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Our Story

The Church of South India (CSI) congregation in Belfast was started in 2008 by a group of CSI Christian believers across Northern Ireland hailed from the Malayalam speaking Christian community of Kerala, India. It was under the leadership of Rev Jacob Thomas who was searching for a venue to worship in. We started worshipping at the Belfast Bible College. Later moved to Finaghy Baptist Church hall. Since 2011 we have become a community in the Drumbeg, in a mission partnership with the Drumbeg Parish Church. We are associated with the Drumbeg Parish Church, Diocese of Down and Dromore, Belfast and Rev Willie Nixon who was instrumental in building the relationship with the CSI church. Our CSI worship model and relation to the Anglican Church was graciously recognised and accepted by the Rector Willie Nixon, Parish of Drumbeg and approved by Bishop Harold Millar, diocese of Down & Dromore. That was the beginning of a relationship that stemmed from the partnership between the members of CSI church Belfast and Drumbeg Parish, many members based in Drumbeg started attending the Drumbeg Parish on Sundays.​

 

This congregation named as “St Thomas CSI Church Belfast” in the name of the apostle who brought gospel to India is a recognised and licensed overseas congregation of CSI Madhya (Central) Kerala diocese, India.

Rev Jacob Thomas (until 2016 and currently as founder member), Rev Devasahayam Paulson, Rev Alex Yesudas, Rev Paul Singh, Rev Viji Varghese Eapen and Rev Shaiju Kumar helped this congregation to grow in it's spiritual Journey.

Rev Sabi Mathew is the 1st appointed minister in charge of this congregation from July 2023 well supported by

Mrs Sharon Merin   Varghese in the ministry.

The Congregation is currently ministered by Rev Sabi Mathew (2023-). On top of our worship service. Sunday school is led at 10:40am, Youth fellowship at 10:45 and the Holy Communion service in the Malayalam language at 11:30am which will last for normally 90 minutes. In addition, at the start of every month we also have a chain prayer families/individuals joining at their own home between 6pm – 11pm for 30 minutes each. At the end of the month or occasionally, there is a fellowship prayer meeting at members residence or Matins/Communion service at hall. There is also Women’s fellowship and Men’s Fellowship who meets monthly, and the congregation is administered by a Church committee which will have a term of 2 years. 

Governance and Structure:-

St Thomas CSI Church is a registered charity and is governed by its constitution. The constitution was reviewed in 2016 and the       revised document was adopted at the AGM on 8th February 2020. St Thomas CSI Church, Belfast is a recognised and licensed Congregation of the CSI Madhya Kerala Diocese, Kerala, India, in mission partnership with the Drumbeg Parish Church and under the diocese of Down & Dromore, Church of Ireland. Members of the St Thomas CSI Church Belfast and predominantly from the Madhya Kerala diocese of CSI Church in India and hence follows the liturgy, worship orders of the diocese and the guidance issued by the CSI Madhya Kerala Diocese but jurisdictionally under the Church of Ireland Drumbeg Parish Church in the Diocese of Down & Dromore within the context of the wider Anglican Communion. Madhya Kerala diocese appoints the vicar for the congregation but the licensing and permission to officiate are officiated by the Drumbeg Parish Church and Down and Dromore diocese. Northern Ireland and United Kingdom laws are applicable to the Congregation in accordance with the above.

At the congregation/Charity level it is managed by the trustees (office bearers) and by the Church committee chaired by the Vicar of the congregation appointed by the Madhya Kerala and Down & Dromore dioceses. Trustees of the congregation will be Vicar, Church Warden, Secretary, treasurer and a chosen member from the Church committee whereas committee will have other positions for the smooth running of the congregation. The trustees & committee are elected every 2 years in the Annual general body meeting usually held on every March annually where all on full membership or associate membership are eligible to vote. The Trustees and committee are responsible for the day to day management and the maintenance of Finances.

We as a congregation have some key moments when Bishop Harold Miller visited our congregation in May 2019 and then in April 2022 by Bishop David McClay along with Bishop Malayil Sabu Koshy, Bishop of CSI Madhya Kerala diocese on his first pastoral visit.

 

Apart from witnessing the faith the congregation also involves in the charity projects for the marginalised and disadvantaged sections of the people.

 

A sincere thanks to Rev Willie Nixon who has been instrumental in building and to flourish the relationship and to the church wardens/committee of the Parish of Drumbeg to use the premises.

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