During the first dozen years of Dr. James Shepherd’s ministry and work in this region, the little Christian community had grown to only some 50 souls. There was as yet no Church building and Dr. Shepherd, longed to have one, not only in interest of reverent worship but as a visible witness to the Gospel in the Mewar State. On 4th August 1889, a suitable piece of land was secured as a gracious gift from the Maharana Fateh Singh, 73rd Custodian of House of Mewar. Dr Shepherd, regarding money for the Church building construction, he writes in one of his letters, “Our friends in the station are most helpful and ever willing to do what they can do us in the way of helping on the work”. The then, state Engineer, Mr. Campbell Thompson took keenest interest in it. The building, though not a large one, is of exceptionally beautiful design. This church was opened on 5th July 1891. In token of the respect and friendship, there was a large gathering at the first divine worship service, with which the Church was opened. Maharana Fateh Singh and many of the leading nobles were present besides a humble folk. The worship service was conducted in the vernacular by Rev. John Traill.
Since then, this church continues to serve as a pivot for Christian community in the city for growing spiritually and collectively. At present, more than a thousand attend praise and worship of God on each Sunday and participate in Lord’s Supper and other religious sacraments regularly. In addition, church also extends his helping hand to poor and marginalised people in nearby villages through its social outreach from time to time. Currently, the Church is supervised by the presbyter in-charge Rev Raimson Victor under the overall administration of the Rajasthan Diocese of Church of India (CNI) which is located in Ajmer. Besides, the church remains opened throughout the weekdays for meditation and prayers for believers. The Shepherd Memorial Church also attracts many visitors to enjoy and appreciate its beauty and its architecture.
The Shepherd Memorial Church of North India is celebrating its 125 years of consecration on 5th July 2016 and the celebration started on 3rd July 2016. It is a shining example of how an open door policy towards new ideas and concepts can help build and sustain a city; how dedicated professionals can be given space and time to serve the needs of a citizenry; and how a humane environment can be created where respect and love among people grows.
Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur, the 76th Custodian of the House of Mewar and Chairman and Managing Trustee of the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation attended the celebration on 3rd July 2016 at Shepherd Memorial Church of North India, Udaipur. He was welcomed by The Most Rev. P. K. Samantaroy, Moderator – Church of North India along with Rt. Rev. Warris K. Masih, Bishop – Diocese of Delhi & Moderator’s Episcopal Commissary, Rt. Rev. Collin C. Theodore, Former Bishop – Diocese of Rajasthan and Rev. Raimson Victor, Presbyter In-Charge, Shepherd Memorial Church, Church of North India, Udaipur.
“In commemorating the 125 years of Shepherd Memorial Church, we are paying homage to our collective past and sharing the living heritage of Mewar with the new generations of today,” said Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar, humbled as he is by the achievements of his illustrious forefathers.