Ernakulam Kerala, India


7:30AM – English
09:30 AM – Malayalam
3:30 PM – Tamil
6:00 PM – English

The CSI Immanuel Cathedral, Ernakulam,(formerly known as CSI Immanuel Church under the Diocese of North Kerala of the Church of South India ) was dedicated more than 110 years ago. The site, originally comprising 56 cents, was bought in 1905 by Rev. J.H. Bishop and the original church was built largely through his efforts, in memory of Rev. E.B. Russel who was a missionary of the Church of England in Travancore-Cochin from 1897 to 1899 and Rev. A.B. Sealy who was the principal of the Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam from 1875 to 1892 and also Director of Education of the Cochin State. A brass tablet in memory of these two missionaries was affixed in the chancel wall and the new church became known as the Russel Sealy Memorial Church. Technical advice for the construction of the church was provided by Mr. Browning, son-in-law of Rev. Sealy, who was then Chief Engineer of Cochin State

The foundation stone of the new church was laid by Sir Arthur Lawley, Governor of Madras and the church was dedicated for divine worship by the Most Rev. R.S. Coplestone, Metropolitan of India and Ceylon, at a benediction service held on 11th February 1908.

Initially the church was attached to the Trichur pastorate as there were only a few families that took up permanent membership in the new church. There were therefore no pastors in charge of the parish and from 1908 to 1927 the church was administered by the missionaries in Trichur and the parish duties carried out by lay workers, the first of whom was Mr. P.P. Lazarus of Trichur. The first graduate catechist of the parish was Mr. K.S. George. He was followed by Mr. George Koshy. After working as catechist for a few years, Mr. Koshy left to study at the Serampore Divinity College; he was to return as pastor of the parish in 1952.

In 1928 Ernakulam was made a separate parish with Mulavukad as its outstation. Rev. C.K. John was the first priest of the new parish and served initially as catechist, but after a few years was ordained as deacon and then, still later, as the presbyter. The church celebrated its Silver Anniversaryin 1933 during the tenure of Rt. Rev. E.A.L. Moore, bishop of the diocese of Travancore-Cochin.

In 1938, just two years after the ElectricityAgitation, the church was electrified and in that year the choir was outfitted in robes – black with white surplices – for the very first time.

In 1939 the church opened clinics in country boats. These ‘Floating Dispensaries’, as they were called, each under the charge of a doctor, provided medical aid to out-of-the-way places in waterlogged areas. The venture was, by all accounts, a great success and continued for about 20 years.