events in the History of St. Gregorios Orthodox Church,
1973 - St. Thomas Orthodox Syrian Prayer Group,
under the patronage of St.Thomas Orthodox Church, Dubai,
was formed in Sharjah with 11 members on June 15, 1973.
Prayer meetings were held once in every month at the
residence of the members, Presided over by Rev. Fr.
T.A. Jacob, Vicar of Dubai Church. The first Secretary
and Treasurer of the Prayer Group were Mr. Cheeran Varkey
and Mr. T.O. Varghese respectively.
1974 - First Anniversary of the formation of
the St. Thomas Orthodox Syrian Prayer Group was held
on July 19, 1974 after the Holy Mass and feast, presided
by Rev Fr. P.M. Mathews. 45 members attended the function.
A farewell for Rev. Fr. T.A. Jacob, the founding
President of the Prayer group, and a felicitation for
our Diocesan Metropolitan, H.G. Mathews Mar Athanasius,
was arranged during the year.
1975 - Holy Mass, on the Second Friday of every
month was started from March 1975, at the St. Martins
Church in Sharjah. Second Anniversary was celebrated
on July11, 1975.
1976 - Prayer meeting held on February 27, 1976
presided by Rev. Fr. P.M. Mathews discussed various
activities of the Prayer Group. A Bank account was opened
in the - The First National Bank of Chicago, Sharjah
Branch on February 28, 1976 to carryout the Financial
transactions of the Prayer group.
anniversary of the Prayer Group was held on July 23,
1976, presided by the Metropolitan of the Kollam Diocese,
H.G. Mathews Mar Coorilose. 90 members attended
- General Body of the maternal Parish, St. Thomas Orthodox
Church, Dubai, presided by Rev. Fr. V.G. Sam,
decides to establish a Parish in Sharjah. As recorded
in the first annual report of our parish A General
Body meeting of the Dubai Parish adopted a resolution
requesting the Diocesan Metropolitan. H.G. Thomas Mar
Makariose, the formation of a new Parish and the appointment
of a Vicar. His Grace vide Kalpana No. TM
98/78 announced the establishment of the new Parish,
naming after the only declared Saint of Malankara, Mar
Gregorios Orthodox Church and appointed Rev. Fr.
George Panackamattom as the Vicar of this Parish
first meeting of the representatives from various areas
of the Parish was held at St.Thomas Orthodox Church,
Dubai on January 27, 1978, presided by Rev. Fr. V.G.
Sam, Vicar of the maternal Parish and attended by
Rev. Fr. P.M. Kuriakose of St. George Orthodox Church,
Abu Dhabi. This meeting formulated the initial set-up
of the Parish and empowered Rev. Fr. V.G. Sam
to follow-up all matters relating to the initial establishment
of the Parish. A Managing Committee was elected representing
12 members from various areas of the Parish such as
Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujeirah, Khorfakhan,
Ras Al Khaimah. The strength of the Parish was 320.
Mr. Sunny Varghese Mylapra and Mr. P.C. Simon were the
first Secretary and Treasurer of the Parish respectively.
Fr. George Panackamattom takes charge as the First Vicar
of the Parish on August 15, 1978, under the Bombay Diocese
with H.G. Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios, as the first Diocesan
Qurbana was conducted at Sharjah on 1st & 3rd Friday,
Fujeirah and Korfakhan on 2nd Friday and Ras Al Khaimah
of 4th Friday of the month.
Mathews Mar Coorilose was the first Metropolitan of
our Church, who blessed us with His visit since the
formation of the Parish. His Grace also made a Good
Will visit to the Ruler of Umm Al Quwain H.H. Saud Bin
Rashid Al Mualla and Ruler of Ajman H.H. Sheikh Rashid
Bin Humeid Al Nuami. The magnanimous Rulers promised
to offer His Grace plot of land for places of worship.
inaugurated the activities of the Youth League and Martha
Mariam Samajm on November 11, 1978.
- With the re-organization of the Dioceses, Sharjah
Parish came under Delhi Diocese with H.G. Dr. Paulose
Mar Gregorios, as the Diocesan Metropolitan. Another
notable event was the formation of the St. Gregorios
Orthodox Church Charity committee on January 26, 1979.
It is a unique feature of St. Gregorios Orthodox Church,
Sharjah, among all the Parishes in the Malankara Orthodox
Church to have a full-fledged Charity Committee.
- With-holding the Constitution of the Malankara Orthodox
Church of 1934 and the rules and regulations of the
U.A.E. federal and local Governments, St. Gregorios
Orthodox Church By-law was brought out on June 6, 1980,
as a guidance to carryout the Spiritual and Administrative
functions of the Parish.
- Rev. Fr. Varghese Chacko was the vicar for
a brief period of 6 months before being transferred
as Vicar of St. Marys Orthodox Church, Ras-Al-Khaimah
in August, 1982. Rev. Fr. P.K. Thomas became
the Vicar of the Parish. Rev. Fr. Thomas was instrumental
in establishing the UAE Sunday School Association.
- A revised By-law was brought out on July 26, 1985.
- Rev. Fr. Thomas Yohannan, takes charge as Vicar
of the Parish.
- We celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the establishment
of our Parish. To commemorate the event, a Souvenir
was published and 10 houses were donated to the poor
and needy in Kerala.
- Rev. Fr. C.M. Kuriakose, takes charge as the Vicar
of the Parish in 1989.
