We embarked on a motor boat cruize from The Emerald Isle , Kanjoorparmbil - Manimalathara , Chathurthyakary , Alleppey at 0800 on 20th Dec 2012 for 1500 years old St Mary's Forane Church established in 427A D on the bank of Pampa river at Champakulam . It is under Archeperchy of changancherry of the Syro Malbar Church and controls almost all Syrian Catholic churches in Alappuzah District. This is a second generation church of St Thomas Christian churches in Malbar which were formed from the seven first generation churches formed by St Thomas himself.
As the church was patronized by the Devanarayanans of the Champakassery kingdom and had very close relations with the Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Swamy Temple some Hindu traditions such as removing the foot wares before entering the church , sitting on the mats on the floor or standing while hearing the discourses and presence of Dhwajastambh i. e . Flag Mast made us feel weare visiting a Temple.
Madbaha and its decorationsare influenced by Portuguese culture . side walls of the Madbaha and the ceiling have eye catching murals , depicting blue sky , angels blowing trumpets and emerging through the clouds , etc . were paintedwith vegetable colours.
The antique decorated baptismal vessel and a traditional pulpit in the form of a palm tree supported at its base by a trunk like pillar curving into a mouth of a fish set in the wall are other two things to be adored.
Dr Dilip Shete