My brother T. M. Varghese (Joy, a teacher in Peroorkada) introduced me to Christ Church in 1963 when I visited the capital city and Kanyakumari for the first time. The following year I began my studies at the University College and later at Loyola College.
The Mar Thoma parish was inaccessible from where I used to hang out – LMS and the University residences within walking distance from Christ Church as well as the YMCA. Therefore, I became a regular worshipper at Christ Church for five years; this provided me an inspiring perspective about worship â€“ much different from the lingering Mar Thoma liturgy. Later as a Theological student in Edinburgh and a research scholar at Christ Church College, University of Oxford, those great reminiscences became ever more part of who I turned out to be both as a church leader and teacher here in The United Church of Canada.
Of all the warm memories from those formative days I still hold close to my heart is a sermon by Prof. Samuel Mathai, Vice-Chancellor of the Kerala University, which still remains evocative within me as an ordained minister in the Reformed tradition.
Rev. Dr. John T. Mathew
The United Church of Canada
Christ Church has been an abode of many sweet memories for me. I’ve been a member of this church since my 17th day of birth and since then had many cherished memories of Christ church. My family on a whole has been associated with this church since the time of my great grandparents (Mr. T. C. Mathews & Mrs. Elizabeth Mathews). My grandparents (Mr. E. A. Ballard and Moneykutty Edwin) and my parents (Mr. V. C. Kurian and Susy Kurian) also have been members of the church since long.
It was during the tenure of Rev. T. M. John as a vicar that I started growing spiritually and I have always loved the fellowship that we had in church. I had my baptism and First Communion at the Christ church. My most cherished memories are during the Christmas season â€“ the lovely carols of our church Choir, the early morning service I used to look forward to every year, the watch-night New year service and the gathering we have in the Church premises soon after the clock ticks 12am, the Lenten Services every Wednesday and the prayerful and meaningful service we have before our Harvest Festivals. The love and encouragement given me by many of the church members, the associate vicars and other elders has helped me to be a stewardess of God where I am placed.
Iâ€™m now married and a member of the Mar Thoma Church but I have my faith built on the values I learnt while I was member of Christ Church and those will be my fondest memories. It is also worth noting that our Church is one of the oldest churches in Kerala and has a rich heritage. Some of our previous vicars have later become bishops.
As our Christ Church completes 150 years, I pray that God may grant our Achens, the committee members and all the church members the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and help them keep the spirit of unity alive in our church always. I hope to be able to come back someday and worship at the Christ church once again.
I began visiting Christ Church in the summer of 1985. I had just moved away from home and joined Mar Ivanios College in Trivandrum for my Pre-Degree Course, as it was known then. In those days, coming to Church on Sunday was the only relief I could find from all the strange and new experiences of hostel life and the unbearable burden of homesickness. For the next two years, I was a regular attendee every Sunday, even though I had settled quite comfortably into college life and the way of life in Kerala.
I left Trivandrum in 1987 and have since traveled the world, seen a lot and learnt a lot but my relationship with Christ Church never weakened by the Grace of God. In the last 20 years, Christ Church was home and host to my wedding and the baptism of my two children. It was also a wonderful place of worship where we offered thanks on our birthdays and wedding anniversaries, enjoyed fellowship on Sundays as well as celebrated many a Easter, Christmas and New Year.
This year as Christ Church celebrates its 150th year, I am humbled when I think of how this simple Church in faraway Trivandrum would have affected the lives of the millions of souls who, through the years, would have visited, prayed and sought solace within the sanctity of its walls. Our sincere prayers and best wishes go out to all those who work endlessly to keep up its spirit and values.
I was a member of the Trivandrum Christ church in the 1960\’s or so. I was a member of the Malayalam choir which was led by Richie Walsalam and later joined the English Choir which was led by Sunny Walsalam.
I have fond memories of the church. It was during that time that the church was extended by Mr Baker and we had moved our worship service to the parish hall. Those of you who were there at the time will have painful memories of that event when things got out of hand the the choir was suspended. This was during Rev. George Mathew\’s time. The Trivandrum Christ Church choir during those times was a formidable choir and they maintained a high standard. It is the training that I received from the Walsalams that has stuck onto me.
Today living in Canada, these memories will never fade away. The Christ Church has the rich heritage of nurturing children and youth in spiritual leadership and I hope that this trend will continue in the future. My best wishes and prayers as you celebrate 150 glorious and blessed years.
It was in June 1931 that I had the privilege of worshipping at Christ church for the first time. I was then a student of the Maharajas College of science present University college) and my father Mr M.C Thomas sought a transfer to Trivandrum to facilitate my college studies.
My pleasant memories during this period are the confirmation classes under by Rev.M.J.Chandy Achen and the consequent laying on of hands by Bishop Rev E.A.L Moore of blessed memory.
It was during this period that Lord Willingdon, Viceroy of India and Lady Willingdon attended a Sunday worship at Christ church.
After Entering government service and working in many stations outside Trivandrum, I returned to Trivandrum in 1949 and the Good Lord granted me the privilege of being a member of Christ church congregation for the last 60 years. May his name be praised.
CÂ Thomas. IAS