St. Thomas Church, Angamoozhy

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Nilakkal St.Thomas ecumenical church
Nilakkal Church front view.jpg
St.Thomas ecumenical church
Basic information
Location IndiaAngamoozhy, Kerala, India.
Geographic coordinates (9°33′32″N 76°34′26″E / 9.558772°N 76.57382°E / 9.558772; 76.57382Coordinates: 9°33′32″N 76°34′26″E / 9.558772°N 76.57382°E / 9.558772; 76.57382)
Affiliation Apostolic Era
District Pathanamthitta
State Kerala
Year consecrated 54 AD (?)
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Independent Episcopal Church
Leadership St. Thomas the Apostle in 54 AD (?)
Architectural description
Architectural type Mix of Kerala and Persian
Completed Supposedly in 54 AD but substantially refurbished in the 19th century
Dome(s) 1

Nilakkal St.Thomas Ecumenical Church is one among the Ezharappallikal (seven and a half churches) and an ecumenical church in Angamoozhy, Kerala, India.[1]

Nilakkal is a forest, almost 52 kilometres east to Ranni and near Sabarimala. It was a mountain route of trade between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Saint Thomas accompanied by Habban came over here and preached good news and baptised 1100 people. Today there exist the Nilackal St. Thomas Church, Ecumenical center trust and the cross established by Saint Thomas the apostle. [2]

Location[edit]

Nilackal is located 3 km from Angamoozhy in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala and km away from pamba on the way to Sabarimala. As early as 1902, what was believed to be the remains of an ancient Christian church and cemetery were accidentally discovered in the forest regions of the south of the Western Ghats, on the road to the ancient Hindu shrine of Sabarimala in the practically inaccessible mountain recesses. The British, the Christian colonial masters, were here at that time, and the local British administration took an interest in the discovery. There was a slight possibility that the ancient church might go back to the first century, when St. Thomas the Apostle was supposed to have established seven churches in Kerala. One of these was called, in the tradition, Nilakkal or Chayal. In any case, Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysius, the Malankara Metropolitan in 1902, Wrote to the Dewan of Travancore, that this site was one of the seven churches established by St. Thomas, that the British Resident, Mr. Hannington, had promised Rs. 20,000 to build a church on this site. One of the arguments used by the Metropolitan to convince the Dewan about the need of a Church on this site was that “the establishment of an intermediate settlement at Nilakkal will be a great boon to the thousands of Hindu devotees who annually repair to the forest temple” of Sabarimala. Nothing came out of the petition, obviously.

The site was discovered again, once more by an Orthodox layman serving in the Forest Department of the Government of Travancore, in the late thirties or early forties. Obviously[citation needed] a bell and a large cross had also been found. Again the Orthodox Church appealed to the Dewan of Travancore, to assign the land to the church, The response of the Dewan, Sir C. P. Ramaswamy Iyer, no friend of the Christians[citation needed], was an order to remove the bell and the cross to some unknown place, and to begin construction of a Hindu temple on the spot[citation needed]. The present Hindu temple in Nilakkal was thus built in 1946[citation needed].The third ‘discovery’ of the site was in independent India, in February 1957, this time also by a priest of the Orthodox Church, The basement of a Church (believed to be)[by whom?] and several graves, all east west, were regarded as conclusive evidence that this was a Christian spot.[citation needed]

Holy Qurbana[edit]

Sunday: 7.15 am & 9:30 am
Monday to Thursday: 6:45 am
Friday: 3.45 pm[3]

References[edit]