Bhowanipore Congregational Church

43, Elgin Road, Kolkata – 700 020

Bhowanipur Congregational Church, formerly called LMS Church, was established by the London Missionary Society.  The Society also set up the LMS Institution, which was given the status of College by Calcutta University.  In 1843, the professor, students and some people who had been converted by LMS started worshipping every Sunday in an old Bungalow in the College campus.  The service was in Bengali.  This, in fact was the beginning of Bhowanipur Congregational Church.

Rev. J. Campbell was one of the prominent founding fathers of the Church.  Rev. Dr. J. Mullens was appointed Presbyter in 1849, followed by Rev. J. Hills in 1856.  Rev. Mullens was re-appointed in 1862 and he carried out his duties till 1869.  Thereafter, the Assistant Presbyters, Rev. Surya Kumar Ghosh took up the duties as Presbyter-in-Charge.  At this time the congregation felt the need for a separate building of their own.  Many believers came forward to help.  Finally in 1867, the foundation stone of the present building was laid by Justice John Locke of Calcutta High Court.  The Church was consecrated on 9th March, 1868.

In 1914 a Church Council was set up.  It consisted of representatives from BCC Behrampore Church and a few other churches of South 24 Parganas, which were affiliated to LMS Also the Trust-Deed of BCC was re-constituted.  In 1936, an organisation called “Christian Brotherhood” joined BCC along with its members.  Since 1931, BCC had been holding dialogues with other churches for the formation of a National Church.  This led to the constitution of a new organisation called the UCNI.  Bhowanipur Congregational Church joined the UCNI in 1944.  This historical event was commemorated in 1945.  The Rev. Sudhir Kumar Chattopadhyay was appointed as Moderator of the UCNI

In 1949 Rev. Sunil Kumar Adhikary took up his duties as full time Presbyter of the Church.  He contributed immensely to the development of the Church.  It was during his tenure that BCC celebrated its centenary in 1968.  After serving the Church for twenty one years Rev. Adhikary retired.  He was followed by Rev. Samar Bairagi, who later became the Bishop of the Diocese of Barrackpore, CNI.  It was during his time (November 1970) that BCC was integrated with a larger organisation, the C. N. I.  Thereafter, Rev. John Nelson Ali served the Church faithfully and with a great zeal, from 1983 to the middle of 1990.  In 1985 BCC sent Mrs. Margaret Macgregor for appointment as the first lady priest. Rev. Sukhendu Biswas served this church from 1990 to 1998.  He played a very important role in the growth of the Church.  It was during his time that the 150th anniversary of BCC was celebrated.

Women members played an important role in the development of the Church.  Smt. Nirajbashini Shome and others founded the Women’s Christian College in 1945.  She served as its Secretary till 1977.  The parsonage and the Sunday School Hall was built in 1954 and 1960 respectively through the generous contributions of Smt. Hridaybala Ghosal and Smt. Shailabala Das.

The Church has been declared a heritage building.  It is an active and vibrant Church.  The Pastorate Committee has always played a dynamic role in the Church affairs.  The Church has its own choir.  BCC has produced lyricists and composers like Dhirendralal Pandey, Nirmal Pandey, Debendranath Chattopadhyay and others.  This Church has been a pioneer in the field of Bengali hymns.

Worship Service Timing: 8 am; 8:30 am (During Winter)

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