St. Mark's Church, Badulla
St. Mark's Church, Badulla
Date of Consecration
1857 - 04 - 25
Archdeaconry
Nuwara Eliya Archdeaconry
Vicar
Rev. Joel Jackson
Assistant Curate
Rev. Glory Jeyaraj
History

The Church was consecrated by Bishop James Chapman on 25 April 1857. This is St. Mark’s Day. Before 1857, services were held in the courthouse by the clergyman stationed in Nuwara-Eliya paying periodical visits. In 1846, Bishop Chapman toured Nuwara-Eliya where a Church was being built, travelling to Badulla on horseback with a spare pony and coolies carrying his luggage. On Sunday 24 February he held a service in the Badulla courthouse, attended by district officials and coffee planters. On Monday 25 February a public meeting was held to make preliminary arrangements for a Church, attended by all classes and creeds of Ceylonese from the neighbourhood and Europeans living in Uva. The Bishop visited again in 1850 and 1853. Contributions were given by people of all religions and races in Badulla.

Rev. Waltham , Vicar from 1900 to 1925, built a large school at Medagama which was later handed over to the Government. He put up some of the buildings, and a boys hostel, which later became Uva College. He improved the Church and the Churchyard. In 1921 he built the belltower with money given by Churchwarden W.E.T. Sharpe. He improved and enlarged St. Augustine’s school at Baddegama and built and furnished St. Peter’s Church at Lunugala.

The Vicarage at St. Mark’s, which he moved into in 1915, was built with his money and gifted to the parish. Rev. Waltham left St. Mark’s in 1925. When Rev. Waltham died he was buried on 2 October 1938 at Bandarawela.

 

Interesting bits of history

Major Rogers

It is interesting to trace the history of Major Rogers to whom St. Mark’s Church is the memorial.

Major Rogers is credited with opening out Uva by tracing or constructing nearly all the roads in the province. He traced and superintended the present road to Hambantota via Wellawaya, the roads to Ratnapura and Nuwara-Eliya and the old Batticaloa Road. He framed the estimates and supervised most of the public works executed during his lifetime. He is also known to have planted the first coffee estates along the Ratnapura Road. Viz Kahagole and Haputale.

In the course of his lifetime he is said to have shot, at the lowest, 1400 elephants.

In the flower of his manhood major Rogers was killed by lightning at Sherwood Estate on the top of Haputale Pass.

Vicars of the Church: The Rev. E. Mooyart from Galle was for a short period Incumbent of St. Mark’s immediately after its consecration. The first permanent Incumbent was the Rev. George Adam Rathna. Sinhalese and Tamil services were held from the very beginning. The priest was helped by a Sinhalese Catechist and the Tamil services was taken by a Catechist when the T.C.M European missionary could not come.

Rev. Rathna was succeeded by Rev. Abraham Dias Abeyesinghe. He became Vicar of St. Mark’s in 1859.

Stained Glass Windows

Left East Window-The Nativity

To the Glory of God and in loving memory of Alice Maud Oorloff who died June 16 1893 aged 19 years. This window is placed by her sorrowing parents Arthur Felix Oorloff, Colonial Surgeon and Alice maud his wife. Grant her, O Lord, eternal rest.

Centre East Window-The crucifixion

In token of thankfulness to Almighty God

For mercies vouchsafed unto him in 1904

This window is placed here by WJP Waltham, Vicar

Right East Window- The Ascension

In loving memory of Kate Anne Rettie who fell asleep at Spring Valley, Badulla on the 20 February 1905 aged 49 years. This window is dedicated by her husband A. Rettie and family.

West East Window-The inviting Christ

Presented by Edward Theodosius Gerlits 1872.

St. Mark’s School, Badulla(est 1876)

This school was later designated Uva College.

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Contact Details

Postal Address
St. Mark's Church, Badulla
Telephone
0552 225 049

The Bishop of the Church of Ceylon, Diocese of Colombo

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