Royapuram was `The town of Peter’, deriving its name from the Tamil for Peter, `Rayappar’ that has a beautiful church known as St. Peter’s Church built in the year 1829 by the boat people of Christian Community migrated from Chepauk in 1799 the Customs House and Master Attendants’s Office were shifted to Black Town from Fort St. George in the year 1799 In consequent to the removal of Customs House and Master Attendant’s Office to Black Town the Christian boat people who were staying at Chepauk village migrated to a new village within 300yards North of Black Town wall This church is popularly called as ‘Madha Kovil’ by non-Christians.

Royapuram

Mater Dolorosa Church

Royapuram

 

Royapuram

 

This Church was originally St Peter’s Anglo-Indian Mixed Primary School. In 1905, Archbishop of Madras Most Rev Joseph Colgan DD gave this building for the use of the Presentation Nuns of George Town. When they shifted their quarters to a bungalow nearby, the building fell vacant. The Anglo-Indian Community of St Peter’s especially the elderly, found it very difficult to sit on the floor. So, they requested Archbishop Colgan, to convert the school into a Church for Anglo-Indians. Permission was granted and a renovated building erected with pews inside.It was dedicated to ‘Our Lady of Sorrows’. The first Parish Priest was Fr Hood. During the 1937 – 1942, when Fr Cronin was the Parish Priest of this Church, he replaced the old pews with solid teak wood pews contributed by the Anglo-Indian parishioners. He raised Rs 8,000 and his successor Fr Schuppe raised another Rs.3000 through a fete, and invested the total amount in constructing a hall called the Fatima Hall, which serves both the Anglo-Indians and tamil parishioners.

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