St Andrew's Kirk Church

Built: 1818

Location: Poonamallee High Road Egmore Madras

Consecrated: 1821

Denomination: Protestant

Notes: St. Andrew's Church, popularly known as The Kirk, was built and dedicated in the year 1821 for Christian Worship for the members of the Church of Scotland resident in Madras (now Chennai). The members were mostly Scotsmen from the British Army stationed in Madras and hence the Church came to be popularly known by its Scottish name KIRK.
Consequent to a petition made by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland to the British Parliament in 1812, The Board of Directors of the East India Company resolved to add the Church of Scotland Ministers to the body of their Chaplains in India. Dr. John Alan was appointed as the first Chaplain to the Scottish community in Madras. He arrived in 1813 to begin his work. By virtue of the power delegated to him by the General Assembly, Dr. Alan chose the following gentlemen to be the first Elders of the Kirk Session: Robert Fullerton, David Hill, Darlymple and Taggart. Robert Fullerton was a member of the Council, David Hill was a Secretary to the Government, Darlymple and Taggart were both merchants. These men were ordained to the office of Elder on 1st September 1815 and the Madras Kirk Session was constituted in 1816.
Kirk Dr. John Alan constituted a Church of Scotland Congregation in the city, for which a Church was built and opened for worship as St. Andrew's Church on 25th February 1821. Legal status was granted to it by the Kirk Session Act XXIII of 1899 and ratified by the Indian Parliament after Independence and gazetted by the Government of India on 1-5-1969.
The buildings and lands of the Church at Egmore have been in possession of the Church since 1815. The buildings and the site were maintained by the Ecclesiastical Department of the Government of India until 31st March 1948. With the winding up of the Ecclesiastical Department, the Government of India decided to transfer the title to the Church authorities on condition that they took charge of the maintenance.