St Gabriel Orthodox Church, Nallila is one of the ancient parishes of Kollam diocese of Malankara Orthodox Church, led by H.H Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Didymus I from the Apostolic throne of St. Thomas. The church is situated at Nallila in Nedumpana panchayath, 18 kms East of Kollam in Kerala, a South Indian state. St. George, who fought valiantly and entered martyrdom for upholding true faith of the church, and St Gabriel are the patron saints of the parish.
In early days, the forefathers went to Kundara Valiyapally, situated about 8 kms from Nallila, for worship. The foundation stone for a church with St. Gabriel as its patron saint was laid by H.G Pulikkottil Joseph Mar Dionysius in 27 February, 1890. This was accomplished, thanks to auspicious leadership of the elders of 8 Orthodox families from Nallila. A beautiful church was completed as a result of the hard work of the parish members. Kundara Kizhakevila Valiyachan and Thenguvila Abraham Kathanar served as vicars during those days. Rev Fr V K Daniel Vilayil veedu, a member of the parish, completed his theological studies in 1932 and he was appointed by H.H Moran Mar Baselios Geevarghese II Catholicos, as the vicar of the church, which was built on the plot donated by his father Philipos Koshy. Adjacent plots were later bought by the church and added to the parish compound.Various spiritual organizations including Sunday school Balasamajam, Marthamariyam samajam and prayer groups grew up under his gifted leadership. Various churches sited around Nallila were built by ex-members of this parish.
The church could not accommodate increase in the number of members and a committee of 7 members was appointed by H.G Theodosius during his visit to the parish in 1943. The construction of a new church building was initiated by this committee in 1946. It was completed in 1960 and was consecrated by H.H Moran Mar Baselios Geevarghese II. For shrines were erected at different area of Nallila in the subsequent years.
Rev Fr P.M George and Rev Fr Baby Thomas were appointed as assistant vicars of Rev Fr V.K Daniel as it became difficult for him to carry out the services due to old age. Fr Baby Thomas was appointed as the vicar, following the demise of Fr V.K Daniel on 19th January, 1989. A parsonage was constructed for the parish on 1989 and was dedicated to the memory of Fr V.K Daniel. The parsonage was sanctified by H.G Mathews Mar Coorilos and H.G Geevarghese Mar Dioscorus.
The centenary of the parish was fêted from February 1990 to February 1991. The celebrations, which lasted for one year, were inaugurated by H.G Geevarghese Mar Dioscorus, Metropolitan of Trivandrum diocese. A hall was constructed on top of the parsonage for the Sunday school, as a centenary memorial.
The priests, who served as the vicars of the parish during 1990 to 2009 were:
Rev Fr D Jacob
Rev Fr V Alexander
Rev Fr K.M Zachariah
Very Rev M.Y Thomaskutty Cor Episcopa
Rev Fr Samuel Mathew (1996-1999)
Rev Fr Koshy John (1999-2003)
Rev Fr Philip Mathew (2003)
Rev Fr Shalu Luckose (2003-2006)
Very Rev Rajan George Cor Episcopa (2006-2009)
On account of the growing need for a larger church building, H.H Baselios Mathews II laid the foundation stone of the present building in 21 September 1997. The consecration of the church was carried out on 1st February, 2003 after completion of the work as a result of sincere cooperation of the members and hard work of construction committee. Seven priests, who grew up through the Sunday school and Youth league of the parish serve at various parishes of the Church. The demise of Rev Fr John Daniel, Aeruthu veedu, on 23rd July, 2009 remains a heavy loss to the parish and the Church.
The parish has a membership of about 350 families, to date. Holy Qurbana is celebrated every Sundays and other important days, and other services are conducted accordingly. The spiritual backbone of the church is strengthened by various organizations including Sunday school, Youth Movement, Balasamajam, Marthamariyam samajam and seven prayer meetings. St Gabriel charity fund is active for helping the poor and needy. The important ceremonies celebrated by the parish are the ‘perunnal’ of St Gabriel and ‘Perunnal’ of St George. Thousands of people, regardless of caste and creed, celebrate these ceremonies and receive blessings every year. Parish managing committee constitutes a president, secretary, trustee, 10 committee members who administers the parish. Rev Fr. Y . THOMAS is serving as the vicar of the parish presently.