• 27 May 2019

A corner of South India flourishes in Drumbeg

On Saturday 25 May, Bishop Harold was a special guest of the South Indian congregation that meets regularly in Drumbeg Parish Centre. 

About 40 people from the Church of South India gather once a month for Holy Communion and the bishop was both celebrant and preacher. The service is usually in their native language, but they make an exception when they have English speaking guests. 

Everyone stayed on for a curry lunch and Bishop Harold and Liz posed for photos with the families. The hospitality was generous and the fellowship warm. 

The Church of South India has its roots in the Kerala region of the country and is the result of the union of churches of varying traditions Anglican, Methodist, Congregational, Presbyterian, and Reformed. 

The rector of Drumbeg, Revd Willie Nixon, explained the connection with the parish:

Clergy group
Clergy group
“The Church of South India congregation in Belfast started in 2007 under Jacob Thomas at the Belfast Bible College. Jacob always wanted to have a relationship the Anglican Church here, so in 2012 when I came to Drumbeg, he approached me to ask if they could use our church building. As it turned out, the numbers were too small for the church, so they began to meet in the old hall. And really that was the beginning of a relationship that saw Church of South India folks beginning to worship with us on a Sunday. We now have five of the families coming along every week and they’re very involved.”

“They’re a brilliant group of people, he continued. “I’ve found them very prayerful – very deeply prayerful actually – ­­and very supportive of the spiritual things we do. They’re also very committed to Sunday School and seeing their children grow up in the faith and in their knowledge of the Bible.

“We share a really encouraging, exciting friendship and as Bishop Harold said at the end of the service, we treasure this unique expression of worship in the diocese.”

Pictured above, L–R: Revd Viji Varghese Eapen, Bishop Harold, Revd Willie Nixon and Revd Dr Jacob Thomas.