It was an emotional moment for the family of Dr Prasanna Rao, a member of this church, as his family planted a sapling of African Tulip in memory of his wife Premanjali Rao, who passed away last year. She was an Elder in the church. Dr Rao said “We are so happy to remember her. In her memory we will have a tree where we can remember her throughout our lives.”
Known for its flora and fauna, the congregation is passionate about preserving and nurturing the ecosystem. The Kirk has a Garden Committee that takes care of the campus vegetation. The church also celebrates Environment Sunday every year.
Members are happy about the green push. Already professionals have begun work on making the trees have a larger canopy. “We need to maintain our campus professionally to make it look it’s best. We have made a start.” says Ms Abha Appasamy, part of the Garden Committee.
Talking about the challenges, D Justin Ranjit Karunakaran, another member said “With just four gardeners, pruning trees and maintaining the greenery on the nine acre campus is a challenge.”
Built in 1821 for worship by Scottish community in the then Madras, St Andrew’s Church celebrated its bi-centenary in February this year.
Known for its Georgian and Neo-classical architecture, the edifice with the tallest steeple in the city stands on the banks of the River Cooum, on a unique foundation made of 150 wells, filled with stones and sand. Major Thomas Fiott De Havilland was the architect.
The church also reaches out to communities around offering rural health care, special education, vocational training for women and those with special needs among others.