St. George Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church

(Under the Holy See of Patriarchate of Antioch)

Cheppaud

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PARISH   HISTORY

 

 

 

Until the advent of reformation ideology in the Malankara Christian Church, all the members of the Christian community in Cheppaud belonged to the Oriental Orthodox (Jacobite) faith.

 

Members of the Cheppaud Jacobite Church who accepted the protestant theology established a Marthomite Church at Cheppaud in 1890. Members of Jnappallil and Karimpanackal families (Sisters and Brothers families) were active participants in the newly found church and remained so until 1924. When they realized the deviation from the original faith, it was decided by the members of the above-mentioned families to return to the original faith of their forefathers.

 

The faction feud in the Malankara Jacobite Church, with one faction stressing for an independent Orthodox Church under the Catholicose Of the East in Malankara and the other faction insisting on continuation of allegiance to the Syrian Orthodox Church and its Patriarch of Antioch and All the East was in progress and as all the members of this church were supporters of the latter faction, it was decided not to re-join the Cheppaud Jacobite (Valiyapally) Church but to establish a new one in that faith. A chapel was erected and Rev. Fr. Thomas Koshy of the Jacobite faith regularly conducted services.

 

In July 1926, a request for approval to build a proper church here was submitted to the Malankara Metropolitan at Alwaye.  On receipt of this approval, an application was submitted to the Government of Travancore State for permission to build a Church and Cemetery. This request, however, was not granted and the rejection order was issued in September 1926. In accordance with the terms of the “Proclamation right”, for any application for building a Church and establishing a Cemetery, the final orders from the Government have to be delivered to the applicant within ninety (90) days of the application.

 

In this case, the rejection was notified to the applicants only after 93 days and hence the establishment of the Church and Cemetery was automatically approved under the above Proclamation Rights. Protests were made by local population and Government representatives against the building of the Church to the Government authorities in Trivandrum. The subject was also raised in the state Legislative Assembly and after careful consideration by Assembly members, it was ruled that in accordance with the regulations of the proclamation Rights, the applicants have the benefit of the time limitation factor and existence of the Church and Cemetery has to be accepted automatically.

 

It should be recorded here that all through this difficult and trying period, the applicants had the moral support from Ref. Fr. A.J. Michael, Alummootil, Kayamkulam (later H.G. Michael Mar Dionysius) and also guidance from Government Secretary Mr. M.C. Thomas. The Church members are indebted to both these personalities for their most valuable support and guidance.

 

After having survived the storm, the church services were conducted regularly. Rev. Fr. Madakamannil Mathai was appointed the first official vicar of this Church. He served the Church amidst considerable difficulties for a long period and parishioners were most appreciative of his selfless service in establishing this infant Church on a proper footing. The patron Saint of this Church is St. George. The members of the church progressed considerably in all fields of their activities after the establishment of the Church and they and the public in general attribute this to the intercession and blessings of the Patron saint. The feast of St. George is usually celebrated on 4th and 5th of May of each year.

 

The faction feud in the Malankara Jacobite Church was having its influence in all the parishes during this period and the General Body of this Church decided to continue its allegiance with the faction accepting the supremacy of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate Of Antioch. A deed was executed by all members of the church emphasizing this principle. It is specified in the deed that any member of the parish who violates this principle and join any other congregation automatically loses his rights in this church.

 

The first church building was not constructed with desirable building materials and hence was deteriorating fast. It was therefore necessary to re-build the church in proper manner.

 

Construction of new church building commenced in 1950.This Project had to be done in stages depending on the availability of funds. By God’s Grace and intercession of our Patron saint, the main building work got completed in 1960. It is gratifying to note here that the resources for the whole project were found from among the members of the family and no contribution from outsiders were sought for this purpose.

 

A Parish hall in memorial to Mr. Vargheese K. Daniel, Karimpanackal (Eldest son of Mr. Daniel, Karimpanackal) was also constructed providing facilities for a hall and a bedroom for use of visiting dignitaries by his children.

 

There are at present 39 male and 41 female adult members in the church belonging to 16 houses. Membership of the church is limited to members of the founding families only and in terms of the deed executed jointly by them. Although the church comes under the Niranam diocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church, no formal deed has been executed transferring the ownership to any diocesan or central church authorities.

 

Renovated parish was consecrated and sanctified on 19 December 2009, Niranam diocesan Metropolitan Dr. Mor Coorilos Geevarghese led the consecration ceremony. Fr. Mathew Philip, Fr. Joykutty Varghese, Fr. M. J Daniel, Fr. A.I Abraham, Fr. K. A. Mathias, Fr. Anish T Varghese, Fr. Scaria Kochillam, Fr. Aji Mathew Karimpanackal, Vicar Fr. Alex P Oomman and Dn. Reji Mathew assisted.

 

On 20 December 21, 2009 the first Holy Qurbono (Tri-mass) was conducted by Dr. Mor Coorilos Geevarghese and assisted by Fr. Scaria Kochillam and Fr. Aji Mathew Karimpanackal.

 

After the consecration ceremony, the public meeting started inside the church at 11.30. The meeting began with the welcome speech by the parish, trustee Shri. David Varghese. Shri G.D Abraham, Rev. Fr. Scaria Kochillam Rev. Fr. Aji Mathew Karimpanackal , Chevalier Thomas Daniel spoke on the occasion, Vote of Thanks was delivered by Shri Daniel Abraham. Diocesan metropolitan His Grace Dr. Geevarghese Mor Coorilos presided over the function.

 

Senior parish members Mrs. Thankamma Daniel, Mrs. Chinnamma Philip, Shri. Davidkutty, Shri. Jacob Daniel, Shri Simon Daniel and Shri. P D Joseph were honored in the public meeting by gifting Ponnada by the metropolitan

 

Prepared by: D. Simon, Karimpanackal

 

 

 

 

 

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