ST THOMAS INDIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH LIVERPOOL
The first Holy Qurbana of Liverpool St Thomas Indian Orthodox Church was conducted on 18th October 2003 by Rev. Fr. Abraham Thomas (H.G Abraham Mar Stephanos) for a few members of the Orthodox community from Kerala. During the initial stage, different priests from London and the North West region of the UK served the community and later Rev. Fr. Happy Jacob was appointed as the priest in charge and served for five years. St Thomas Indian Orthodox Church Liverpool was declared as a parish in 2005 by Late H.G. Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios Metropolitan, the then Diocesan Metropolitan. Following its declaration, the church was officially registered under the UK Charity Council.
As time passed, various bishops including Late H.G. Philipose Mar Eusebius (Former Metropolitan of Thumpamon Diocese), Late H.G. Dr. Zacharia Mar Theophilos (Former Metropolitan of Malabar Diocese) and H.G Zachariah Mar Nicholovos visited the church and blessed its members. The members had been blessed with the presence of the then Diocesan Metropolitan Late H.G. Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios, on December 24, 2006 who conducted the Christmas service of that year.
Initially a small Orthodox community in the North West of the UK, the church had its humble beginning with 7 families which has steadily grown to more than 90 registered families. At the start, Holy Qurbana was celebrated on the 1st Sunday of each month and then a second service was added on the 3rd Saturday of each month which later changed to the 3rd Sunday of each month. Before the Church acquired its own place of worship, Holy Qurbana was celebrated every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month at All Saints Parish Church, Stoneycroft from 3:00pm onwards. Rev. Arthur Cooper, the then minister of All Saints Parish Church, Stoneycroft had allowed St Thomas Indian Orthodox Church and its members to use the church and its extensive facilities for worship and the members are very much indebted to Rev. Arthur for his extensive cooperation and support during the Church’s developing stages.
Even in its early stages, St Thomas Indian Orthodox Church Liverpool catered to the needs of the future generation. Alongside the regular Malayalam service that were conducted twice a month, English service was conducted on 31st January and 28th February 2010 which proved to be a great success among the church’s younger generation and faithful believers of the Oriental Orthodox family.
During the 2009 Episcopal visit of the then Diocesan Metropolitan, H.G. Mathews Mar Thimothios inaugurated the new website which facilitated the church to spread its name both locally and globally.
Following the appointment of Rev. Fr. Happy Jacob as the full-time vicar of the Church from April 2023 by Diocesan Metropolitan H.G Abraham Mar Stephanos, Holy Qurbana is celebrated every Sunday from 08:30 AM. Evening prayer followed by intercessory prayers are conducted every Saturday from 6 PM onwards. Alongside weekly Qurbanas, all major feast days are observed. An average of 250-300 people attend the Holy Qurbana each week. The Holy Qurbana is celebrated in English every fourth Sunday of the month. Alongside the Holy Liturgy, the Church hosts an extensive and thorough Sunday school programme which is conducted after the Holy Qurbana. Please visit the Sunday School page for more information. Additionally, the Church has an active youth group, AMOSS group and MMVS group and their detailed activities can be found on their respective pages.
In addition to the celebration of Holy Qurbana every week and the extensive activities/meetings run by spiritual organisations, the Church hosts both ecumenical and cultural programmes all year round. From the Annual Harvest Festival in October and the Annual Parish Day in January to Ecumenical Christmas Programmes, St Thomas Indian Orthodox Church is at the forefront of service and commitment to the Malankara Orthodox Church and the local community of West Derby in Liverpool.
The administration of the Parish is being conducted by a Managing Committee, elected by the General Body from among the members, as per the Constitution of the Church. The tenure of the office is for a period of one year. The Vicar of the Parish is the President of the Managing Committee. The day-to-day administration is carried out by the Hon. Trustee and the Hon. Secretary assisted by the Managing Committee members.