St. Mary’s Orthodox Church, Alenchery

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CHURCH HISTORY

Years back, Syrian Christians from different region, especially from Thumbamon, Kadambanadu and other Central Travancore places migrated to Anchal and nearby places for the purpose of trade and agriculture.

In 1932, they built a small shed in the land of Sri. George Ommen(Bethel) in Alencherry ( 1KM away from main junction) and started the Sunday school. This was the first mile stone in the construction of St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church Alencherry.

Years later, in 1936 Sri. George Ommen donated that land to Malankara Metropolitha for the construction of a new church. People built a church in the name of St. Mary; and accordingly to the tradition and customs of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. On 28th August 1937, the church was consecrated by H.G Puthencavil Mar Phelaxinos ( Metropolitha of Thumbamon).Rev. Fr. Koshy Mavizharikathu ( Ayoor) served as the first vicar of the parish.

From 1938 to 1974, Rev. Fr. K Gheevarghese Changarampallil ( Manoor Achan) served as the vicar of the church. During this period, Shimonah; the Angel of Mount Athos visited the church,during his visit to India. He spent more than one month in this church, with prayers and meditation. He was very much attracted with the church and got many spiritual visions during his prayer. He painted and purified a holy picture of St.Mary and Jesus Christ,with the holy oil and water from the river Jordan. The holy picture is still preserved in the church with atmost care.

 

Since 1974, Nativity of St. Mary( Ettunombu Perunal) is being celebtrated as the main Perunal of the church. Now it is being celebrated as “Alencherry Church Feast”. Every year on September 7th , after the evening prayer ( Sandhya Namaskaram), the procession (Rassa) is being held from Alencherry to church.

On 6th September 1975, H.H Baselius Marthoma Mathews I visited the church. The Catholicos and the diocesan Metropolitha were welcomed by the regional members of Alencherry with due respect. In 1979, Trivandrum Diocese came into existence. As a result, the church came under the holy control of Trivandrum diocese. In 1982, a prayer hall was constructed by the side of the existing church and was blessed; in the name of St. Mary. Many more developments were also happened in the following years.

In 1997, the Managing committee decided to re-construct the church. On 8th September 2001, H.H Baselius Marthoma Mathews II laid the foundation stone of the new church. On 2006 August 30 & 31, the church was consecrated by H.H Baselius Marthoma Didymus I (Catholicose of the East & Malankara Metropolitan) ,assisted by H.G Mathews Mar Eppipanios( Kollam), H.G Zachariach Mar Anthonios( Kochi),H.G. Dr. Gabriel Mar Gregorios( Thiruvananthapuram).

On every year, August 15th is being celebrated as the parish day of the church. In addition to the Ettunombu perunal; feast of St. George, St. Gregorios, St. Thomas, St. Jude are also celebrated in this church. Thousands visit the church throughout the year, particularly during the Alencherry Church feast days. Recognising the importance of this spiritual place, His Holiness Baselius Marthoma Didymus I (Catholicose & Malankara Metropolitan) declared the church as “International Mathamariyam Pilgrim Centre” on 3rd September 2010. The is a Counselling Centre of Thirupanathapuram Diocese. Presently the church have parish membership of more than 240 homes!

Church Webiste: www.alencherrychurch.org
Church Phone No: 0475 2274526

{Compiled & translated by: Bijoy Babu, Vadakke Veedu}

PLATINUM JUBILEE YEAR 1932- 2012

Alencherry St. Mary’s Church has a long history of more than 75 years. The history behind which the church still remains as a source and fountain of strength for the people of Alencherry and near by places irrespective of cast and creeds.

The Syrian Christians migrated from different region, especially from Thumbamon and other Central Travancore places built the first church in 1932.The desire of ancient fathers for a holy place to take prayers and religious ceremonies for the Pilgrim Christians were the root causes of construction of the church. The stones of St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church, Alencherry are silent witnesses to the joy and hope, the grief and anguish of generations of Orthodox families. In the quiet corners of this church, those who shed tears of regret have found peace, those who sighed with weariness have gone out with new strength, those who were lost have discovered a way. Under the arches of this building, candles of hope and trust have flickered through the years. Here, those in love have pledged to be true to one another all the days of their lives. Here, they have brought their children to be baptised and confirmed as followers of Christ. Here, they have said their last farewell to those whose death they mourn. In this church, communities find a sign of their fellowship with each other and the expression of their unity with the Church throughout the world.

The church is therefore not only an important place for those who use it regularly, but for the whole city of Anchal as it provides a sanctuary and an oasis of green that invites people to rest awhile! The prayers and blessings of St.Mary; the patron saint leads the church until now.

