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Saturday, December 03 2022
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Here devotees write letters to St Paul on Christmas eve!

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Bareilly: They say the answer to every problem lies between the knee and the ground- that you submit to God and seek an answer with clean heart and your wishes never go unanswered.


However, here in Bareilly, the devotees who cannot get enough talking to God, resort to writing letters to St Paul, just to make that one extra effort to get their wish granted.

Well, no one know when this ritual exactly began, but at Free Will Baptist Church in Bareilly the number of youth, cutting across faiths come and kneel before St Paul, silently placing a wish written on papers, on eve of Christmas.
On Friday evening thousands and thousands of such petitions piled at the Church.

“Lord, please make Rita talk to me again by Monday,” read a sincere request while the other requested St Paul to do one miracle so that the petitioner gets married to his lady love Latha.

“Give me a son like Jesus,” read another letter. The list of wishes go on and on.

The practice is that the faithful throng the Church on Christmas eve and place the letter at the feet of the statue of St Paul. In the evening, the pastor conducts a special prayer for the fulfillment of people’s wishes as he holds in his hands each of the letters.

As per the clergymen here, the tradition of writing letters to St Paul is relatively new, say about five years old.

After seeing that people are finding solace in writing letters to St Paul, the Church stated holding special prayer requesting God to fulfill the wishes of these people.

Rev Sunil C Lal, pastor in-charge of the Free Will Baptist Church in Bareilly Cantonment says that he reads all the letter in private before conducting prayers.

He says that though the exercise of writing letters is for a day only, devotees throughout the year come to church to thank God for fulfilling their wishes.

Constructed way back in 1838, the church was formally inaugurated by Bishop Wilson of Kolkata and used to be known as Church of England. It was transferred to the Diocese of Lucknow soon after Independence but later came under the purview of Churches of North India, Lucknow chapter, and was renamed the Free Will Baptist Church on November 6, 1975.

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