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When the CMS College was shifted to the present campus from the old campus on the shore of the Meenachal River, the authorities thought of having a chapel in the campus for the early students who studied theology and prepared themselves for becoming priests could have a natural environment. The Anglican Church missionaries were the motivating forces behind the establishment of the CMS College and thanks to their liberal nature they invited everyone to be a part of the church. The conservative hierarchies existed in Travancore, however brought the downtrodden towards the faith. Though the college never allowed or encouraged any proselytizing activities, the establishment of the chapel actually energized the atmosphere of learning. The St.John’s Church thus established was modelled after the church in the Trinity College, London.

The relief sculpture done by Biju C Bharathan has the St.John’s Church in the campus as its point of departure. The church is founded on the solid rock, the earth but in the sculpture the foundation is covered with cloud like formations. It is a liminal space of divinity. Interestingly, the artist has brought in a few toiling figures among the clouds. They are on the earth but are in the process of making the church solid. It also connotes the fact that the Anglican Church and the CSI in general invited people from the downtrodden and the toiling classes to join the faith and they did. The symbolic representation of the church and its people is intriguing when seen in the light of its history.

Published On: January 27th, 2024Categories: Relief Sculpture

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