Do we need a new building or a bigger Church?

I am a member of the St. George Orthodox Syrian Cathedral in Trivandrum in Kerala. It is the oldest Orthodox Church in the capital city. Recently, our Church Managing Committee decided to purchase some land near the church. The 24.5 cents plot will cost the Church about Rs. 9 crores. Personally I feel it’s ridiculous to spend so much money just for buying a property.

Buying a new property and constructing a new building will not solve our problems of a small church and no parking. I have put down some of my thoughts about this issue and I feel they should reconsider the decision to buy a new property.

  • What we need is a bigger Church and not one more building. The present church can accommodate only about 400 – 450 people.
  • Rs.9 crores is needed for just buying land, how much more will be needed for the construction?
  • As per a rough calculation, the estimated funds required in the next 3 years will be Rs.20 crores (Rs.9 cr for buying land, Rs.4 cr for constructing buildings in the new plot, Rs.3 cr for a new cemetery complex and Rs.4 cr for the old church renovation)
  • We can renovate the existing church for less than Rs.5 crores and thus we can have a bigger and better church.
  • We already have 2.5 crores as existing funds and only the rest needs to be mobilized.
  • We need a new Church with a hall and not a separate new hall
  • We need a bigger church that can accommodate at least 1,000 people.
  • A multi-purpose hall in the basement which can seat another 1,000 people.
  • Multi-level underground parking place below the hall which can accommodate about 500 cars.
  • In the next 2 years, parking on MG Road will NOT be possible, especially after construction of Light Metro starts. (Light Metro will come up on pillars built in the middle of the road)
  • We can build something like this in our existing land – Church in first floor, multi-purpose hall in basement and underground parking in two levels.

A sample drawing of a multi-level Church

A sample drawing of a multi-level Church building with basement parking

  • The parking space can be made ‘Pay n Park’ during week days for general public, thus giving a steady source of income to church.
  • An apartment complex with residences for Vicar, Assistant Vicar and others, and offices for Church, Sunday School, etc should be constructed within the existing compound.
  • Most of the opposition comes from old people who do not want any change but we need to convince people about the need for a bigger church.
  • If the old Parumala Palli can be rebuilt and replaced with a new church to accommodate more people, we can also do this.
  • Finally, I feel we should drop the plan of buying this new property and putting a burden on the parish members.
  • May St. George, the patron saint of our Church, guide us and lead us.
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