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  Flora of The Church
Brief preamble on the origin of the church:

November of every year marks the anniversary month of the Presbyterian Church at Bangalore, St. Andrew’s Church, - the sanctuary, situated centrally in the busy part of the city flanked on either side with two major busy roads --Cubbon road on the southern side and Infantry road on the northern side, near the cantonment bus station in the garden city of Bangalore. A massive Orthodox Presbyterian Scottish architecture, with a tall belfry and chiming clock at the apex of its tower, bearing its name after the patron saint of Scotland, St. Andrew -- all exterior painted in brick shade with steeples all around, and the interior illumined with coloured stained glass windows of saintly figures behind the altar. This renowned sanctuary in Bangalore celebrates its 145th anniversary in November 2009! The foundation stone for this magnificent structure was laid by Lady Grant, wife of Lieutenant-General Sir Hope Grant, K.C.B, the then Quartermaster–General of her Majesty’s Forces, and Commander-in-Chief of the Madras Army, on Nov. 22, 1864, and on November 18, 1866, the building was completed and opened for Divine worship; the Rev, Steward Wright, one of the Chaplains of the Church of Scotland in the Madras Presidency, and pastor of the then newly formed congregation, preached the dedication sermon.

Ever since, it has been standing tall as the symbol of the spirit of the people, an edifice of character of strong Christian faith and a landmark in the city. Over 145 years have passed since the Scottish regiment began worshipping in this monumental church and now the community has grown to encompass a large multi-denominational St. Andrew’s family, bearing testimony to the grace of God and the faith of all its members, as it has seamlessly integrated a multilingual Indian population into its fold.

The church with its long period of history for nearly one an half century presents to us today a look of long and deep rooted tradition with its community committed to the prime goal of worship - evangelism in action proclaiming the gospel with more emphasis on the out-reach work and social activity to uphold the weak and the downtrodden, to teach the deserving and to reach out to people who are needy so as to project the image of Christ through its friendly and benevolent interaction with the fabric of the society in its present context in and around the city of Bangalore, ever heralding its faith, “Thy hand O God has guided thy flock from age to age”

Celebrating life with creation and environment:

Our church is blessed with trees and vegetation adorning all around, brimming with life, and beckoning our care for its preservation and protection. Through out the long period of time and in many cultures, the human spirit has been preoccupied with TREES and the evidence of which is to be found in many presentations both pictorial and technical available in literature. These representations teach us and tell us of trees including sacred trees viz. Tree of light, including the Tree of life and the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil, as we see in the Garden of Eden. ‘And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for the food’ as we read in Genesis. From then on the human’s spiritual and evolutionary relationship to trees is found traceable in many technical literatures. Is it indicative of a lost culture? No. ‘A canopy of trees’ provides purely natural and tranquil atmosphere for worship around any sanctuary in particular.

Trees are a blessing to mankind. It holds soil, provides shade and produces fruit-  life-giving resources to humans, right from the primitive days of our existence and civilization, during those days when our ancestors lived with the trees, flora and fauna of the nature. Analogously, godly are like trees and they flourish with their going deep in to the spiritual resources of God’s grace, like the roots of the trees go deep seeking life-giving water. The trees keep on growing at any stage of their life, as we notice and they never stop growing unlike humans, “People don’t grow old; when they stop growing, they grow old”.

Buoyed with the enthusiasm of protection and preservation of the environment around this great sanctuary and impelled with the innate desire of living with the nature, our pastor Rev. Prem Mitra, an environmentalist by himself with the help of Rocha India has taken painstaking efforts to identify each tree available in the church compound and the details brought out in a book let form ‘Flora of St. Andrew’s Church’ with their names to evoke interest in the like-minded to carry on with the mission of caring nature, with more and more vigour and fervour in the days ahead.

I am happy we are able to bring out a booklet on the ‘Flora of our Church’, with all the names of the trees around identified and botanically classified with the help of experts from Rocha India. I am sure this booklet will serve as a ready reckoner and guide for any one who visits our sanctuary and walks round the compound under the greener and cooler shades of these trees really to KNOW OUR CHURCH in all its perspective.

May God bless our efforts to serve the purpose profusely it meant for!

“One impulse from a vernal wood may teach you more of man, of moral evil and of good than all sages can” - William Wordsworth

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No.27, Cubbon Road, Bangalore-560001

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