HISTORY OF THE SCHOOL
St. Stephen’s church and school founded on the rock of St. Stephen, the first martyr in the Bible, stands tall in the eyes of the public at Pallavaram as it not only has a rich history behind it but also boasts of being one of the oldest institutions in the Diocese of Madras. The history is traced and recorded after a survey done at the Archives dating back to 1847.
The European artillery veterans who were stationed at Pallavaram were attending divine services at St. Thomas mount. The veterans residing at Pallavaram having to travel a long distance expressed their wish to have a worship place of their own and this was voiced to the then Bishop in a letter dated 11th May 1847 by Rev. W. P. Powell, the officiating chaplain of St. Thomas Mount, who later identified the availability of a room in the Main Guard. In a letter dated 13th July 1847, Rt. Rev Vincent Shortland, Archdeacon and commissary of the Diocese not only conveyed this to the military board, but also resolved to allot the main guard building as a worship centre as well as to run a school for the children of the soldiers. Thus the Military Church School came into existence in 1847 and masters were appointed.
As per GO 63 dated 22/4/1901 of the Ecclesiastical department, it is observed that the main guard building was declared obsolete and beyond repairs by the PWD department and hence it was brought down. As the veterans did not have a worship centre, they were allotted barrack block no.4 as their worship centre on Sundays and when the need for a school at Pallavaram was voiced, the Military authorities handed over their school to the civil authorities and the school began to function in the barracks on week days. Thus ST. Stephens church SCHOOL was born and later handed over to the chaplain of St.Stephen’s church, Diocese of Madras in 1901.
It was only in 1935, the piece of land adjacent to the barracks was given to build a church. But the school continued in the barracks ever since with the name St.Stephen’s church school. In 1985, it was upgraded into a Matriculation school by the Education department which required a board of trustees as a pre requisite for granting recognition and so the school came under the management of the CSI Diocese of Madras and thus it was christened as CSI St.Stephen’s Matriculation School.
As the school retraces her footsteps into history, one recalls the struggles she had undergone before this metamorphosis could take place. Today she stands in all majesty saluting the stalwarts who had led her thus far and looks on in hope and cheer for a reaffirmation of her status in society.
Let us remember the prayers of the war veterans who wished to have a church and a school at Pallavaram and the untiring efforts of Rev. W.P.Powell and Rt. Rev Vincent Shortland, the Archdeacon and commissary of the Diocese and the generosity and goodwill of the Military authorities who have handed over this piece of land to the civil authorities to run a Church and a School. On 19th July 2010, the Barracks Block No.4, has acquired a new attire and a new status as it was renovated and rededicated by our revered Bishop the Rt. Rev. Dr.V.Devasahayam, who had evinced keen interest in preserving the traditional and historical background of the school.
St. Stephen’s school will stand forever to proclaim the Glory of God.