KOCHI: The newly constructed St George Forane Church, Edappally will be consecrated on Sunday by Syro Malabar Church head Cardinal George Alencherry. The consecration ceremony will be followed by a public meeting which will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. Cardinal Alencherry will preside.
With a total built-up area of more than 88,000 square feet, the new church is one of the biggest church complexes in India. Around 5,000 devotees can attend the mass at a time in the new church, said parish priest Fr Sebastian Vazhapally.
The church building, conceived as an octagon, has three levels. The first floor housing the congregation is approached by a vehicular ramp. The raked mezzanine floor has an area of 6,350 sq ft. The ground floor has an area of 19,500 sq ft, where a chapel for perpetual adoration, offices, conference facilities, multi-purpose halls etc have been envisaged. The 1,300 square feet garden in front of the church adds to its beauty.
The Church has a column free span of 130ft. It has eight portal frames having curvilinear top portion forming the twin umbrella structure with a clerestory in between creating a domical inner volume. The building stands at a height of 110ft from the ground level.
The style of the building is a combination of Kerala and Portuguese architecture. It has arched windows and buttresses, intricate Corinthian columns and mandalams, fused with traditional Kerala architecture. A 19-foot cross has been installed at the top of the main dome of the church.
Acoustics in the church has been done by Bose, an American company while the lighting is by Osram. The construction of the church began on January 2000 when the former head of Syro Malabar Church Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil laid the foundation stone. The foundation stone had been blessed by Pope John Paul II.