St.Thomas Orthodox Valiyapally, Malad
Brief History of Malad Parish
In the middle of 20th century, there was an exodus of Syrian Christians to other parts of India either in search of job, business or studies. Accordingly a large number of Syrian Christians landed in Mumbai. The only place of worship was at St. Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Cathedral at Dadar and the people who were scattered all over Western Suburb felt it very inconvenience to attend the Sunday Mass at Dadar and also for their spiritual needs. Accordingly a band of dedicated Orthodox Syrian Christians started a Sunday School in the year 1958 at the residence of Mr. P. K. Joshua at Goregaon (W). Subsequently X’mas Carol groups were formed and further Youth League were formed steer-up the activities of Orthodox Syrian Christians spread over right from Vile Parle to Virar.
The idea of having a separate Parish was noted out in the minds of devotees and a committee was formed in the month of September, 1962 under the able leadership and guidance of late Rev. Fr. K. K. Punnoose (Later Lamented H. G. Dr. Stephanos Mar Theodosius). A request was made to Dadar Parish to provide a separate service in Western Suburb and eventually the first Service was celebrated on St. Thomas Day in 1967 at St, Thomas Church (Roman Catholic School Hall at Goregaon (E)) The first service was celebrated by late Rev. Fr. C. V. John, the then Vicar of St. Mary’s O. S. Church at Dadar. This practice was continued till 1970 and an ad-hoc committee was formed to find out suitable place of worship and to construct separate parish building for that purpose.
Further, a memorandum was submitted to the Metropolitan, Outside Kerala, H. G. (Dr.) Mathews Mar Athanasius and ultimately the request was considered sympathetically and a separate parish was formed vide Kaplana No. 551/71 dated 28/12/1970 and Rev. Fr. P. Philipose was appointed as the first Parish priest of St. Thomas Orthodox. Syrian Church, Malad (W). On 17/1/1971 the First Mass was celebrated and First General Body Meeting was held on 31/1/1971 and the office bearers and area-wise committee members were elected with the ultimate aim of finding out a suitable place to construct a Church building.
The General Body held on 25/7/197 entrusted late Shri M. M. Mathai then the Chairman, to purchase a plot of land and accordingly a piece of land at Chincholi, Malad (W) was purchased at a total cost Rs.56,000/- admeasuring 1981 sq. yards (wherein the present beautiful church was constructed and consecrated on 5/2/1910 & 6/2/2010). The Foundation Stone was laid on 12/2/1972 by the then Diocesan Metropolitan late lamanted H. G. Mathews Mar Athanasius – the construction was started on 9/9/1972 and completed within a record time of one year and it was consecrated on 19/8/1973. Time has passed with its length and breath, the stability of the church bldg. started deteriorating and the General Body held in the month of March, 1999, decided to reconstruct the church and to add four more storeys to the existing school building. Mr. K. Abraham Baby was unanimously elected as the General Convenor of the project.
The old church bldg. was demolished and reconstruction work along with the extension of school bldg. was started. The ‘Kurisumthotti’ was also renovated with a magnificent ‘Kodimaram’ and ‘Kalvilakku’. The consecration of church and ‘kurisumthotti” was celebrated on 5th & 6th Feb. 2010 by H. B. Paulose Mar Milithios, the Catholicate Designate later our H. H. Moran Mar Baselius Marthoma Paulose II, Catholicose of the East and Malankara Metropolitan along with H. G. Thomas Mar Athansios, Chengannur Diocese, H. G. (Dr.) Mathews Mar Sevarious, Kandanad Diocese and H. G. Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Bombay Diocese.
Rev.Fr.Thomas Varghese is the present Vicar and Rev.Fr.Saji Thannimmottil is the Assistant Vicar.