Photos: Feb 10, 2004

Established in April 1889, the St.Thomas church at Pakkil is one of the important parishes under the Kottayam diocese of the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church. The church is located 8 Kilometers south of Kottayam town and is only a few distance away from the Mor Aphrem Seminary at Chingavanam, the headquarters of the Knanaya Syrian Archdiocese.

A temporary church building with thatched roof was constructed in the plot donated by a firm believer in 1889 (M.E. 1044). The first Holy Qurbono was offered by Thayyil Thomas Kathanar; he continued to be the priest of the church till his demise in August 1924 (M.E.1100, Chningam) and was entombed on the northern side of the present church. On the 27 year of its foundation, in 1896, the church was elevated as an independent parish with a membership of fourteen families. In 1926 (M.E. 1101) a new administrative structure was set up for the smooth functioning of the parish and the same was officially registered.

In 1932 St. Ignatius Elias III, the former Patriarch of Antioch and all the East who was on an Apostolic mission to Malankara, visited this church as well and celebrated Holy Qurbono here. The holy father had stayed in this church for eight days then.

By the year 1966, the number of family members in the church increased considerably and hence it was decided to reconstruct the old church building. Accordingly the reconstruction works started and came to an end in 1981.  On 26th April 1981, the renovated church was consecrated by the late lamented Catholicos of the East Aboon Mor Baselios Paulose II, assisted by Metropolitan H.G. Mor Clemis Abraham (late) of Kananaya diocese, the diocesan Metropolitan (late) H.G. Mor Gregorios Geevarghese  (Perumpilly Thirumeni), and the Metropolitans H.G. Kurikose Mor Koorilose (late), H.G. Samuel Mor Philoxenos (late), H.G. Yakub Mor Thimotheos (late), H.G. Philipose Mor Ivanios (late). The Parish Vicar Rev. Fr. Kuriakose Venkadathu also assisted the Catholicos Mor Baselios Thomas I, during the ceremony.

The five thronos (Altars) of the reconstructed Pakkil St. Thomas church

In 1982 the Patriarch of Antioch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas came to this church during His Holiness' apostolic to Malankara and celebrated the Holy Qurbono. On 20 February 1982, His Holiness laid the foundation stone for the construction of a shrine in the name of St. Ignatius Elias III at Mariapally in the land donated by two esteemed members of the church. The relics of the saintly father is interred in this church.  Special prayers are held in this church on every Fridays and and on second Saturdays, in commemoration of Saintly father.  The parish hall was consecrated on 6 April 1991 and was inaugurated by late Mor Gregorios (Perumpilly Thirumeni).

About two decades later, the church building was extended to accommodate the increased number of faithful attending the Holy Services. On 8th April 2002, the extended church was consecrated by the then Catholicos-designate H.G. Thomas Mor Dionysius (Catholicos Aboon Mor Baselios Thomas I) and assisted by the diocesan Metropolitan H.G. Thomas Mor Thimotheos, Vicar Rev. Fr. Thomas K Itty Kunnatheyettu and Asst. Vicar Rev. Fr. Kuriakose Kurichimala. The new church building have five Madboho's (Altars) and can accommodate a congregation of about 2000.


Cemetery and the Parish hall of the church


View of the Church from East


Shrine of the Pakkil St.Thomas Church on the main road side


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