Refreshing Memories

Mrs. Christabel Santiago

The commencement of the evening services at our Church is a renewal of an old tradition. It takes me back to the past when I was a teenager, for in those days Wesley English Church did have regular evening services. Since we lived on the other side of Coles Park all we had to do was to walk across the Park to be a part of the worship service on Sunday evenings. Invariably we would find ourselves among some elderly dedicated Anglo Indian couples who lived close to our place on St. John’s Church Road.

Sometimes the resident teachers from Goodwill Girls’ School along with a few High School boarders would also attend the services. Adding to these 25- 30 were students from the United Theological College. I recollect the enthusiastic leadership of Mr. Cobbles and his wife who were real stewards conducting the service, even carrying out the ministry of a pastor. Infact we had formed a habit of attending the Tamil service at Wesley Tamil Church Haines Road, in the morning and the evening service at the Wesley English Church.

At times, my father , Rev. Samuel David, would bring the message through a sermon. Wesley English Church had the unique distinction of providing space for such theologians as Dr. P. Devanandan, Rev. Marcus Ward and Rev. H. K. Moulton and later on Rev. C. Arangadan. At that young age I could not understand much of the theology or the depth of the sermon, but nevertheless, I was fascinated by the power of their sermons.

These are the memories of the Wesley tradition still fresh in my mind – of events and experiences which I cherish till the present day. Due to my marriage and relocation to Chennai a few years lapsed and when I returned to Bangalore with my husband and children, we began worshipping in the same Church. A close associate and colleague of my father’s, a friend and college mate of my father-in-law, Rev. Thomas E. David was now the presbyter-in-charge. We have grown with the Church and today it fills us with joy to find that an old tradition, the evening worship service, which was discontinued for various reasons, has been renewed in the mid- monsoon of 2009.