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St. Mark’s Church, Badulla

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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.

Source: St. Mark’s Church, Badulla

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