St. Thomas Orthodox Church, South Pampady

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History

Exactly a hundred years ago, 19 determined men from South Pampady knelt down before the Late Lamented Geevarghese Mar Dionysius (Saint Vattasseril Thirumeni) and begged for the sanction of a new church in their locality. They narrated their hardships of trekking all the way to Pampady or Manarcadu through a pathless terrain to attend the Holy Mass. His Holiness fulfilled their long-cherished dream and sanctioned a church in South Pampady wide order No. 64/1912.

That was the beginning. On 7 February 1912 a temporary chapel on four pillars was consecrated to the immense joy and pride of the parishioners. The Royal Charter for building the church was obtained on 19 February 1912. It was a unanimous decision of the parish that the new church should be named after St. Thomas, the Apostle of India. The first General Body meeting of the church was held on 6 March 1912, chaired by Rev.Fr. Yacob Cheriamadothil, the first vicar, and attended by 28 men from the laity. As years passed, the parish grew and the temporary chapel became inadequate to accommodate all the parishioners. So in 1925, a more spacious church was constructed with the sweat and toil of the entire parish. In 1948, the altar was newly renovated and consecrated by H.G Kuriakose Mar Gregorios (Saint Pampady Thirumeni).

In 1962, Rev. Fr. O.C. Kuriakose, Pampady Kandathil (Senior) retired after serving the parish as vicar for 42 years and Rev. Fr. K.S. Jacob Kakkattu took charge. His two tenures (1962-72 and 1981-90) marked spectacular development for the parish in both material and spiritual areas. He tapped new sources to enhance revenue and novel schemes to uplift spiritual fervour in the parish. The shopping complex and the shrine at Kuttickal were constructed at this time. The parish was growing all the time and plans for building a new church came up at this stage. The General Body meeting of the parish in 1981 decided to redesign and reconstruct the church.

On 14 January 1982, the ‘Sapthathi’ day of the parish, the foundation stone for the new church was laid. Four years later, on 11 January, 1986, the new church was consecrated by the then Catholicos, H.H Baselios Marthoma Mathews I. The parish hall, completed in 1996 under the leadership of Rev. Fr. George Thomas Pothanickel, stands tall as the biggest and the most spacious auditorium in Pampady. In 2002, the church celebrated its ‘Navathi’ under the leadership of Rev. Fr. P.M.Varghese, Mathasserril. A new shrine was constructed at Manthuruthi junction in the holy name of Mother Mary.

Now, on the verge of Centenary, the church recalls with joy and humility its multifarious contributions towards the spiritual, social and economic well-being of this entire locality. In the educational sector, Fr. P.A Kuriakose Pezhamattom Asst. Vicar of the church was instrumental in the inception and establishment of St. Thomas L.P School and St. Thomas High School, South Pampady. In the Co-operative field, the church played a major role in the foundation and growth of Pampady Service Bank, which has now attained heights of glory. The church has always maintained friendly relations with all the communities in the region and has played a major role in maintaining communal harmony in this area. That is how this church has become a Heaven for the entire population of South Pampady.

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