- A Parish Directory was first published with details
of 458 members.
special conference of the Orthodox Youth Movement of
the UAE zone was organized at our Parish. H.G. Dr. Geeverghese
Mar Osthatheos, the President of the Malanakra Orthodox
Youth Movement was the Chief Guest. More than 400 delegates
from all over UAE participated in the conference.
- The By-law was revised and brought out on December
- H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Member
of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, allocates
land as a gift for the Church building. Rev. Fr.
Jacob Abraham takes charge as the Vicar of the Parish.
- H.G. Dr. Paulose Mar Gregorios, our Diocesan
Metropolitan laid the foundation for the Church building
on July 2, 1994. Construction was started immediately
with the incessant guidance and support of our Diocesan
Metropolitan, and under the direct supervision of the
Managing Committee, headed by Vicar Rev. Fr. Jacob
Abraham. With the wholehearted efforts of the Parishioners,
their financial contributions and above all, the intercession
of our Patron Saint, St. Gregorios of Parumala,
we were able to complete the work in a record time of
Nine months. M/s. Shaharco Contracting Company, Sharjah
carried out the construction of the Parish.
- With the Blessings of God Almighty, the new Parish
building was consecrated on March 30 / March 31, 1995
by H.H. Baselios Marthoma Mathews II assisted
by H.G. Job Mar Philoxenos, H.G. Philipose
Mar Eusebius, Paulose Mar Militheus and Priests
from other Orthodox Parishes in UAE. It was a memorable
event in the history of the Parish. Public meeting was
held in the evening on March 31, 1995 attended by Indian
Ambassador, Consul General and various local Government
dignitaries. From a small congregation of less than
11 members in 1973, it has reached more than 500 members
Youth Movement - UAE zonal conference was organized
at our Parish.
1996 - Our Beloved Metropolitan, H.G. Dr. Paulose
Mar Gregorios, did not live longer to see the progress
of the Parish. His Grace Entered into Eternal Peace
on November 24, 1996.
H.G. Job Mar Philoxinos, the then Asst. Metropolitan,
takes charge as Acting Metropolitan of the Diocese.
Rev. Fr. Sam P. George had been given the mantle
to lead the Parish as the new Vicar from May 1996.
- Foundation stone for the Parish Hall cum Parsonage
Complex, was laid on April 18, 1997, by the Acting Metropolitan
of the Diocese, H.G. Job Mar Philoxinos assisted by
H.G. Kuriakose Mar Clemis and H.G. Geevarghese Mar Coorilos.
Many members contributed Dhs.250/- each and loans were
raised among members for financing the project. Construction
was carried out by M/s. Mzoon Contracting Company, Sharjah
and M/s. Singh Associates, Sharjah, was the consultant.
A Fourth revised edition of the Parish directory was
published with details of 590 members.
- Annual Harvest Festival and Cultural program was started
in 1998, which was an immense success for raising fund
for Parish Hall cum Parsonage complex. Blessing ceremony
of the complex was held on November 5, 1998. As a fitting
tribute to a Great leader, the Parish Hall was named,
Dr. Paulose Mar Gregorios Memorial Hall, in memory of
our late Metropolitan.
the 20th Anniversary of the establishment of the Parish
on 6th November1998 with a public meeting attended by
many dignitaries. A commemorative Souvenir was released
on the occasion.
Gregorios Orthodox Church By-law was revised on November
Youth Movement - UAE zonal conference was organized
at our Parish
- An eventful year in the history of St. Gregorios Orthodox
Church, Sharjah. We were in the threshold of entering
a new era, the Third millennium. Truly on a democratic
set-up, ballot paper was first used, during the election
of the Managing Committee for the year 1999.
Fr. John Daniel became the Vicar of the Parish from
- Fifth revised edition of the Parish Directory, with
photos and details of 746 members, was published.
life insurance Scheme for Parish members commenced -
yet another unique feature among the Orthodox Parishes.
charity projects, to commemorate the Silver Jubilee
of the establishment of our Parish in 2003 - A housing
project of 25 houses for the poor and needy in Kerala,
100 Sewing machines as self employment scheme for poor
widows in Kerala and Construction of the Administrative
block for the Shantigram Project under the Delhi Diocese,
a people centered project for the rural community covered
by 8 villages, at Mandavar in Haryana, India - were
commenced and planned for inauguration during the Jubilee
celebrations in 2003
Moran Mar Baselios Mar Thoma Mathews II, The Catholicose
of the East, was felicitated on His visit to our Parish.
- Our Parish made tremendous growth during this period.
Number of Registered members of the Parish has reached
more than 1000. In an effort to reduce the hassles of
Book keeping of the Members data and Accounts,
Church Membership Account was computerized during 2001.
Youth Movement - UAE zonal conference was organized
at our Parish on October 14, 2001. A record number of
500 delegates attended the conference from UAE.
rules & Procedures for the election of the Managing
committee & Charity Committee were introduced during
yearlong Centenary celebrations, of the of the Holy
Demise of Parumala Mar Gregorios was inaugurated on
2nd November 2001.
- As part of the celebrations to commemorate the Centenary
of the Holy Demise of our Patron Saint, Gold Coins of
8 grams and 5 grams, with the portrait of St.Gregorios
embossed on it, was released in May 2002.
Fr. Y. Thomas takes charge as the Vicar from June