History of St.Gregorios Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church Hosur
The St. Gregorios Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church in Hosur has the unique distinction of being the first Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church in Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri and Salem districts of Tamilnadu, India.
Hosur, sharing a border with the State of Karnataka was one of the most backward and undeveloped parts of the country in Tamilnadu. It was only in the seventies that the Government of Tamilnadu decided to develop it into an industrial town. As a result of this initiative, a number of well known big companies set up their manufacturing units in Hosur. This also resulted in the setting up of hundreds of Medium, Small-Scale and Tiny industries in the area and Hosur came to occupy a prominent place in the industrial map of the country.
The industrial development of this place also brought in a number of Syrian Orthodox or Malankara Syrian Christians to Hosur in search of jobs and business opportunities. Many had come as early as 1979.
While most of the newcomers never had any intention of settling here, a few however decided to stick on. Of those who managed to make Hosur their new home, a majority of them started attending Sunday Services in churches of other denominations. Some of them would occasionally go to Syrian Orthodox Churches in Bangalore. There were also those who would remember their Church only when they get to go to their native place. Then there were also souls who totally forgot their ancestry and abandoned going to church altogether.
In late nineties, a group of believers, prominent among them Mr. Saimon Samuel, Mr.Benzy Varghese , Mr.George Varkey, Mr. George Kutty and Mr. Jelson realized the need to have a fellowship among the Malankara Syrian Christians in Hosur. They took the initiative to explore the possibility of finding an Achan to Celebrate Holy Qurbana at-least once a month in Hosur.
Their joy knew no bounds when The Almighty, who knows the heart of every one, introduced Rev.Fr.Paulose Mangalath to them. Paulose Achan was already busy developing the Anagalapura Mission Centre at Bangalore. But in spite of his hectic schedules, he volunteered to celebrate the Holy Qurbana at Hosur except the first Sunday of every month. This was the beginning.
So, on 6th. January 2001 the first Holy Qurbana at Hosur was celebrated in a small rented shed belonging to Blossom Matriculation School. This was a memorable day in the lives of all those who attended. All things that were needed for the Service were brought from Bangalore by bus and carried by hand from the bus stop to Blossom School.
Paulose Achan had to travel more than 120 KM on his two-wheeler to come to Hosur and get back to Anagalapura. The number of persons attending the Sunday Service in those days was very small, and there were no one in Hosur to assist Achan during the Church Service. But this did not diminish Achan’s enthusiasm. He in fact took up the additional responsibility of bringing, so to say, a part of the congregation from Bangalore. The small congregation was named St.Gregorios Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church.
As the news about the ‘Malayalam Service’ spread, the attendance at the church improved. As a result, the idea of constructing a Church in Hosur was born. No one including Paulose Achen knew exactly how the funds for this project could be mobilized, as the resources at their disposal were limited. But, they did not lose heart. They had an unshakable belief that God will surely show them a way.
A plot of land abutting the National Highway, in Moogandapalli was located. With contributions collected locally and the valuable support of individuals from Jacobite Churches in Bangalore, a plot measuring 27 cents was purchased. The original idea was to use a portion of the land to construct a shopping complex, and sell the shops to individuals. It was felt that such a project would ensure sufficient funds for constructing the Church on the remaining land.
The support and encouragement extended by His Grace Thomas Mar Thimothios, the Metropolitan of the Bangalore Diocese for this project cannot be expressed in words, and members of the Hosur Church will be grateful to him for ever.
On 14th. September 2003, His Grace Thomas Mar Thimothios celebrated Holy Qurbana at Hosur and laid the foundation stone for construction of the Church at the newly acquired plot.
It was decided that this Church would be part of the Mission Centre at Anagalapura. The initial building plan had provided for only two floors. The Church was to be on the top floor and ground floor planned for Mission Centre activities.
Just when the construction was about to begin, a number of hindrances cropped up. First there was a delay in getting the approvals, and then came the boundary dispute with the owner of the adjacent plot. While these issues were being tackled, a major shock was in waiting. The soil test revealed that the site is actually a filled up agricultural pond.
As constructing a building on this site would require a ‘pile’ foundation, it was surely a challenge to find the extra money. The go-ahead decision for the original proposal for a two-floor building itself had been taken purely on ‘faith’. The situation became so hopeless; that at one point it seemed that the project might have to be abandoned altogether.
Paulose Achan, after a lot of deliberation with the Bishop and members of the Trust, got their concurrence to proceed with the construction. A major change in the building plan was made. It was decided to add one more floor to the building, and the Church was to be housed on the second floor. It was also decided to use the entire place for Church and Mission Centre activities. Achan was confident that it was God who was going to bring the money for the project.
The building construction work would proceed only when there was an in-flow of funds. It will not be an exaggeration to say that Paulose Achan literally spent sleepless nights for months on end, trying to think of new and untapped sources to raise money.
While the construction was still in progress, and a full-fledged church getting ready on the second floor, arrangements were made on the first floor of the building for conducting Service on Sundays.
On 31st. of December 2008, the long time dream of the Hosur congregation to worship at their own place was fulfilled. It was indeed a joyous occasion for every one when Rev.Fr. John Ipe celebrated the Holy Qurbana here on New Year’s Eve, ushering in a new era in the history of the Hosur Jacobite Church.
Without a doubt, the full credit for the implementation of this great project goes to our beloved Paulose Achan who never allowed himself to be discouraged under any circumstances. It will not be an exaggeration to place on record, that but for Achan’s untiring efforts, this church would perhaps have materialized only in some uncertain future.
Today, St. Gregorios Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church and Mission Centre stands tall as a prominent landmark in the heart of Hosur. The fact that we now have regular service on all Sundays and feast days , and that steps are being taken to expand the Mission activities in Hosur is testimony to God’s abundant Grace. Our Lord has enabled us to start the Gregorian Academy under which we already have a Daycare facility and Montessori Pre-school functioning. God willing, June 2015 will mark the beginning of a Nursery & Primary School with its first batch of LKG students. We believe that all these are indications of His plans to do great things in Hosur through this small congregation.
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