Mar Thoma Bishop visits Bristol
The Mar Thoma Bishop of North America and Europe, Rt. Rev. Dr. Geevarghese Mar Theodosius, was in Bristol this weekend to visit members of the Mar Thoma parish of St Thomas, who share a building with St Anne’s Anglican church, Eastville.
Bishop Theodosius, who is based in New York, was in Bristol to celebrate the First Communion of 14 young members of the Mar Thoma Church but also took the opportunity to bid farewell to the Revd Jane Hayward who will be retiring as Vicar of St Anne’s on Easter Sunday.
The Anglican and Mar Thoma congregations in Eastville have been working and worshipping together for over 12 years now and Holy Qubana (the Mar Thoma name for Holy Communion) was celebrated at St Anne’s for the first time in 2002. However, the partnership was formally recognised last year when the Mar Thoma Church signed a building sharing agreement with St Anne’s.
Reflecting on Sunday’s service, the Revd Jane Hayward said:
“It was wonderful to welcome Bishop Theodosius to Bristol to mark such a milestone in the faith journey of the young people taking Communion for the first time and to celebrate our sharing in the Gospel across national and cultural boundaries.”
The Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar is one of the oldest Christian churches in the world and is thought to have been founded by St Thomas the Apostle (‘Mar Thoma’) when he took the Gospel to south India after the Resurrection in AD 52.
The Mar Thomas Church is in full communion with the Anglican Church and has approximately 900,000 members in 1166 parishes worldwide.