Priests and parishioners of the iconic Gloria Church at Byculla, which will turn 100, are struggling to renew the Grade-II heritage monument’s lost glory before its centenary celebrations begin next year.
Despite many fund-raising efforts, the parish has not been able to raise the Rs3.5 crore required for restoration of the church.
Built between 1912 and 1913 in the neo-Gothic style, the church’s inner walls are losing paint. Dampness has caused sections of the walls and ceiling to collapse and cracks have appeared on several high vaulted arches.
“The church needs urgent repairs, but the population of our parish is dwindling and there is only a limited amount the members can raise,” said Father Rocky Banz, the parish priest of Gloria Church, who setup a fund-raising committee in January 2010. “While some of the water leakages have been plugged, work has now come to a standstill due to lack of funds.”
Through donation drives in various churches, online appeals, and a ticketed show with actor Johnny Lever last year, the parish has raised Rs1.4 crore. However, as per estimates given by various engineers, repairing the vaulted arches alone will require Rs2.5 crore.
Parishioners are now planning several fund-raising activities. “We are sending appeals to former parishioners settled outside the city, and in October we will organise a fun-fair for children,” said Windsor D’Souza, 72, a retired parishioner.