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Salem Marthoma Church History

The formation of Salem Edavaka. In 1879, (1054 ME)Pulikottil Mar Diwanyosyos and his followers filred a civil suit against the reformers....

The formation of Salem Edavaka.

In 1879, (1054 ME)Pulikottil Mar Diwanyosyos and his followers filred a civil suit against the reformers. This litigation known as Seminary Case reached the Royal court. In 1889 (1064 ME)the case was not in favour of the reformers, so they lost their right over the common property. After that there were separate cases for some of the churches in various places. In 1898 (1073 ME) the reformers of the Khadeesa Church filed a case against Thekelachen and his followers in Kollam district court In 1903 (1078ME) the verdict was against the reformers and some of the reformers withdrew while others stood firm and they left the membership of the Kadeesha church and their right over the property. The reformists found it very difficult to find a place for worship. In 1903 (1078 ME) after great effort they were able to buy 37 cents of land for Rs.491/- (four hundred and ninety one rupees) from Mr. Oommoommen of Ambikulangara. A case was filed against constructing a church building and against burial in the said place, but the verdict was in favour of the reformed group. Our forefathers, the reformists, converted the marshy land (Chakirikuzhy) into a property and in 1903, April 19 (1078 ME) placed a big wooden cross and started a special worship. Later on, constructed a shed on six bamboo pillars and covered the sides with bamboo mat. On 1904, January 17th Titus II Mar Thoma performed the holy sacrament and named the church “Salem Mar Thoma church” Kayamkulam. Rev A.V. Philipose of Ambikulangara who had completed his studies in 1903 was appointed as the vicar of our parish and he had served for 25 years in different laps. In 1911 (1086 ME) when Bishop Titus II Mar Thoma visited our parish, held a public meeting and decided to begin the construction of the church and each family had to contribute towards the fund collection. As sufficient money could not be collected the construction was stopped after the door frame was placed.


Mr. M.N. Abraham (MA., DD.) after his higher studies form USA was elected as the Episcopa. Later he got ordained and before assuming the post he served as the vicar of our parish. He was consecrated as the episcopa of Mar Thoma church on 28.12.1917. the church construction was resumed due to his efforts. The chief engineer Mr. Erward was brought here and as per his direction the foundation made was demolished at the northern side and extended the same to a width of 10 feet and reinforced the whole foundation by leaning pillars and completed the work in 1099 ME. The members worshipped in that church for a long time. Meanwhile, in 1943, Titus II Mar Thoma was called to eternal glory and the church meeting convened to pay homage to the departed head decided to construct a new church.

The decision of the church to construct was informed Abraham Mar Thoma and he brought Mr.I.C.Chacko the chief Engineer to prepare a plan and estimate a and accordingly started the construction The General body decided to contribute one month income for the church construction and started the work in 1120 M.E. In 1122 M.E the amount collected was exhausted and the constructed was stopped. But at the interest of the Abraham Mar Thoma the work was resumed and a subcommittee was constituted for the church construction. Mr.P.G.Oommen Medayil was the convener and after his demise Mr.K. Varghese, Mulamoottil took charge and on his tremendous effort and by the Grace of God the construction was completed in the year 1127 M.E (1952).

After the demise of Abraham Mar Thoma Metropolitan, Dr.Yuhanon Mar Thoma was instalated as the Metropolitan. Meanwhile, Mar Thoma church decided to consecrate three more Bishops and they are Alexander Mar Theophilose, Thomas Mar Athanasius and Philipose Mar Chrysostom. The parishioners decided to request the Metropolitan, Dr. Yuhanon Mar Thoma to dedicate the Church building and also decided to give felicitation to the new Bishops and the Metropolitan had consented to it. On 24th May 1953, the immediate next day of the consecration of new Bishops, the present church building was dedicated by The Metropolitan in the presence of all the other Bishops, followed by a public meeting in which Mr. T.M. Varghese, the state minister and member of Pallickal Mar Thoma Church was present. The parish arranged a colourful reception to Bishops using a Swan Chariot. The foundation stone for the vestry room was laid on that day.

Parsonage:

Mean while the parsonage construction was also started in the 20 cents of property, on the north of church, already purchased and the total cost was Rs.15,000. There after a common vault having 60 cellars was built at a cost of Rs.25,000. In 1975 old parsonage property was sold and the present parsonage property with an old building was purchased for a total amount of Rs.50,000. In 1998 the old parsonage was demolished and the present building was built and consecrated on 28-04-1998 by the then Episcopa Rt. Rev. Joseph Mar Irenaeus and Rev. Philip Thomas was the Vicar.

Nadakavu Sunday School:

A property having an extent of 4 cents was purchased at Nadakavu for the construction of a Sunday School building and to shift the classes from the building owned by Kaithapuzha family at Kakkanad junction. Mr. V.M. George was the convener of the construction. The building was dedicated by His Grace Alexander Mar Thoma Metropolitan on 21st January 1978 and named as 'Abraham Mar Thoma Memorial Hall'. This year is the centenary year of Nadakavu Sunday School. Nearly 10 cents of property is purchased near Mavoli junction to build a new Sunday school building.

