St Mary's Church, Chennai (Madras)
St Mary's Church located at Fort St George, is the oldest Anglican church East of Suez and also the oldest British building in India. From 1639, when Madras was founded, until 1678, when Streynsham Master was appointed the English East India Company's Agent at Madras, religious services were conducted in the dining-room of the Factory House. It was at Master's initiative, and without the sanction of the Directors of the Company, that a subscription was started for the construction of the church. The sum collected amounted to 805 pagodas, the Governor and all officers contributing. Construction was started on 25th March 1678 and completed in the course of two years when the church was consecrated on the 28th of October, 1680 by the chaplain Rev. Richard Portman.
The walls of the church are 5 ft thick and are considered to be bomb-proof. The church has a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, a 1660 bible, a pure silver plaque and some silver plates plus its original font dating back to when the church was consecrated in 1680.
It is said that this church is the oldest surviving British church in India. Building started in 1678 and services in 1680. The spire was completed in 1710. The church is still in use, and there was a service held while I visited the church.