A magnificent structure made in red stone, the All Saints Garrison Church in Lucknow was the first Anglican church built here
The All Saints Garrison Church stands as an imposing edifice in the Lucknow cantonment area, impressing visitors with its daunting outlook today; its magnificence is indeed a feature of progression. While today projects majesty made in red stone, the chapel was first established as a smaller worship place which was later rebuilt and redesigned to be a grand icon of peace, solitude and splendour in the city.
A church built to accommodate all!
Let us backtrack a little and delve into history, to understand why was the All Saints Garrison Church scaled up to its present-day opulence!
After the Seige of Awadh, the British escaped the Residency and acquired the Lucknow Cantonment as their new settlement. As the settlement grew, the number of troops stationed here also rose and thus, naturally, there was a need for a larger church. As a result, in 1908, this small church was moulded to be the All Saints New Garrison Church.
If one walks about 15 to 20 feet towards the north-west corner of the new church, they can chance upon a stone which makes the initial spot of the old church alter, that was constructed in 1860. Along with this interesting fact, the church has a lot more that can surprise its visitors. One of the most bizarre features of this place, is that it permits worshippers to carry ammunition with them.
This rather peculiar custom was introduced as a necessary safety precaution in the yesteryears. During the Revolt of 1857, revolutionaries entered the premises to launch an attack and several British officers lost their lives. The seating arrangement was also modified to accommodate this characteristic aspect. All benches in the chapel have a niche to keep guns on the upper backside. This must've allowed all on-duty soldiers to offer their prayers with their ammunition by their side, in case of emergencies.
The beauty of Lucknow's largest church
While the initial design of the Church was crafted by Jones Ransom, the engineer who also designed Saint Mungo's Church of Scotland, it was completed by Lishman and John Baggs who scaled down its ornamentation to meet the budget demands. As per chronicles, the height of the main tower was reduced and so were the thickness and intricacies of the side walls to cut down the cost of building.
It was built at an amount of ₹91,000 and despite the alterations, the church spells nothing less than elegance. Even today, it stands as the largest church in the city, which can be seen from quite a distance. This place stands in seclusion and isolation from the city bustles and if you are someone who seeks solitude amid the chaos, this is just the place for you!