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Holy Trinity Church celebrates 150 years
[February 24, 2002 - 11.30 GMT]

Holy Trinity Church Nuwara Eliya, which was built in 1845 as a place of worship for the British Planters working in Ceylon, celebrates its 150th anniversary today, February 24, 2002.

The church was built to resemble the Canterbury Church of England and was consecrated by Bishop Chapman on St. Matthias’ Day, February 24, 1852. It was first the parish for 150 British families. 

In a letter from Buckingham Palace, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II recalls with pleasure her visit with The Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip to Holy Trinity during Easter 1954.

The Queen and the Duke accompanied by the Bishop of Colombo, the Rt. Rev. A.R. Graham-Campbell, the Bishop of Kurunegala, the Rt. Rev. Lakdasa de Mel, and the Vicar Rev. Ardant Constant of Holy Trinity Church, on their way to the Good Friday service at Nuwara Eliya. 
Courtesy Daily News of April 17, 1954.

During her visit to the country, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh, attended services at Holy Trinity Church Nuwara Eliya, on Good Friday and the Easter of 1954.

To commemorate the visit the Queen had gifted the church a special blue carpet and a stained glass window with “Kings shall come to the brightness of thy rising” inscribed with The British Royal Emblem.

Miss Linda Duffield, British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka in her message highlights the “long and close relationship” of the church with the people of Britain over the years.

“The old graveyard of the church with many interesting tombstones still finds visitors from Britain,” the present Vicar of Holy Trinity, Rev. Augustine Philips said.

Among the famous Britishers buried in the beautifully landscaped graveyard are, Dr. G. Gardner, Superintendent of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Peradeniya; Capt. William Fisher, father of Lord Fisher, R.B. Downall, who represented the Planting Community in the Legislative Council; Lady Ridgeway, wife of Sir West Ridgeway, Governor of Ceylon and Lady Olive Mary Caldecotte, wife of Sir Andrew Caldecotte, the last Governor of Ceylon.

The Original Bible of over 100 years with the Apocrypha still stands gracefully on the “Hawk Lecturn.”

The 100-year-old Pipe Organ of the church was recently repaired by two British benefactors voluntarily, Paul Bell and his friend Rev. Canon David Whittington, Canon of the Cathedral of Durham.

“The Holy Trinity Church, Durham dismantled their old organ hearing the state of our Pipe Organ and gifted its parts to us. We are very glad to have our organ back ‘in tune’ for the 150th anniversary,” said Rev. Philips.

“And we are equally grateful and happy that Paul Bell is with us for the celebrations,” he added.


Related Links

Those Old Churches

The British High Commission, Colombo



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Last Updated Date: February 24, 2002  - 11.30 GMT.

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Holy Trinity Church celebrates 150 years