History

History

St.George's Forane Church has a glorious history of 14 centuries. Fourteen centuries ago, there was no nation called India. Nor a state called Kerala. And no city called Cochin. Much of what is called the city of Cochin today simply did not exist and the waters of the Arabian Sea reached all the way up to the shore of Edappally. Edappally was then a small hamlet, a part of the princely kingdom of Elangalloor. The people of Edappally lived a simple life, the comforts of life being non-existent at that time. The Catholic congregation at Edappally was rather small and they were all descendants of the Hindus converted into Christianity by St.Thomas the Apostle (alias Dideemos) who came to India to preach the Gospel.

Catholic churches were few and far between in those ancient days; the Catholics of Edappally had to trek all the way up to the church founded by St.Thomas at Parur for their spiritual needs. This spirited display of faith by our forefathers should be an inspiring thought to us today. There was a dire need for building a church at Edappally to meet the religious and spiritual needs of the few faithful.

A church was built in A.D.593 at Edappally on a plot of land allotted by the Elangalloor Swaroopam (The Raja of Edappally), a Hindu dynasty that ruled Edappally and neighboring areas. And that is the origin of today's famous St.George's Forane Church at Edappally. This Church was one of the most important and ancient churches built in India after the seven churches built by St. Thomas the apostle who came to India to preach the Gospel. The first church was a very small one and it faced west. Right in front of it was the water of the Arabian Sea washing the shore. Roads being non-existent, there must have been a footpath in front of the church stretching from north to south. The old church, with all its antique features, is still preserved by the side of the present church along with the statue of the saint This church has been a witness to many important events in the history of the Kerala Church.

Since the old church was found to be too small to accommodate the overgrown congregation in A.D. 1080 a new church was built in the present location. The main altar and the facade of this church were later renovated. The altar was renovated by incorporating the picture of Virgin Mary which was surrounded by sculptures, angels and vines. The paintings depicting heaven on the wall behind the altar fills one's heart with joy and piety.

The facade also was renovated thirty years back in the name of modernisation, but today acknowledging the fact that 'Old Is Gold' we are changing the existing facade to the original one, of which the photographs are available.

On the first day of the third millennium at 8 AM the foundation stone, blessed by his holiness pope John Paul II, was laid for the New Church.