Golden Jubilee Celebrations:

Our parish had celebrated the golden Jubilee celebrations in the year 1973. It was a week long programme. Most Rev. Dr. Yuhanon Mar Thoma Metropolitan and Rt. Rev. Alexander Mar Theophilos Episcopa and several dignitaries participated in the closing ceremony.

Peringala Sunday School:

There was a Sunday school peringala area and it was conducted at Kuttiyil house, but later it was discontinued. When it was urged to revive the Sunday school at Peringala, ten cents of property was gifted jointly by Mr. C.Oommen, Ettutharayil and Mr. Cherian Thomas,Kumpazha. Sunday School classes were conducted at the old house of Ettutharayil Family. Mr. S.Jacob, Puthusseril was the first Head Master. After that the present building was constructed at a cost of Rs.45,000 and Cdr.Mr. P.M. Varghese was the convener.

Platinum Jubilee:

Our parish, in 1978 celebrated its platinum Jubilee with various programs. Rev.Simon Abraham, vicar as the chairman and Mr. Koshy Thankachan, as the convener and Mr. K.O. Varghese, as Joint convener headed the committee. The following persons are the other conveners.

a. Finance - Mr. Thomas Ninan
b. Souvenir - Mr. K.T. George " P.L. Koshy Vaidyan
c. Reception committee - Mr. P.Jacob
d. Peace & order - Mr. Thomas Varghese
e. Sports - Mr. D. Thomas
f. Catering - Mr. P.K. Thomas, Mr. P.M. George, Mrs. Annie Thankachan

To commemorate the platinum Jubilee parish decided to have a parish hall and to achieve the same 14 cents of property was purchased for Rs.28,000. Several other projects were implemented on that occasion.

Parish Hall / Mar Thoma Auditorium:

The Mar Thoma auditorium stands as the memorial of platinum Jubilee of the parish. The foundation stone was laid by Rt. Rev. Dr. Zacharias Mar Theophilos Episcopa on 8th November 1981 and dedication was on 6th October 1985 by Rt. Rev. Easo Mar Thimotheos Episcopa. Mr. K.O Varghese and Mr. Thomas Mathai were in charge of the construction.

Navathi Celebrations:

Parish celebrated the 90th anniversary, as an year long programme, January 1992 to January 1993. As a mark of remembrance of the Navathi, balcony was constructed. Most Rev. Dr. Alexander Mar Thoma put the foundation stone and Rt. Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrisostom Suffragon Metropolital consecrated. Mr.M.P. John, Nazreth was the convener of the construction and Rev. Mathew Varghese was the vicar.

Centenary Celebrations:

It was with great enthusiasm, the 100th anniversary was celebrated. It was a year long programme starting from January 2002 to January 2003. The general body held on 23rd September 2001 had adopted the following programs in connection with the celebrations. Rev. T.C. Thomas was the Chairman and Adv. Oommen Thomas was the general convener. The other conveners are as follows;

a. Programme - Adv.Oommen Thomas
b. Publisity - Mr. Tom Jacob
c. Finance - Mr. Thomas Varghese
d. Volunteer - Mr. Varghese Varghese
e. Food " accommodation - Mrs. Annie Thankachan
f. Construction - Mr. Thomas koshy
g. Souvenir - Dr.K.M. Alexander& P.V.Koshykunju

The following are the major projects implemented.

a. Purchase of 17 cents of property on the western side for Rs25 lakhs.
b. Missionary field at Venkalayappalli in Andrapradesh.
c. Housing scheme.
d. Honouring all the Bishops and previous vicars.
e. Cultural meetings.
f. Centenary calendar and souvenir.

The inaugural meeting was held on 20th January 2002 and Mr. C.F. Thomas, Hon'ble Minister was the chief guest. Diocesan Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Irenaeus Suffragan Episcopa presided over the meeting. The other dignitaries are Prof. P.J. Kurian.M.P, Mr. M. Murali. M.L.A., etc.

The valedictory function was held on 18th January 2003 and Justice K.T. Thomas as the chief guest. Diocesan Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Irenaeus Suffragan Episcopa presided over the meeting.

Renovation of Church Building:

In 2006 the general body decided to renovate the church building by extending the building by annexing the old porch. The thatching tiles were replaced by roofing sheets. Mr. M.T. Philip and Mr. John Mathew were in charge of the construction. Mr. Alex M. John, Kottakkattu was the architect of the renovation work.

Church Gate:

The Church Gate was shifted to the property purchased in the Centenary Year. The construction was completed and dedication was on the Parish day of the year 2008 by Rt. Rev. Dr. Abraham Mar Poulose. Rev. Roy Thomas was the Vicar.


Reference: http://www.salemmarthomachurch.org/history.html

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Kayamkulam Online: Salem Marthoma Church History
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