Chaplain’s Voice

20th December 2016


…the dawn from on high will break upon us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death..’ (Lk 1:78-79)


May I wish you, a joyous Christmas and abundant heavenly blessings in 2017.

As we joyfully come near to the end of the year, it gives us a sense of ecclesial fulfilment to view the things we were engaged in as Syro-Malabar community in UK in 2016. I sincerely thank all the members who happily cooperated with the efforts and activities of the chaplaincy.

1. Regular Activities: By God’s favour and with the cooperation of all members, we could have our regular Holy Qurbana in all 8 centres, without much hindrance:(Please see attachment)

We could improve our catechism schools and our Catechism team is offering well dedicated service in the following places: (We had to close North Manchester school during the year.)








St Joseph Hall, Audley Range, Blackburn, BB1 1TG




O L Lourdes Ch, 275, Plodderlane, F’worth, BL40BR

Central Manchester



S. M. Com. Centre, Portland Cr, Longsight, M13 0BU

North Manchester



St Anne’s Hall, Crumpsall, M8 5UE




In homes



Sts Peter & Paul Church, Park Road, Salford, M6 8JR




Eng Martyrs School, Urmston, M41 5AX

The Chaplaincy level catechism seminars have become a regular programme by now and we had 3 such seminars in 2016. Great thanks to Mrs Jessy Joseph (till September) and Dr Joel James, who coordinated the Catechism activities.

Our efforts in the field of forming Basic Christian communities through kudumba sammelanam (ward meetings) went on throughout the year as shown here: (total : 84 meetings):

  • Ashton-Oldham (2 units) -meetings: nil
  • Blackburn (3 units)-meetings: 7,
  • Bolton (5 units) meetings: 10,
  • Central Manchester (7 units) meetings 43,
  • North Manchester (3 units) meetings : 7,
  • Rochdale (1 unit) meetings: nil,
  • Salford (4 units) meetings : 17 ,
  • Trafford (2 units) meetings : nil.

2. Special Programs:

As in the last years, we had the celebration of parish feasts in 7 of our centres:

  • Black burn – St Thomas – 26 June;
  • Bolton – St Mary – 11 Sept;
  • Central Manchester – St Alphonsa – 10 July;
  • North Manchester – St Alphonsa – 11 June;
  • Rochdale – St Mary – 3 Sept;
  • Salford – St Thomas – 3 July

We were happy to have Bishop George Punnakottil as the main celebrant for Central Manchester feast.

We had the Lenten Retreats arranged in 2016 in the following centres:

  • Blackburn : 18, 19 March – Fr Kuriakose Punnoly;
  • Bolton : 11-13 March – Fr Joy Cherady
  • Central Manchester: 4-6 March – Fr Joy Cherady;
  • Rochdale : 22 March – Fr Raju Arathil

We tried to have the holy week services in as many places as possible this year also: We had the following services in 2016:

  • Ashton : Hosana , Passion Friday.
  • Blackburn: Hosana, Pesaha, Passion Friday & Easter
  • Bolton: Pesaha, Passion Friday , Holy Sat & Easter
  • Central Mcr : Hosana, Pesaha, Passion Friday & Easter
  • North Manchester: Pesaha & Easter
  • Salford: Hosana, Pesaha, Passion Friday & Easter
  • Rochdale: Nil. Trafford: Hosana & Easter

This year we celebrated our Community Day on 1st October at Bolton, where members from all the eight places came and stage programs presented. It was a beautiful occasion when the bishop of Salford, Rt Rev John Arnold and our bishop elect Mar Joseph Srampickal came to be with us. After the special Holy Qurbana, we had the 3-hour energizing performance on stage by our artists.

On 20th Nov. we had the Bible Quiz 2016 for our catechism children, in which five teams from five centres participated. All were amazed at the excellent performance of our youngsters in learning the Bible. Congratulations to the Salford team ( Aaron Sales, Ann Maria John, Ann Laju & Tony Varkey ) and all other teams who gave them a tough competition.

On 28 July 2016, we got the new Syro-Malabar Diocese of Great Britain and our chaplaincy whole heartedly participated in the Episcopal Ordination of Mar Joseph Srampickal, our bishop, on 9th October. We took up our share of responsibility as many of us volunteered to work in various committees, contributed generously and took great interest to be present at Preston at the occasion. Salford chaplaincy was the third in financial contribution (Total £ 7129) among all others in UK. At least 734 members were present at Preston on 9th from our community.

This time we had Solemn Holy Communion in 4 parishes, they are:

  • Blackburn (4 children)–on 19 June – by Bishop Paul Mattekkatt.
  • Bolton (5 children) on 12 June
  • Central Manchester (1 child) on 11 June
  • Salford (1 child) on 5 June

3. Associations

Our community grows strong through active groups of ladies, youth, teens etc. Matrudeepti (ladies’ forum) is now active in Bolton and Central Manchester; and sprouting in Salford. It is time now to re-activate the SMYL (Youth league) in Central Manchester and start in Bolton & others.

4. On-coming Events:

Our calendar 2017 is already in your hand and you can see the programs marked in it.

5. Our Attention is required : – towards building up a well related community with spiritual goals.

– by re-vitalizing the kudumba sammelanams ; by improving Catechism; by actively supporting Matrudeepti, SMYL and such associations.

6. Our Hope: With the realisation of our own bishop & diocese, we will have our own places of worship and activity.

Thanking all the outgoing trustees for what you contributed to the community

Wishing a spectacular new year

Yours in Christ,

Fr Thomas Thaikkoottathil mst,

(Syro-Malabar Chaplain).