St. Thomas, the Apostle of Jesus Christ is believed to have landed in AD 52 in Cranganore near Cochin, which was at that time an important seaport on the Malabar Coast, having trade connections with the Middle East in those days. F.E. Keay in his book, A History of the Syrian Church in India, has established, from the mention in the book of Kings, of the articles brought to the court of King Solomon from India, that even before the time of Christ, there was trade between the Malabar Coast and Palestine in spices and luxury articles like ivory. Therefore, it was quite natural for Thomas to come to India with the Gospel as the disciples went to different parts of the world in accordance with the commission given to them by Jesus Christ. In the true Apostolic tradition he preached first to the Jewish settlers in and around Cochin, and then worked among the Hindus. Through the ministry of the Word and the many miracles which tradition attributes to him, he brought many high caste Hindus to the Christian faith. It is believed that he organized 7 Christian communities for the use of these Christians, and ordained presbyters from four leading families. The seven churches were: Cranganore (Malankara) Chavakad (Palur) Parur near Alwaye Gokamangalam Niranam Nilakkal (Chayal) Quilon (Kalyan) All these places except Nilakkal are near the sea coast. Nilakkal is in the ghat region near Sabarimala, the Hindu place of pilgrimage. It is believed that Nilakkal was an important trading centre for export of spices and other items like ivory, and the route extended to Tamil Nadu across the ghats. Remains of ancient human dwellings and places of worship are still discernible among the ruins in this area, which is now covered with forests. Many Christian families in Kanjirappally, Ayroor and other places trace their origin to Nilakkal. There is a Mar Thoma Church at Ayroor which is still named Chayal (Nilakkal). Recently a new Church has been built under the joint auspices of all the Christian denominations of Kerala at the site agreed upon by all concerned. This Church has historical significance as the first Church built and dedicated by all the denominations together as a symbol of the heritage from St. Thomas. It is believed that St. Thomas proceeded to the East coast of India and died a martyr’s death at a place called St. Thomas Mount, and was buried at Mylapore in Madras.Readmore
The Trinity Parish The Marthoma Community at the Medical College area, comprising primarily of teachers and students of Medical College, had been gathering for prayer and worship at the residence of Shri. K.C. Varghese, fondly called Varghese Upadesi, who always kept his doors open for God’s people. Subsequently, the gathering grew in numbers and they felt the need for a common place of worship in the locality. On the repeated request of the Community, the Edavaka Sanghom of the Mother Parish at Pattoor under the guidance of the visionary Vicar Rev. K.J. Philip entrusted Dr. P.A. Thomas with the task of finding out a suitable place near Medical College to build a Chapel. Tireless and sustained search helped to purchase a piece of land in December 1963. In May 1965 the Pattor Edavaka Sanghom appointed a Committee to raise funds for constructing a Chapel. In December 1967 a Construction Committee was formed for the completion of the task. The response of the members particularly of the Parishes at Pattoor and Kulasekharam was quite encouraging and the construction work could be completed in June, 1969. The Chapel was formally dedicated on 19th June, 1969 by the then Metropolitan, the Most Rev. Dr. Juhanon Mar Thoma in the presence of Rt. Rev. Dr. Alexander Mar Theophilus, the then Suffragan Metropolitan. The Marthoma Community later moved into the new Chapel for worship, fellowship and sacraments. The selfless services rendered by the late Mr. K.C. Varghese, Dr. V.C. Mathew Roy and Dr. Susan George in organizing the Parish are invaluable and we owe them a deep debt of gratitude. The Chapel later acquired the status of a full parish on 15th August 1975 and Rev. P.T. Abraham assumed charge as the first Vicar. The congregation which began with 70 families, is now one of the strong Parishes of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church in the City with 350 families on its rolls. The Trinity Parish today is lively and growing. The elite Parishioners with abiding faith in God and deep commitment to the Mar Thoma Church and Society are forging ahead, exploring new areas where they could continue to work for the establishment of the Kingdom of God. The concern they show for the poor, the sick and the needy through charitable work is invariably deep and spontaneous.