CHICKMAGALUR, Karnataka : The pathetic state of the St George Orthodox Syrian Church, Karugundha, in Chickmagalur district is really a shame for the huge members of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Christian community.
MOSC which boasts of many spectacular churches in Kerala and abroad should really witness to experience the sad state in which the church is in.
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Every week the Holy Eucharist is celebrated in a ramshackle shed where the Thronoos,
namaskara mesha is literally placed on a piece of Kadappa (black) stone. Here, the worshippers don’t sit on chairs or posh benches but on the floor done by mud where the cow dung is used for flooring. The worship place resembles a hut of bygone era. During the monsoon, rain water seeps inside the building. Lack of a parsonage makes the situation worse.
Work on the construction of the church which began this year is on a snail’s pace. Lack of funds is the main issue. The church has suffered a lot. All development activity has been suppressed because of the litigation for 13 long years.
In this hour of crisis, well placed churches irrespective of their diocese must come forward and help this church in its worst hour of difficulty.
Fr Sunil P Thomas Pallichira, the Vicar, has written personally to Malankara Orthodox TV (M TV), Indian Orthodox Herald (IOH) and Icon expressing his displeasure at the state of affairs.
He writes: “It is our responsibility as Malankara Orthodox Church members to support the church. As a Vicar of the church I beg and urge support from all the well wishers who are good in heart in all ways.”
To give a brief of the St George church. In 1996 about 32 families joined Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church from Pourastya Suvishesha Samajam and requested HH Baselios Marthoma Mathews II for a church which will cater to the spiritual and liturgical needs. HH the Catholicos declared this parish as a church under Madras Diocese and appointed a Vicar. HG Yakob Mar Irenaios (Former Metropolitan of Madras Diocese) also extended help towards the church’s development.
Former Diocesan Metropolitan Abraham Mar Ephiphanios, who came in next, was grieved by the pathetic situation of the parish. It was the Metropolitan who suggested that a new church be constructed. One of the church members generously donated us 50 cents of land in the name of the Catholicos.
Presently there are 32 families and most of them are agriculturists by profession who have migrated from Kerala and settled in Chickmagalur. Most of them do not possess land sanctioned from the government. Even though drowned in poverty but God fearing, they run the case and support the church in one of their most difficult situations.
Because of the poverty of the parishioners, it has become difficult to construct a church with their own financial effort.
The Vicar expresses his wholesome praise and gratefulness to many of the friends from Bengaluru Diocese and other places who responded during its hour of difficulty by contributing funds to the church and also through Internet.
“We are really thankful to the good-hearted donors. We request more help in this regard from others also,” says the vicar.
Work on the church commenced on May 9, 2011 by the new Diocesan Metropolitan HG Yakob Mar Elias, Metropolitan, Diocese of Brahmavar.
Earlier, the stone was blessed by HG Abraham Mar Epiphanios, Metropolitan, Sultan Batthery during his visit to the church last year.
At present, construction work has reached the lintal level. The parishioners sincerely request all prayers and financial help from the supporters towards the completion of the Church.
Those willing to contribute generously for the further completion of church can contact:
Rev Fr Sunil P Thomas Pallichira
Vicar, St George Orthodox Syrian Church,
Karugundha Shetty Koppa Post
NR Pura Taluk
Karnataka State -577134, S India
Account No: State Bank of Mysore, N R Pura
Acc No: 54028384336
IFSC Code: SBMY0040148
Syndicate Bank, Muthinakoppa
Acc No: 09132200039432
IFSC Code: SYNB 0000913