Friday, March 27, 2015

St Peter Church History Bandra

The Old Church: The foundation of the original St Peter’s Church was laid in April 12, 1852, by Bishop Hartmann. The Church was completed in September 1853. It measured approximately 100 by 75 feet. In 1867 a second storey was added to the old top floor.
The storey above the Church was at first used as the priests’ residence and parish school. In 1855, the Jesuit Seminary was transferred from Surat to Bandra, and the seminary and the parish schools were merged. In 1863, the seminary was again transferred to Bombay, and the Boys’ Orphanage from Bombay came to Bandra. This was the beginning of the St Stanislaus’ High School.

The New Church: As far back as August 1887, the then Archbishop of Bombay issued the following appeal: “The poor parish of St. Peter’s Bandora, numbers with the orphans (boys and girls) 2215 souls and has for a church the floor of the boys’ Orphanage. This place is much too small and is ill-suited for divine service. A new and more spacious Church is much needed and will be a great benefit to the poor Parishioners and the Orphans”.

The growing needs of the parish necessitated the building of a larger Church, and so in September, 1938, Archbishop Thomas Roberts, S.J. blessed the foundation stone of the present St Peter’s Church.

The new Church has been built on the site of the old and has been designed on the Romanesque style.

The cost of the new St. Peter’s Church was Rs. 2,70,000/-. The whole Church building measures 130 ft by 80 ft.

In front, as one enters, stands a life-size marble statue of Christ bearing the inscription I am the Resurrection and the Life.

St Peter’s is capacious and can accommodate a thousand people easily. Inside, its excellent stained-glass windows, around twenty in number, look resplendent in the sunshine or when the lights are on.

st peter church bandra 

Eton College Chapel Choir Rehearsal At St Peter Church Bandra

The heat was giving these kids a real bad time but this disciplined polite lot represented the spirit of their College Country and Jesus Christ.

They were dedicated and with their music touching the hearts of peace and humanity ,,they were focused and watching them added joy to my photography I wish I could have shot each face and their emotional ecstasy and their passion.

This new series is my humble tribute as a Muslim photographer to the parents of these gifted members of Eton College Chapel Choir at my favorite Church St Peter Bandra where God actually peaks in through the colorful stained windows .

About Eton College Chapel.
Eton College Chapel is the chapel of Eton College, an independent school in the United Kingdom.

Never completed owing to the Wars of the Roses, the Chapel should have been a little over double its current length; a plaque on a building opposite the West End marks the point to which it should have reached.[1] The Chapel is built in the late Gothic or Perpendicular style.

The fan vaulting was installed in the 1950s after the wooden roof (there was no money for a vault to be installed in the 15th century after King Henry VI was deposed) became infested with deathwatch beetle. It was completed in three years and is made of concrete, faced with stone, supported from steel trusses, with hand-carved Clipsham stone for the stone ribs supporting each bay.

Eton College Chapel is in frequent use, with at least one service a day, and many additional services which are in popular demand, ranging from Taizé to Roman Catholic Communion, to Compline. Almost every morning there is a compulsory service, attended by different 'Blocks' (school years) depending on the day, something which has been both criticised and defended by boys in The Chronicle (the school magazine). These last no more than twenty minutes.


Henry attached the greatest importance to the religious aspects of his new foundation and he planned that the services would be conducted on a magnificent scale by providing an establishment of 10 priest Fellows, 10 chaplains, 10 clerks and 16 choristers. There were 14 services a day plus prayers that were said. There would also be masses offered for the founder's parents and after his death for the Founder instead. This last custom reflected the belief in the Middle Ages that prayers said for a dead person's soul hastened the progress of said soul from Purgatory to Paradise.

This was befitting for a church that was to become a great place of pilgrimage in Europe: for about a decade pilgrims attracted by the relics and the Indulgences flocked to Eton on the Feast of the Assumption in August, when there was a fair lasting six days on the fields.

For around forty years before the present Chapel was completed, services were held in the parish church which was dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin. In the 1460s the annual influx of pilgrims died out, and the large establishment of clergy was permanently reduced in size.

Today the Chapel services still remain a key part of the life of the College: boys attend Chapel once on Sundays in addition to compulsory services three or four days a week, and the numerous optional services that take place out of school hours.

The choir[edit]
The choir which sings in the Chapel is made up of boys from the school, and is directed by the Precentor and Director of Music, Tim Johnson. Up to 75% of the choir are former members of various cathedral and collegiate choirs, and many have been admitted under the school's Music Scholarship scheme. Many go on to continue their singing careers as choral scholars at Oxford or Cambridge.

Nowadays the choir only sings at three or four compulsory services a week, as recent cuts in the services mean that the choir only makes appearances to boys on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. There are a number of other services that are optional. As second chapel Lower Chapel was built in 1890 to accommodate the growing number of boys at the school.

Acoustics and lighting[edit]
The Chapel is unique amongst its comparably-sized peers in that it eschews sound boards (a common feature of English churches and chapels in which medium-to-large-scale services and concerts are heard) in favour of what the former Precentor, Ralph Allwood, calls a more "organic" sound produced without the use of equipment (apart from microphones in the pulpit and lectern).

The audio reinforcement system in the chapel, installed by DRV Integration, was the winner of the AV Magazine audio project of the year award in 2003.

