The Church of St. Thomas-by-the-sea (1842 – 2019)
One of the oldest Anglican Churches in Madras that is now Chennai, St. Thomas English Church owes its origin to the missionaries of the Vepery Mission and Rev. Robert Carver who was instrumental in building the church.
Consecrated on 10th December, 1842, this little Church of St. Thomas-by-the-sea, like the Roman Cathedral, and the Tamil Church of later date, was named in honour of the Apostle Thomas who was martyred and buried in this area. During the British period, “this was the Church of the Protestant elite in Madras, the residents of the garden-houses of Adyar, with the Governor having his own pew.”
Originally known by the name of Meliapore or Mylapore, San Thome has a long and eventful history. This area received its name of St. Thoma (Sao Thome) from the Portuguese who built a fort here. The Dutch, the French, and the English struggled for its possession until Fort St Thoma was ceded in 1479 to the British Admiral Boscawen with the receipt of a character from the Nawab Mohamed Ali Khan. From then on, San Thome remained more or less continuously in English hands.