History of the MarThoma congregation in Belfast:
Belfast is the capital city of Northern Ireland and is part of United Kingdom. In the past it had been the scene of various sectarian violence and conflicts between Catholic and Protestant populations for a long period of time till the signing of Good Friday Agreement in the year 1998. There were only 2-3 families who were members of Mar Thoma church living in Northern Ireland prior to the year 2000 and they kept themselves associated with MarThoma Parish in London. Bishop Rt.Rev.Geevarghese Mar Athanasius on a personal visit to Belfast conducted Holy communion service in June 2000 at Lisburn Road Methodist Church with the help of Rev.Prasad Mathew, Vicar of London Mar Thoma parish. This was the first Mar Thoma Liturgical worship and Holy communion service in Malayalam as per the available church records. Perhaps Bishop Mar Athanasius was the first Indian Bishop who conducted Holy communion service in Malayalam in Northern Ireland. The service was attended by members of Indian Orthodox, Syrian Jacobites,Syro Malabar and CSI church members. Subsequently few more similar services and prayer meetings were held by Rev.Sham P.Thomas who was pursuing higher studies in Edinburgh and also by Rev.Dr.Jacob Thomas of Church of South India who was a member of faculty at Belfast Bible College. Members of all denominations from the Kerala churches used to join for the worship and prayer meetings. The Vestments ,Chalice and Paten brought from Kerala at that time was shared commonly by all denominations of Malankara churches in Northern Ireland for their worship services. These are still preserved at Belfast as a token of unity!.
The year 2002 saw a large migration of Indian doctors and nurses to UK for higher training and jobs and many were from Kerala. The members of the church gathered for regular prayer meetings, that led to the formation of a congregation of the MarThoma church . Thus regular liturgical worship was started in Belfast, the capital city Northern Ireland on 10th April 2005 at the residence of Dr.Binu Mathew K.Thomas under the leadership of Rev.Thomas P.Koshy ,Vicar,St.James MarThoma Church London with the approval of the diocesan bishop Rt.Rev.Euyakim Mar Coorilos.
Subsequently Bishop Mar Coorilos made his first official episcopal visit on 27th January 2006 and declared Congregation status to this worship group consisting of 12 families at the Holy communion service held at Belfast Bible College Chapel on 28th Jan 2006. Rev.Thomas P.Koshy was appointed as the first Vicar and the office bearers were elected by the members in the presence of the Diocesan Bishop.
The congregation was blessed by the regular visits of Diocesan Bishops Rt.Rev. Euyakim Mar Coorilos and Rt.Rev.Geevarghese Mar Theodosius since then. Apart from them Bishop Rt.Rev.Thomas Mar Timotheos Episcopa of Trivandrum diocese also visited this congregation.
Belfast Marthoma Congregation is probably the smallest congregation of MarThoma church world wide .Since the formation in 2005 this small congregation has been taking active role in supporting various missionary activity of our mother church in India
The clergy who led us till date:
Rev.Sham P.Thomas (Student- Edinburgh) &
Rev.Jacob Thomas (Belfast Bible College)
There are 12 families during the year 2014:
Mother Parish in India
Dr.Binu Mathew K.Thomas & family
Mr.Mathew Abraham & family
Mr.Rajeem Thomas & family
Mr. George Varghese &Family
Mr.Biju Thomas &family
Dr.Thomas Alexander & family
Mr.Roshan Jose & family
Mr.James Oommen & family
Mr.James Jacob & family
Mr.P.J.Cheriyan & family
Mrs.Sosamma Kurien & family
St.Mathias CSI church,