KOCHI:Amidst solemn prayers of thousands of faithful, the newly constructed St George Forane Church at Edappally was consecrated on Sunday by Syro-Malabar Church head Cardinal Mar George Alencherry.
Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese auxiliary bishops Mar Sebastian Adayanthrath and Mar Jose Puthenveetil and parish priest Fr Sebastian Vazhappally were the co-celebrants.
The consecration ceremony was followed by a public meeting that was inaugurated by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. The meeting was presided over by Cardinal Alencherry. While delivering the inaugural address, the Chief Minister shared his memories about the church, and said he had an emotional relation with it. “I have been visiting this church right from my childhood,” the Chief minister said, and offered birthday wishes to Cardinal Alencherry, who turned 70 on Sunday.
Ministers V K Ibrahim Kunju, K Babu and P J Joseph; Benny Behanan MLA; Mayor Tony Chammany and BJP state secretary A N Radhakrishnan were also present.
With a total built-up area of more than 88,000 sqft, the new church is one of the biggest in India. Around 5,000 people can attend worship at a time in the new church. The building, conceived in octagonal shape, has three levels. The ground floor has an area of 1 9,500 sqft, where a chapel for perpetual adoration, offices, conference facilities and multi-purpose halls are set up. There is a 1300-sqft garden in front of the church.
The construction of the church began in January 2000, after Syro-Malabar Church former head Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil laid the foundation stone, which was blessed by Pope John Paul-II
Koshy K Alex and Zeril S Jose of ‘Vastushilpalaya’, Thiruvananthapuram, are the architects of the project. This project was initiated
as a national-level competition, in which 53 architects from across the country competed.