Monday, January 23, 2017
Room for worship
When the British - Andrew Cogan and Francis Day - set up the 'factory' on the site where Fort St George stands today, catechisms and prayer books were very far from their thoughts. The Portuguese merchants, further south near Mylapore, already had their San Thome. When some of those merchants moved to the new settlement, they needed a place for their worship. The British allowed them to build their own church, St Andrew's, which has disappeared over the decades.
Later, the British built their own church, St. Mary's, which continues to be in use today as the 'oldest Anglican church east of the Suez'. There are records of a Church Street, which is supposed to run from just outside St. Mary's to the fort's southern glacis. Maybe that was the road taken by the residents in the fort - the merchants and their families - to access the church.
Most of the buildings on Church Street are in disrepair today. But among the ones that still stand, is this one with a sign over the door saying "St Marys Church Room"!