Jamshedpur: Illuminated churches, carol singers, candy canes, gingerbread man and more – the steel city is soaking in pure Yuletide fervour in the run-up to December 25.
But, this Christmas will be better remembered for a special and unanimous wish.
Almost all the 24 city churches, belonging to denominations like Catholic, Baptist and Church of North India (CNI), have decided to hold Christmas-eve prayers for good governance both at the Centre and in the state.
Ironically, and in an odd coincidence, the Narendra Modi government plans to observe December 25 as Good Governance Day to mark the birthday of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Reverend Deepak Anil Jojo, the parish priest of St George’s Church (established in 1916 and hence, the oldest in East Singhbhum), on Friday said believers had been asked to pray for “good governance” on Christmas.
“Special prayers will be held in all churches coming under the CNI pastorate of Jamshedpur for good governance at the Centre and in Jharkhand. The objective is to ensure people at the grassroots are benefited in the real sense. During celebrations, we should not forget about the downtrodden and the have-nots,” said the pastor.
St George’s Church comes under the Chotanagpur diocese of CNI and has its headquarters in Ranchi. It has a membership base of over 2,000. The Jamshedpur pastorate looks after CNI churches in Sonari, Kitadih, Tuiladungri, Mango, Rahargora, Shankerpur (Parsudih), Sitaramdera, Bagunhatu and Birsanagar.
Vicar-general of Catholic Diocese of Jamshedpur Father David Vincent agreed that good governance would be an integral part of prayers on Christmas-eve at St Joseph’s Cathedral. The cathedral is the headquarters of the Catholic Diocese of Jamshedpur.
“Good governance was an integral part of the teachings of Jesus Christ. We shall hold the special prayer session during the inter-religious Christmas Milan programme at Golmuri today (Friday) and also during Bishop Reverend Felix A. Toppo’s midnight message on December 24,” said Father David.
Similar prayers will be held at Beldih Baptist Church (Northern Town, Bistupur), Emmanuel Baptist Church and GEL Church (both in Sitaramdera), Lupita Church (Telco) and churches of various denominations in Mango, Parsudih, Kitadih, Sonari and Kadma.
Good cheer is, meanwhile, spreading through the commercial hubs of Sakchi and Bistupur, which are neck-deep in Christmas decorations. “Apart from Xmas trees and Santa masks, caps and costumes, there is a high demand for snow globes, stars and cribs,” said Vishal Thakker of Vijay Bhandar in Bistupur.
City SP Prabhat Kumar said police stations had been instructed to intensify night vigil for the safety of carollers. “Our fleet of PCR vans will patrols roads as carol singers go door-to-door. We will soon issue no-entry rules for December 24 and 25,” he added.