The famous Christ church & St. Michael’s Cathedral of Shimla is a beautiful architectural masterpiece. The construction of this church took a span of 11 years (1846 – 1857) and is considered to be the second oldest church in North India. This splendid church is located just near the Ridge in Shimla and can be reached very easily from anywhere. The Christ Church & St. Michael’s Cathedral is a famous landmark of Simla and is flocked by many devout followers from all over India.
The church looks absolutely magical during night when lights placed at strategic corners illuminate this beautiful church. The church glows with all its beauty and grandeur and is an amazing sight to look at. Beautifully painted stained glass form the windows of this magnificent church. It is a grand sight to look at and definitely worth the visit if you are traveling to Shimla. Right next to the Church is a library that was built in the year 1910 by James Ransome. It is designed in the typical Elizabethan style and consists of a great collection of books and ancient scriptures.
Christ Church Shimla Story:
Simla Chandigarh Diocese has a long history. The Archdiocese of Simla was created in 1910 when it was separated from the Archdiocese of Agra, the mother diocese of all North India. Very Rev. Fr. Anselm E.J. Kenneally O.F.M. Cap. Superior General of the Friars minor Capuchins was appointed as the first Archbishop of this new Archdiocese, and he was consecrated in Rome on 1st January, 1911. The church of St. Michael and St. Joseph in Simla built in 1885 by Lord Ripon the Catholic Viceroy of India became the Cathedral of new Archdiocese. It is during this period that the Archdiocese witnessed great changes, both political and social The greatest of these was the partition and Independence of the country. A new diocese of Lahore was formed in Pakistan. The realignment of the states, the creation of the new city of Chandigarh and its Union Territory status have all influenced the history of the diocese and have had their effect on the structure and development of the diocese.
When the political capital of the country was shifted to Delhi, the Catholic population was placed under the jurisdiction of the diocese of Simla, thus becoming the Delhi-Simla Archdiocese and the See shifted to Delhi. Archbishop Sylvester P. Mulligan was the first Archbishop of Delhi-Simla Archdiocese, which comprised of the present states of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and the Union-Territory of Chandigarh. Archbishop Sylvester P. Mulligan was succeeded by Archbishop Joseph Alexander Fernandes. In 1959 the Archdiocese of Delhi-Simla was dismembered to form Simla as an independent diocese and thus beginning the history of current diocese with Bishop John Burke as its pastor. In the year 1966 Bishop John Burke was succeeded by Bishop Alfred Fernandes, the Vicar General of Archdiocese of Hyderabad. He was transferred to the See of Allahabad in 1970.