A brief history of Kanjirappally Pazhayapally (St.Mary’s Church) and the Puthenpally (St.Dominic’s Cathedral). The Old Church (St.Mary’s Church) and the market nearby have been constructed on a piece of land donated by the erstwhile King of Thekkemcore Sri. Veerakerala Perumal who was ruling the eastern areas including Kanjirappally on the 21st of Medam in the year K.V.624. (K V is for Malayalam year Kolla Varsham). On this plot the location of the Church building was decided by the King himself by planting a green stick on the chosen spot. So for those Christains who migrated from Nilakkal 100 years ago under the leadership of an elderly man named Thommi, who was also the trustee of the Nilakkal curch,got a church for the first time. They had to leave Nilakkal due to attack of burglars, spread of deadly virus diseases and wild insects called Vakri puli perumpatta. Until the new church was consecrated those people were going to the curch in Aruvithura (Erattupetta) for worship and their spiritual needs.

Valiyaveetil Family

A man known as Thommi Mappila who belonged to the 5th generation of those migrated from Nilackal, was responsible in establishing the church and the market place.He himsel buil a house near the church and named it “Valiya Veedu” because their ancestoral house in Nilakkal was knownas “Periya Veedu”. Most of the christian families of Kanjirappally are the ones branched off from this ancestoral Valiya Veedu. Thommi, belonging to the 9th generation of Valiya Veedu (Year KV700-770) married from a place called “Kodassanad”. His younger brother Kunchacko left the faamily due to some dispute and established a family branch in Thalavadi and named it “Kanjirappally”, which is known even today in that name.

Different Opinions

Till the year KV1000 the Christians in Kanjirappally used the old church for their spiritual needs. But due to the heavy floods in the year KV1000 the church was badly damaged rendering it totally useless. It is said that the water level rose 4-5 feet nabove the alter.due to the increase in the population and also for better for those residing in the western side of Chittar river, people tried to establish a new church in the compound known as “Vayamboor”, where the present new church is located. On this issue a dispute arose among the parshners. The majority of those residing in the Eastern side and a good number of people on the western side argued that the damaged church should be repaired and rebuilt only and building another church as proposed will spoil the the unity among the parshners. For this purpose a memorandum was prepared and sumbmitted to the highrarchy.( To keep the originality the memorandum is repeated in Malayalm only and given below.)

 St.Dominic’s Church and both curches remained as two seperate churches under seperate Vicars for 18 years. In the year AD1842, the then Vicar Apostolica Mar Francis Xavier Desiana mediated between both parishes and decided to merge both parishes to creaate one parish only and this became St.Dominic’s Parish. His order is quoted below in it’s original wordings.


 The renovation of the church started in 1945 with a plan and design prepared by the eminent engineer of the parsish Er. K.C.Thomas, Anathanam. Due to the complexity of the construction and also due to other reasons the progress of work became very slow. In 1975 Er. K.J.Mathew, Kallarackal prepared a modified design for the frontage and the works were completed in it’s present form after about 32 years to coincide with the 150th Jubille year in 1977. On this occassion respectful homage is paid to the engineers, supervisors and hundreds very skilled and unskilled workers from varoius parts of South India, who toiled very hard for many years to complete this magnificent church building of today. SsSS,S,Sama y years to complete the magnificent church building. Especially Marian Maistry, Chellakkanna Maistry, Gabriel Maistry Salve Tiles & Marbles Co of Chennai and St.Joseph’s Arts Studio, Trichur are unforgettable names in the recostruction and decorative works of the Church.Also to remeber are the names Electrix Co and apollo Agencies of Kanjirappally,masons like Alex, Rajappan, Selvamani, Vijayan, Thomas and the expert painters from Champakulam under the guidance of Thomas. The wood works directed by Sri. Gopalakrishnan Achari and the benches were built under supervision of Sri. Thankappan Achari.Especially Marian Maistry, Chellakkannu Maistry, Gabriel Maistr, Salve Tiles & Marbles Co of Chennai, St.Joseph’s Arts Studio Trichur are unforgettable names in the reconstriucion and decoration works of the Church. Also to remeber are the names of Electrix & Apollo Agencies of Kanjirappally,masons like Alex, Rajappan,Selvamani, Vijayan,, Thomas and also the expert painters from Champakulam under the guidance of Thomas. The wood works were direcetd by Sri. Gopalaakrishnan Achari and the benches were built under the guidance of Sri.Thankappan Acahri. To crown it all the Vicar who gave the courageous leadership for the completion of the delayed works and the celebration of the 150th year jubilee was none other thanVery. Rev. Fr. Joseph Meprakkarrot. L.P.H, L.D.,in whose memory we pay the most respectful homage.

 In 1972 a new priests’ home was constructed . Upon formation of the Diocese of Kanjirappally, the Forane Church was made the Cathedral Curch of the Bishop of  Kanjirappally on May 12th, 1977.

Courtesy an article written by Late Mr. M.V. Dominic Manniparampil