Mumbai’s Afghan Church Restored to Its Gothic Glory


Mumbai’s historic Afghan Church (Church of St John the Evangelist) has undergone a two-year restoration, regaining its grandeur as a monument and place of worship.

Built in 1858 in the Gothic Revival style, the church served as a memorial for soldiers lost in the Anglo- افغان (Afghan) War. The World Monuments Fund India, led by architect Kirtida Unwalla, spearheaded the restoration project, which culminated in a grand reopening earlier this year.


Cracked mosaics, weathered wood, and faded features have been thoughtfully restored, revealing the church’s original beauty. Stained-glass windows, crafted by renowned 19th-century artist William Wailes, now shimmer with restored vibrancy. A highlight is the Porbandar limestone altar wall, which was painstakingly cleaned to remove salt deposits and expose the original memorial plaques.


“The restoration project has been a journey of rediscovery,” says Christopher Elisha of the Afghan Church Pastorate Committee. “We’re seeing details we never noticed before, like the original roof colour and the delicate figures in the stained glass.”


The restoration wasn’t just about aesthetics. The team ensured future preservation by documenting the church’s history and detailing restoration techniques for future reference. This knowledge will be housed in a new interpretation centre within the church.

Kirti Bansal From psychology to philosophy and sales to content, Kirti has explored the complexity of emotional needs in depth. Over the past 3 years, she has covered different genres of writing and now shares her insights on interior designing, architecture, and real estate. But apart from the critical side, she is an inquisitive individual who is eager to dip her toes into new things.
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