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ORTHODOX CHURCH CENTRES IN GUJARAT

ORTHODOX CHURCH CENTRES IN GUJARAT

 The first four parishes in Gujarat viz. Ahmedabad, Baroda, Gandhidham and Jamnagar were established by Fr.K.K.Punnoose (Now H.G.Stephanos Mar Theodosios) during the first half of 1960’s when he was assistant priest in Dadar St.Mary’s Orthodox Church Bombay.  Almost all the remaining parishes in Gujarat were organized by Fr.K.T.Thomas (Now H.G.Thomas Mar Athanasios) after his ordination in 1970 and his appointment as assistant Vicar of Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church, Baroda.  Bandra congregation and Andheri Parish in Maharashtra and Udaipur parish in Rajastan were also organized by Fr.K.T.Thomas from Baroda.

 Mr.K.T.Thomas reached Baroda in 1966 with a UGC scholarship to do his Post graduation.

 Upto 1967 there was only one service a month in Baroda and a priest was coming from Ahmedabad.  Baroda Parish, in its annual general body meeting in 1967 decided to request the Metropolitan of the Outside Kerala Diocese to bless them with two services a month. Mr.K.T.Thomas and Dr.N.V.Mani were authorized to contact the Diocesan Metropolitan H.G.Mathews Mar Athanasios to get the services of a full time priest in Baroda.  It was through the efforts of Mr.K.T.Thomas, Fr.C.K.Thomas was located and got him appointed for Baroda for two services a month.  At that  point of time it was a necessity to organize atleast two more parishes to accommodate Fr.C.K.Thomas with all four services a month.  Mr.K.T.Thomas had a number of friends in Sardar Patel University, V.V.Nagar, Anand, doing post graduate and doctoral studies.  There were a few veterinary doctors also in Amul Dairy, most of them being Orthodox members.  Mr.K.T.Thomas met all of them and arranged a Holy Qurbana in I.P.Mission Church, Anand.  The first Holy Qurbana was celebrated in July 1967 by Fr.C.K.Thomas from Baroda.  The Parish was named after St.Thomas.  After one year of stay in Baroda, Fr.C.K.Thomas moved to Anand and conducted two services in Baroda and one at Anand.  Simultaneously he took up a job in The English teaching School, Anand.  It was through his efforts the Nadiad congregation came into existence.

 In 1969, Basil School, Baroda was started in a rented building in 2-Ashapuri Society, Akota.  The school was inaugurated by H.G.Mathews Mar Athanasios, the then outside Kerala Diocesan Metropolitan.  Mr.K.T.Thomas who had completed his Post graduate studies from M.S. University of Baroda was appointed as the Principal of Basil School.  In 1970 Mr.K.T.Thomas got himself ordained as a priest and returned to Baroda as assistant Vicar of Baroda Parish.  It was after the arrival of Fr.K.T.Thomas in 1970 in Baroda  new parishes were organized in Gujarat.  They are from the South – Vapi, Valsad, Surat, Baruch, Bhavnagar, Mehsana, Rajkot, Porbunder and Veraval in Gujarat.  Fr.K.T.Thomas was the founder of Bandra congregation and Andheri parish in Maharashtra and Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church, Udaipur in Rajastan.  Halol congregation was organized by Fr.(Dr.) M.S.John when he was the Principal of M.G.M. School, Halol.  A few  more centres are also there in Gujarat now and they are all organized because of the initiative of the people and the blessings of the Bombay Diocesan Metropolitan.

 Ahmedabad and Baroda parishes have a couple of chapels under them.

 The Bombay Diocese with all the parishes in the Gulf, United States, Canada, Europe and Western India were in existence from 1976.  The Metropolitan was H.G.Dr.Thomas Mar Makarios.

 The present Bombay diocese with 3 Emirates in the Gulf and 3 states in Western India (Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat) came into existence in 1979.  The first Metropolitan was H.G.Dr.Philipose Mar Theophilos now succeeded by H.G.Geevarghese Mar Coorilos.  Now there are 69 centres including Churches and Congregation in Bombay Diocese, out of which 20 centres are in the state of Gujarat.

 
 
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