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Parish History

The history of Mar Thoma Syrian Church goes back to 52 AD. Apstole St Thomas, reached the Malabar Coast and established seven Churches at Malankara (Chavakkadu), Paravoor, Kokkamgulam, Kolam, Niranam, Nilakal. The believers were called as the St Thomas Christians and we are descendants of the first Christians.

During the second World War, there was a sudden expansion of Defence installations and factories in and around Pune a strong hold of the then British Empire. A large number of young Malayalees from the states of Travancore and Cochin came to Pune seeking employment. Many of them were Christians. They lived in tiring conditions but were determined to make a living. They also did not forget their God, or the teachings taught to them in their homes at Kerala. The sudden demise of a Syrian Christian individual and subsequent complications for the funeral in 1943 compelled the Christian Community to form a combined congregation comprising of Mar Thomites, Jacobites and CMS under the leadership and guidance of Rev. W.Q. Lash, an English priest who later became the Bishop of Bombay province. Worship was started at All Saint’s Church, Kirkee and the St. Paul’s Church, Pune on alternate Sundays. Malayalee Priests visited Pune in between. After Rev W.Q. Lash moved out of Pune, Priests from Kerala from the different denominations were posted on a rotation basis. Towards the end of 1950, the Mar Thomites and CMS broke away from the Jacobite fraction and started their own worship. Subsequently the CSI got separated from the Mar Thomites to form their own “order of worship” in 1978.

The first priest of the Mar Thoma congregation was late Rev T.M. Mathai from Kuriannoor. Achen was a military chaplain during the World War and resided at CPSS Ashram initially. The Pune Mar Thoma congregation then comprised of members from different areas namely Pune, Kirkee, Pimpri, Dehu Road, Dighi and Vishrantwadi. In the course of time the membership in these areas increased due to rapid industrial development in and around Pune. Growth was at its peak in the early sixties. The Mar Thoma – CSI group continued to worship at the All Saint’s Church, Kirkee and St Mary’s Church, Pune with their registered office at 15-C Elphinstone Road, Kirkee. Towards the end of 1966 the Pune Prayer Group expressed their serious desire to have a separate parish for those residing at Pune and Yerwada. Finally at the General Body Meeting held at the All Saint’s Church on 29th January 1967 presided by our present Valiya Metropolitan, His Grace Most Rev Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma, the then Diocesan Episcopa, it was resolved to have two separate parishes, namely St John’s Mar Thoma Parish, Kirkee and St Peter’s Mar Thoma Parish, Pune. St John’s Mar Thoma Parish continued to worship at All Saints Church, Kirkee. The CNI Bishops were magnanimous in allowing different Christian denominations to use the All Saints Church, allotting different timings. With the growth of the parish both numerically and geographically, members felt it imperative to have their place of worship. As a result, the Ebenezer Mar Thoma Church, Dehu Road, St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church, Pimpri and Immanual Mar Thoma Church, Vishrantwadi were formed in 1970, 1987 and 1992 respectively. It was a long cherished dream of our parishioners of this congregation to have a church of our own. With consistent efforts of some enlightened members,

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