ABOUT CHURCH

 History 

Our members had started to migrate about fifteen years back and they were attending the worship service in different churches in Auckland. In the year 2002 Dr. Kuruvilla Mathew from Perth, Australia came to New Zealand and saw the need for a Mar Thoma church here although there were only 12 known Marthomite families in Auckland. His dream got fulfilled when Rt. Rev. Dr. Zachariah Mar Theophilus Suffragan Metropolitan became the first Bishop of Mar Thoma Church to set foot on New Zealand soil and officiated the first Holy Communion Service in Mar Thoma order on 14th November 2002. His inspiration also led to sprouting of other Syrian churches in this country. With the arrival of Thirumeni, our own worshipping community was formed in Auckland. Later in the year 2004 we were acknowledged as a congregation by Rt. Rev. Dr. Isaac Mar Philexenos Episcopa on his visit here as the Diocesan Bishop. Then onwards worship service started taking place in our own order.

In January 2005, the then Metropolitan, Most Rev. Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostam approved us as a parish with the name St. Thomas Mar Thoma Church, Auckland and Rev. Dr. Varghese Mathai, the vicar of Sydney church, was given the responsibility of leading our parish. He visited Auckland once a quarter to conduct Holy Communion and other services. We also had visiting priests from Melbourne and Singapore.

Our parish was then officially incorporated with the Ministry of Economic Development in New Zealand on 7th of September 2005 and later registered with the Charities Commission New Zealand on 30th June 2008. In the year 2006, our Diocesan Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Geevarghese Mar Theodosius Episcopa visited Auckland and he felt the need of a resident vicar for the parish. On seeing the enthusiasm of the parishioners Thirumeni took special interest and this resulted in appointing Rev. Raji Eapen as the first resident vicar of our church.

Achen arrived with his family in November 2006 and took charge as the vicar. From then, all the activities started on a regular basis and we became a full-fledged parish of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church. Rev. Raji Eapen on completion of his term went back to India in April 2010. We thank Rev. Raji Eapen for his leadership and guidance as the 1st resident vicar of our church and fondly remember Binu Kochamma along with their children Navin and Navya. Rev. C. Jacob George arrived with his family in May 2010 and returned to India on completion of his term in April 2013. Rev. M. K. Biju arrived with his family, wife Biji Kochamma, son Abhishek and daughter Anupama arrived in June 2013 and went back April 2016.

Our new vicar Rev. V.T Kurian along with Kunjumole Kochamma arrived on July 1st 2016 and is now staying at the new parsonage at 4/167 Whitney Street Blockhouse Bay Auckland. He continues to give leadership for all the activities of the parish and also caters to the spiritual needs of the members. He also continues to serve as the vicar of Wellington-Christchurch congregation and the Hamilton congregation.

 The Valia Metropolitan 

His Grace the Most Rev Dr. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma continues as the Valia Metropolitan of the church. He is a spiritual leader and respects diversity of opinion, but would not easily budge or compromise ethical principles. He is a person with a golden tongue, acceptable to all people irrespective of caste or colour. 
Our Metropolitan 
His Grace the Most Rev Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan continued his illustrious reign as the Head of the church. He also continues to be in charge of the Niranam Maramon Diocese. We had the privilege of hosting the Metropolitan from January 17th to the 23rd 2013 and he officiated the Holy Communion Service in Auckland on January 20th.
Our Diocesan Bishop 
The Rt. Rev Joseph Mar Barnabas Episcopa continues to be our diocesan bishop with his headquarters at Adoor. Thirumeni has visited us many times and we thank Thirumeni for his pastoral care and guidance towards the growth of our parish. 
Membership 
By the Grace of God, we have 60 subscribing families with a total strength of around 200 members including children.

 

 Worship Services

Our regular worship services continue at St. Thomas Anglican Church, 2 Islington Avenue, New Lynn, Auckland. On 1st and 3rd Sundays Holy Communion are held in Malayalam and 2nd and 4th Sundays in English. On 5th Sundays Holy Communion Service are held either in English or Malayalam. Special prayers were offered during the service for people celebrating their birthday and wedding anniversaries. Special Sundays were observed as per the church calendar and the messages were given by guest speakers/parish members. After every service all members gather in the parish lounge for refreshments and fellowship.

The different organizations, Sunday's School, Yuvajana Sakhyam, Sevika Sangham, Choir and Edavaka Mission are functioning in our parish and these organizations continue to contribute considerably towards the growth of our parish. We record our thanks to these organizations.

Our Communication Channels

Our new website address is www.aucklandmarthoma.org and various information can be accessed from the site. Our quarterly newsletter ‘The Beacon' continues to be brought out once in three months giving the message from our vicar along other information like Lectionary, Prayer Meetings, Birthdays & Wedding Anniversaries, details of the forthcoming events for the next 3 months. Weekly Bulletins continue to be sent by way of email informing members of the forthcoming programmes, prayer meetings etc.

Conclusion

Jesus Christ, the light of the world equips us to impart the radiance of His glory through his body, the Church, in this world. As members of this Church we are recipients of this light and glory. We are ‘Lighted to Lighten' the whole creation. We praise God for using this church for the building of his kingdom on this earth during the past with our humble tasks. May God bless us and use us all to be His instrument to build His Kingdom, and nourish us to be His witness in the society around us.