I have noticed this church by the road every time I go to Mulshi. Nestled in the Pirangut valley, surrounded by the Sahyadri hills, this stone built church has an air of mystery about it. The looming monsoon clouds and the beautiful hills behind it only added to its beauty.
This church is named Paud Church, after the village it is adjacent to. I had entered the church compound once long ago when I was here with Everyman but it was a Saturday and this place was closed. I came to know from a passer by that they have service every Sunday, but I was somehow never there at the right time.
Finally, a couple of Sundays ago, we were going by this church and we decided to stop. This time I was with family and friends. We walked into the church compound admiring the building, wondering how old the walls were, when the pastor came in right behind us to open the doors. He told us that service was about to begin and we realised that we were in luck! We decided we will attend at least attend a part of the service before going ahead on our journey to Mulshi.
The pastor told us that this church was built by the British in 1912 and had seen better days. Now there are only about five Christian families left in the village. They just manage to keep the place going as they do not have a lot of funds.
This church has an old world charm that is hard to find. The first time I saw it, I had thought it may have been abandoned. But inside these dark walls, every week, the place comes alive with the voices of singing, led by the baritone voice of the friendly pastor.