Parel was one of the original seven islands of Bombay. The European association with this area begins in the 17th century when the islands were taken over by the Portuguese who soon established a Jesuit church and convent.
The British confiscated Parel along with other islands in 1689. In the 1770s, William Hornby, the Governor, shifted his official residence to Parel. The Jesuit buildings were converted into the Governor’s Residence. Soon after, this area metamorphosed into one of the elegant British areas of the city.
By the mid-1860s Parel, along with Byculla had a large British population. The Christ Church, Byculla, set up in 1832 served the religious needs for this English congregation. Later in 1859, the St. Peter’s Church was opened up in Mazagaon to serve the burgeoning congregation in the area.