George's Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church
St. George's Church is located in Nedumbassery in the Ankamaly diocese of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church under the Holy Apostolic See of Antioch and All the East, the largest diocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church. The church was consecrated by the late H.G. Mor Gregorius Gheevarghese Vayaliparambil, Metropolitan of Ankamaly diocese (from 1946-1966) on May 6, 1949. The church has five altars dedicated to Mor Gewargis Sahdo (St. George), the patron saint of the church, St. Mary, Mor Gregorios of Parumala, Mor Sabor and Afroth (the two Syrian bishops who came to India in AD 825) and H.H. Patriarch Ignatius Elias III Shakir. The church has a cemetery and a separate office building within its premises. The church has about 250 member families whose predominant occupation is agriculture.
View of the Sanctuary
The church is located in the midst of a three acre rubber plantation in an elevated land on the east side of the National Highway NH-47 in the Ernakulam district of Kerala state. It is 20 kms north of Cochin (latitude 9°58'N, longitude 76°14'E), the port city of Kerala called the Queen of the Arabian Sea, located strategically midway on the international trade corridor connecting Europe and the Pacific Rim. The church is four kms away from the Cochin International Airport, five km south of Ankamaly, and 7.5 kms north of Alwaye.
Nedumbassery , Athani P.O.
In addition to regular worship services, Sunday School, routine prayer meetings at residences of parishioners, Martha Mariam Vanitha Samajam (Women's Association) meetings and Youth Association meetings are organized by the church. The feast day of the church commemorating its patron saint is held annually on May 6. Every year, parishioners participate in the Puthenkurishu convention and also in the pilgrimage by foot to the tomb of Patriarch Elias III.
A Brief History of St. George's Church
St. George's church was established and consecrated by late Metropolitan H.G. Mor Gregorius Gheevarghese Vayaliparambil, a native of Nedumbassery, on May 6, 1949. The church is located on the spot where Saint Mor Osthathios Sleebo (1854-1930), the bishop and the delegate of H.H. Patriarch of Antioch and All the East to India rested on his way from Kunnamkulam to Alwaye and predicted, "here a house of prayer will be erected". The parishioners of the church were previously affiliated with the ancient Ankamaly and Akaparambu churches. H.G. Mor Gregorius had earlier established an English Middle School in Nedumbassery in 1939 which later became the Mar Athanasius High School located across the church and an important educational institution in the area. Following his untimely death in 1966, the late Metropolitan Mor Gregorius Vayaliparambil was entombed in the Thrikkunathu Seminary at Aluva. Following the schism that reared its ugly head in the church again in the 1970s, the tomb at the seminary became inaccessible to the faithful of the Nedumbassery church. A monument enclosing the vestments of the late metropolitan was constructed in the church to venerate his memory, during the golden jubilee year of its founding in 1998. The church was also renovated into its current form in that year. An auditorium is being constructed in the name of late Mor Gregorius in the premises.
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Author: Bibu Philip Matthew, Vayaliparambil Pynadath
Last Update: May 4, 2002