Wall paintings[edit]
The wall paintings in the Chapel are considered to be the most remarkable work of art in the College. They are the work of at least four master painters{who?}, including William Baker, who took eight years to complete them (1479–87). In the Flemish style, they adorn the sides of the chapel. On the North side the paintings depict the Virgin Mary (to whom the chapel is dedicated), while those on the South side tell a popular medieval story about a mythical Empress. These paintings were whitewashed over in 1560 as a result of an order from the new protestant church authorities which banned depictions of mythical miracles. They were left obscured and forgotten for the best part of 300 years until they were rediscovered in 1847, and it was not until 1923 that they were cleaned, restored and revealed by the removal of the stall canopies.[1]

In World War 2, all of the chapel glass, excepting a window above the organ, was shattered by a bomb that fell on the nearby Upper School, The fine East Window is the work of Evie Hone. The designs for the windows on either side are by John Piper and were executed in glass by Patrick Reyntiens. The subjects are divided into four miracles on the North side and four parables on the South side. The miracles are: The Miraculous Draft of Fishes, the Feeding of the Five Thousand, the Stilling of the Waters, and the Raising of Lazarus. The parables are: The Light under a Bushel, the House built on the Rock, the Lost Sheep, and the Sower.

The Eton College Chapel Choir At St Peter Church Bandra

These kids from the elite Eton College were at the Church rehearsing their music for their performance at the Church after 8 Pm Mass,, Much as I wanted to go and shoot it but I was with Linda and did not go for the same .

But at the rehearsal I shot two videos and loads of images . I hope the English kids who were having a tough time to coping the Mumbai hot humid weather will enjoying seeing these as sweet memories of their sojourn in Mumbai.

And for me even as a Muslim St Peter Church adds to my inner peace and my Church memories of my old school and the exquisite Wodehouse Holy Name  Cathedral at Colaba .

St Peter Church used to be my escape and I shot Jesus his followers his clergy and the Silhouette of the Holy Spirit plying hide and seek with me near the marble statue of Jesus Christ.

And Fr Jaun the Vhurch pastor has been my friend teacher mentor , this Spanish Priest who speaks fluent Marathi has spent 63 years in Mumbai.. he too had met Mother Theresa that is why I had bought Linda to to meet him in the sacristy while I left them to their privacy of spiritual thoughts I shot these English kids  as they followed their Music teachers instructions ,,

This was shot on my mobile phone rest of it on my Canon 60 D

Once A Street Photographer Always A Street Photographer

This ends a backlog I have another memory card to go...I have had a tiring week, a tiring day and I slept ..and this series are pictures in and around Bandra Bazar  Road close to where I stay and after using Facebook to be connected to my friend I finall shut it down I am not much into likes and pokes and hugs .

I guess I dont have the required time or patience to use Facebook but it is nice to get back to your friends I was out of Facebook for almost one year and now I dont know when I shall go back to the loony bin.

Well man must live with good memories only .. I enjoyed revisiting places that perhaps would have never visited on my own.. I feel emancipated in spirit .. now I have to get back to my work to my walking routine and getting back to controlling my blood sugar .

Ever since I began strenuously walking at MET I have no appetite and for last three days I have not gone for my daily walks ,, I will start again from tomorrow ,, people who dont have much money consider time their wealth .. and I am exhausted to say the least .

This morning I took Linda to Banganga and Babulnath Mandir dropped her at Lucky Hotel and came home .. she leaves late afternoon for Saudi Arabia .

And none of us want to change another persons style of shooting ... I am a point and shoot Canon photographer and I have no pretensions of another kind I am happy to shoot the way I shoot I hope never to change my attitude my style my rhythm and the humility of god given camera eye ,,

We see things but as individuals we see what we see differently I have had no formal training or school in photography and I am a school of photography for my 3 year old granddaughter Nerjis Asif Shakir who understands the moment and uses the camera to hold that moment in her childs grip.

Sometimes Nerjis makes me see things I would have never seen I now see it with her eyes ..she is gifted I was not gifted I merely parroted the working of my camera .. just shot what I intuitively and cosmically I had to shoot ,,and what my Canon refused to shoot I shot with my mobile phone.

The camera made me win friends and also lose friends and sadly every loss is regretful but we have to move with the flow we have to carry our own cross only Jesus can carry other peoples cross ..I cannot live your life and would never ask a sane God to give you my life ,, my life is full of  camera shake dreams bordering on a distorted circle of confusion..

And for some people shooting pictures  eases a pain for me it is blogging adding words were words were never meant to exist ..

And I shoot what others may not want to shoot for me Garbage is the beginning and the end the day I breathe my last I will be garbage too, I poeticize the pain of Garbage it speaks to me in a language of its own, it gives that language mellowed fragrance of a moment lost a moment gained .

And when I die ,, I hope  god does not stretch my life and if you see a burkha clad girl shooting Garbage you will know that Nerjis is exorcising the pain of her beggar poet grandfather shooting garbage to remind her take her back to the Bandra Bazar Garbage dump , the poetic memories , the catharsis and the holistic healing yes garbage heals those who shoot garbage ,, it does not heal those who stealthily throw garbage on the streets in the night or the wee hours of the mornings.

  Ok no more metaphors enough of it the man in the picture is a North Indian migrant buying old clothes he will bargain as much as the lady in the picture , say that the clothes are bad torn etc etc but he wants those clothes badly in exchange he will give her aluminium vessels or plastic buckets ,, making her believe that she earned a good item in return.. and the old clothes have been rid off ..

The North Indian migrant hawker will now go from house to house till all the items he has is given away and old clothes taken in exchange ..these old clothes he will sell at Chor Bazar the Great Indian  Thieves market to a big fat bargaining miserly second hands clothes dealer .

These clothes will now now be sorted , those torn will be darned , they will be washed ironed made new starched and will be finally sold on the Chor Bazar bylanes on Friday..the dealer has hawkers on his roll who work on commission  or daily wages .. so nothing goes waste  old jeans baggies become hifashion tights after they are narrowed , sarees , shirts blouses , even jeans that are in very bad shape are made into micro shorts for sexy girls.

And a simple picture becomes informative and adds to the lost moment bought back to life.