Shoppers check out Xmas bells and other decorative items in Bistupur on Sunday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
With Christmas celebrations round the corner, Jamshedpur is all soaked in Yuletide spirit.
Barely two days are left for the festival and churches of the steel city are being spruced up to host visitors.
Built in 1923, Beldih Baptist Church in Northern Town is spending an estimated Rs 4 lakh to renovate its 1.5-acre premises.
The revamp exercise comprises laying marble stone at two gates, each approximately 15-feet wide. The inner and outer walls of the church, built in neo-modern architecture, are boasting fresh paint in the run-up to the festival.
“The renovation of the church is being carried out after a span of over three years. While the inner walls have been painted white, the exterior of the church boasts of cream colour. Granite layers have been laid at all staircases and the boundary wall has also received a fresh coat of paint,” said Anand Sahu, general secretary of the city chapter of Young Men’s Christian Association and a senior executive member of the church.
Sahu added that the church carol choir had begun visiting the houses of church members from December 18.
“The choir will visit each of the 600 families associated with the church,” he added.
St Joseph Cathedral at Golmuri, the biggest church in Jamshedpur and an important centre of worship for the city’s Roman Catholics, will be putting up a 15-feet-wide crib during the festival.
“This year, we will erect an elaborate crib with statues of baby Jesus, Mother Mary, Joseph, lambs, horses and the wise men. The crib will be open for public on the evening of December 25,” said vicar general of Jamshedpur diocese Father C.R Prabhu.
For many churches, Christmas celebrations and welfare activities go hand in hand.
Each member of Bistupur-based St Mary’s Church will pool in items to be donated to the poor.
“All our members will join hands in cleaning and decorating the church. Thereafter, members will contribute items to be distributed among the poor after Christmas,” said Father David Vincent, assistant priest.
Emmanuel Baptist Church at Sitaramdera will observe the festival in a similar vein.
“The church will be decorated with flowers and balloons. Our members will contribute in cash and kind to help poor people being treated for leprosy. We will carry out the charitable work at Gandhi Ashram in Baradwari on December 27,” said secretary Samuel Mohapatra.