenes from the "Childhood and Ministry of Jesus Christ". On the South East side, is the Lady\'s Chapel.
THE BELLS:
Appeal of six Bells as a memorial to Archdeacon Spence Gray, were hung and first used in 1904, in the South West Tower.
Bishop Valphy French was the first Bishop of the Diocese, followed by five other British Bishops. The Late, Rt. Rev. lnayat Masih, was the seventh and the first Pakistani Bishop. Currently, Rt. Rev. Alexander John Malik is the eight Bishop.
On the occasion of the Centenary, a Commemorative Monument has been designed by a young architect – Shiuli Phailbus. The monument is built around the concept of symbols. It represents an open Altar, in the midst of the busy world around. The Tower, Arch, and the Motif, are prominent elements of the Cathedral. The cross is highlighted in a stained-glass panel which is a modernized representation of the 17th Century stained-glass windows installed inside the Church. The chalice pattern, signifies celebration of the Holy Communion. The Fountain represents "The Fountain of life; and the PooI-symbolises the Baptismal Font, signifying forgiveness of sins". The entrance of the pool is open, interpreting the 23rd Psalm - "My cup floweth over". The Altar is built to appear like "open-arms", welcoming all people, to its sanctuary of peace and everlasting life. The monument was unveiled by General Mohammad Zia ul Haq, President of Pakistan, on 1st November, 1987.
Contributed by the Chairman, Cathedral Centenary Celebration Committee, Lahore
To commemorate Cathedral Church of Resurrection, Lahore, Centenary - 1987, Pakistan Post Office is issuing a commemorative postage stamp of denomination of Rs. 3/- on December 20, 1987.