On 28 August 2011, H.G Dr Gabriel Mar Gregorios (Metropolitan of Thiruvanathapuram) inaugurated the church jubilee year celebrations. Platinum Jubilee year celebrations last for one year with various programmes. Jubilee year end celebration was concluded with the public meeting held on 8 September 2012. H.G Dr Yohanon Mar Melitios inaugurated the function. Various political and spiritual leaders chaired the function.

IMPORTANT EVENTS IN THE HISTORY OF ALENCHERRY CHURCH

PLATINUM JUBILEE LOGO

Date Event
August 1932 Temporary Church Built & Started Sunday School
August 1936 Construction of the first church started
28 August 1937 First church consecrated by H.G Puthencavil Mar Phelaxinos
October 1938 Shimonah of Mount Athos visited the church
November 1938 Shimonah laid the holy cross in Altar
December 1938 Holy picture of St.Mary painted by Shimonah placed in church
1956 Decision taken for constructing the 2nd Church
26 December 1961 Foundation stone of 2nd church laid by H.G Mathews Mar Coorilos
1 September 1965 Nativity of St. Mary( Ettunombu Perunal) stared in Church
13 February 1966 2nd Church consecrated by H.G Mathews Mar Coorilos
6 September 1975 H.H Baselius Marthoma Mathews I visited the church
1 January 1979 Church came under Thirupanathapuram Diocese
15 August 1982 First Prayer Room consecrated by H.G Geevarghese Mar Diocorous
8 September 2001 Foundation Stone of present church laid by H.H Baselius Marthoma Mathews II
31 August 2006 Present Church Consecrated by H.H Baselius Didymos I
3 September 2010 Church declared as International Marthamariyam Pilgrim Centre
28 August 2011 Marthamariyam Shrine consecrated by H.G Gabriel Mar Gregorios
28 August 2011 Platinum Jubilee Year inaugurated by H.G Gabriel Mar Gregorios
4 September 2011 Church uplifted as Couselling Centre
4 – 8 April 2012 H.G Dr Gabriel Mar Gregorios led the Holy Passion Week Service in the Parish
8 September 2012 Platinum Jubilee Year end meeting inaugurated by H.G Dr Yohanon Mar Melitios

 

PRIESTS WHO SERVED AS VICAR AT ALENCHERRY CHURCH

Period Vicar
1936 – 1938 Rev Fr Koshy Kattanar (Ayoor)
1938 – 1974 Rev Fr Geevarghese Changaramparambil
1965 – 1970 Rev Fr Jyanashikamani Shastri (Asst. Vicar)
1970 – 1971 Rev Fr Alex Kurumbil (Asst. Vicar)
1971 – 1975 Rev Fr P V Samuel
1975 – 1976 Rev Fr W A Cherian (H.G Zachariah Mar Anthonios)
1976 Rev Fr P M Koshy
1976 – 1977 Rev Fr C Kurian
1977 – 1979 Rev Fr K P Philip
Rev Fr Zachariah Abraham (Asst. Vicar)
1979 – 1981 Rev Fr Yohanan Panicker
1981 – 1988 Rev Fr Thomas T Vargheese
1988 – 1992 Rev Fr K K Thomas
1992 – 1994 Rev Fr C Koshy
1994 – 1997 Rev Fr Joseph Samuel Karukayil
Rev Fr C D Rajan (Asst. Vicar)
1997 – 2000 Rev Fr Anil John
2000 – 2003 Rev Fr C Johnson Mulamottil
2003 – 2005 Rev Fr Mathew Abraham
2005 – 2010 Rev Fr John Philip
2010 Rev Fr John Daniel
2010 – 2012 Rev Fr K G Jacob Panicker
2012 – 2015 Rev Fr Sam Kanjickal
2015 Onwards Rev Fr Mathew Thomas

 

PRIEST FROM THE PARISH

Late Rev Fr Yacob OIC (Bethany)
Very Rev Thomas T Varghese Cor-Episcopa (T.V.M Diocese)
Rev Fr Thomas Daniel (Kollam Diocese)
Rev Fr Sam Thomas (T.V.M Diocese)

SHRINES OF THE CHURCH

Kalkurishu (Holy cross made with stone) infront of the church
Shrine built in name of St.Mary at Alencherry Junction
Shrine built in name of St.George at Muthalatu
Shrine built in name of St.Gregorios at Kannancodu
Shrine built in name of St.Jude at Alencherry Pally Mukku

 

AMENITIES AVAILABLE FOR PILGRIMAGE’S AT ALENCHERRY CHURCH

Church opened from 6.30 Am to 8.30 Pm every day
Marthamariyam Shrine opened from 6.30 Am to 8.30 Pm every day
Kalkurishu & Kalvilaku (Holy cross & lamp made with stone) infront of church
Counselling facility based on prior appointment from Vicar
St. Mary’s Auditorium with seating capacity of 450 people
Church office working on all worship days
Parsonage with a full-time resident priest
Holy Pond in church premise
Church Pavilion
Church Canteen
Parking Facility

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