Kozhikode: The CSI Church at Puthiyara in the heart of the city is celebrating its ninetieth birthday. The history of the church, which has left an indelible mark on the social and religious spheres of Kozhikode, is closely linked to the setting up of the tile factory at Puthiyara.
The devotees at Puthiyara have planned elaborate programmes to celebrate the one-hundred-and-tenth anniversary of the formation of their congregation along with the ninetieth anniversary of the church. The events, which would be organised over the next two years, will be inaugurated by Speaker of the Kerala Legislative Assembly P Sivaramakrishnan at 2pm on Saturday. Bishop of CSI (Church of South India) Malabar diocese Rev Dr Royce Manoj Victor would preside over the function. At 3pm, the Choir Fest 2019 of the South Malabar District Board would take place.
The tile factory at Puthiyara was started by Rev T H Schafuler of the Basel Mission in 1873. Alongside, 400 devotees under the Cathedral at Mananchira started offering prayers at a hall adjacent to the tile factory office under Rev Yousin.
In 1908, devotees at Puthiyara expressed the wish to start an independent congregation under the Basel Mission. Subsequently, a new church was built and prayers started in 1931. The new place of worship was called Schafuler memorial church in honour of Rev Schafuler, who founded the tile factory.
Later, when the Church of South India was formed on September 27, 1947, the Puthiyara church also came under its jurisdiction.
A highlight of the church is that it has always taken care to strengthen the communal amity prevalent in Kozhikode. For instance, the church has extended whole-hearted cooperation to festivals such as the Parayanchery Ayyappan Vilakku.