Rs250 million approved for renovation of St Patrick’s church
KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday approved Rs250 million for restoration of St Patrick’s Cathedral’s interior, including glass, stone, and woodwork built in 1845.
He took this decision in a meeting with a delegation of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, led by Rector Rev. Fr. Mario Rodrigues at CM House.
The chief minister was informed that St Patrick’s church, the first church in Sindh, was built in 1845 in Gothic revival architecture and has the capacity to accommodate 1,500 worshipers at a time.
Mr Shah said the Gazetteer of Sindh provided a detailed description of the cathedral.
Reading out Gazetteer text from his Ipad, he said, “Church exterior is not ornamental, though striking from a distance, but money and art have been lavished on the interior. The chancel, itself spacious, acquires a special impressiveness but its additional height, while the noble contours of the aspiring altar are seen to the best advantage. The whole interior is painted in oil and the windows are all of the stained glass, donated by the members of the congregation.”
It was pointed out that the stained-glass windows were produced by Mayer of Germany. They depict different and beautiful scenes such the sacrifice of Isaac, the Paschal lamb, the miraculous Manna, the annunciation, the visitation, the Nativity of Jesus, the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, the flight into Egypt, the agony of the Jesus, etc.
The chief minister said that these scenes were painted in oil and need to be revived.
The chief minister said that the heritage committee and experts must be involved in the restoration of the old work so that it could be restored to its original glory.
Mr Shah said his government would provide an amount of Rs250 million over a period of three years.
“We would give you Rs50 million as soon as you would complete all documentary requirements for starting restoration work,” he said.
Father Mario Rodrigues told the chief minister that the Christian community was also contributing to meet the expenditures to be incurred on its restoration.
The chief minister said that the Christian community has contributed a lot to the development of the country, particularly in Sindh.
“Your contribution in the education sector is worth mentioning here,” he said and added he himself received education in St Patrick’s school.