Life-size crib set welcomes visitors at Bandel Church

DN Bureau

A life-size crib set, themed on Annunciation or the announcement of Jesus Christ's arrival, has been put on display at the 419-year-old Bandel Church, where thousands of devotees gather very year to offer prayers on Christmas.

Bandel Church

Kolkata: A life-size crib set, themed on Annunciation or the announcement of Jesus Christ's arrival, has been put on display at the 419-year-old Bandel Church, where thousands of devotees gather very year to offer prayers on Christmas.

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The church, a Marian Shrine (a shrine to the Virgin Mary) in West Bengal's Hooghly district, was founded in 1599.

While crib sets are usually a Biblical depiction of Christ's birth, Bandel Church, on the banks of river Hooghly, has gone beyond the tradition to create a theme-based model that celebrates the event of Annunciation -- Archangel Gabriel announcing Jesus Christ's arrival to Virgin Mary -- Prior of Bandel Church, Salesian Fr T L Francis, said Tuesday.

He also thanked the state government for taking measures to illuminate the major churches.

"We are thankful to the chief minister and her government for taking initiatives to illuminate seven major churches in the state, including our Bandel Church," Salesian Fr T L Francis added.

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Subrata Ganguly of Kolkata-based firm Church Art, which specialises in designing curio in India and abroad, said the crib set was one-of-a-kind installation at the basilica.

The church, which is undergoing major renovation and expansion, has also put on display the historical "mast", which was presented by the captain of a vessel that encountered a storm in the Bay of Bengal in 1655.

The Archaeological Survey of India had declared the mast a heritage item.

 

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