Creation of Adam and Eve became the bed rock of human civilization, prior to which the world had no existence, life had no meaning and faith was not born. A stone thrown back in time reveals the identity of a church that began from the sand of faith and cement of love of its worshippers. Rising from nonexistence to a worthy identity is the benevolence of the God Almighty Himself.
Creating an Altar of peace, a harmony of love, a divine spot for prayer in Sharjah was a brainwave of quite a few willing members of the Dubai Mar Ignatius Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church. It was to be a project of peace bound by the serene calmness of offering the deepest gratitude to our Lord who the residents of Sharjah and nearby emirates could convene in. Since the spiritual requirements of all the parishioners could not be conveniently met by the Dubai congregation, Mr. K. U. Varghese and Mr. K. Kurian were bestowed with the task to visit Damascus and meet His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East in the year 1980.
The Patriarch was to decide upon their request the feasibility of setting up a Church in Sharjah. By the blessing of God, His Holiness approved and announced the establishment of a new Parish and titled our Church St. Mary's Jacobite Syrian Church, Sharjah vide the Bull No.47/81dated 15th January 1981. Rev. Fr. Varghese Puliyan was appointed as the first Vicar of the Church.
Simple beginnings set the stage for a future citadel, and so was the case for St. Mary's Church also. Inadequate facilities hampered the conduction of the services during the earlier days of establishment. The first Holy Qurbana was conducted at the residence of Mr. K.U. Varghese on 14th November 1980. After a period of uncertainty and moving, we were blessed with an opportunity to conduct our services at the St. Michael's Church. Under the able and foresighted guidance of Rev. Fr. Varghese Puliyan, the member community witnessed a steady and fast paced growth. The remarkable growth and sound establishment of our Parish is heavily indebted to the continuous blessings of our Holy Father. In a world where question of existence became survival of the fittest, the Lord Almighty created in us a dedication to our fellow men and women, honoring and appreciating the slightest of moments and helping each others during times of distress and downfall.
Rev. Fr. Varghese Puliyan left UAE on 14.10.1983, and Rev. Fr. P.K Babu Paraikulathu continued the services who, used to come from Bahrain. A year passed by with many hurdles which had to be crossed. But through the strong faith within our members and the motivation of our Father, S1, Mary's Church stepped into the next phase which was to be lead by Very Rev. Joseph Ramban who was appointed the Vicar of all the Jacobite Syrian Churches in the UAE.
In 1988, H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas , Patriarch of Antioch and all the East along with Very Rev. Kuriakose Ramban, Rev. Joseph Ramban and Mr. Glory Mathew, visited the Ruler of Sharjah His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed AI Qassimi with a request for a plot of land to build the Church. The kind and generous nature of His Highness paved the way for our existence as a Parish. A vision of building a new Church was the next step considered by the members of St. Mary's Jacobite Syrian Church. To accomplish this task, a registration committee was formed, the members of the committee empowered Mr. Glory Mathew, Dr. Mathews Abraham and Mr. V.M. Alexander to take necessary actions of making this dream of the members become a reality.
A year passed with the approval for developing the Church but the search for land was still an issue, continuous follow up action was done by Mr. Glory Mathew and Dr. Mathews Abraham. Rev. Fr. Prasad Kuruvilla was appointed as the next Vicar of the Syrian Jacobite Churches in the UAE. He was instrumental in setting up the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Sunday School Association. He was instrumental in developing Jesus Christ within the hearts of the young and innocent.
In 1992 Rev. Fr. Baby Chamakkala replaced Rev. Fr. Prasad Kuruvilla as the Vicar of the UAE. Rev. Fr. Chamakkala created an atmosphere of serenity and went about setting things in a very systematic and efficient way. He had a unique and pleasant approach and ensured contact with all the members of the Parish. He built up the spiritual, material and human growth of the Parish. The effort of his constant and consistent work is the new church building for our Parish. Sunday school, Youth Association, Vanitha Samajam, Prayer Links flourished with renewed vigor and enthusiasm. The overall growth of the Parish can be seen in the eyes of the members, blooming love, peace and prosperity in each one's life.
By the mercy of God and blessings of St. Mary, we were able to get a plot of land in Sharjah. St. Mary's Jacobite Syrian Church was the first church to be constructed in the Middle East for the Jacobite Syrian Community. The Parish expressed their sincere gratitude to H.H-the ruler of Sharjah.
Construction began and the foundation stone was laid on 9th August 1996, blessed by H. G. Thomas Mor Themotheos Metropolitan along with Rev. Fr. Baby Chamakkala supported by the parishioners of Sharjah and the Vicars with members of our sister parishes in the UAE. A construction committee was formed to develop measures to arrange funds for the construction. This was a vigorous task and by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and blessings of St. Mary, the members of the committee delivered their responsibility with complete efforts.
St. Mary's church stood high above the ground in 1997, a consecration ceremony was held on 27th and 28th November. The historic event was blessed by His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East along with H. G. Dr. Geevarghese Mor Gregorios Metropolitan, H.G. Thomas Mor Dionysius Metropolitan (present Catholicose), H.G. Kuriakose Mor Julius Metropolitan, H.G. Thomas Mor Themotheos and H.G. Joseph Mor Gregorios Metropolitan. Further to the event, in 1998 Rev.Fr. Baby Chamakkala was decorated with the honour of Cor-Episcopa by His Holiness for his successful efforts.
Fr. M.U. Paulose was empowered as the next successor to lead the church, his tenure and contribution was very commendable. During this period one of our members, Mr. Joshi Abraham decided to dedicate his life for the service of the Church and become Deacon and this was a proud moment for all the members of St. Mary's Jacobite Syrian Church. H. G. Joseph Mor Gregorios Metropolitan was appointed as the new Metropolitan in charge of U.A.E. parishes as from 1st January 2000. Rev.Fr. Varghese. N. Paulose "Babu Achen" took charge as Vicar in June 2000 and continued the church activities successfully, his contribution was remarkable.
On 15th June 2001 H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East again visited Sharjah and blessed us. Rev.Fr. Kurian Maliyil took charge as Vicar in 2002 and during his tenure H.G. Joseph Mor Gregorios Metropolitan strongly motivated Achen and parishioners to work on the project of building a parsonage and Parish hall for the Church.
In 2004 Rev.Fr. Kurian Maliyil was able to successfully complete the task given to him for the construction of the parsonage, the event honoured by H.B. Mor Baselios Thomas I and assisted by H.G. Yuhanon Mor Milithios Metropolitan. Rev.Fr. Maliyil also contributed re-organizing the congregations in Ras Al Khaimah and Khorfakhan-Fujairah. For his successful efforts and contributions he was decorated as Cor-Episcopa by H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East.
Our thanks and prayers to H.H. Ignatius Zakka I Iwas for decorating Mr. Glory Mathew as Commander and offering Chevaliership to Dr. Mathews Abraham, Mr. V.M. Alexander, Mr. Kunjumon Parakkal, Mr. M.C.Saju, Mr.Kunjukunjukutyy V.S & Mr.Abraham P.I.
Rev.Fr. Roy Chacko took charge as Vicar on June 1st 2004. H.G. Dr. Kuriakose Mor Theophilose Metropolitan took charge as the new Metropolitan in-charge of U.A.E parishes in June 2004.
The St. Mary's Jacobite Syrian Church celebrated the year 2005 as its Silver Jubilee year (1980-2005), which was formally inaugurated by H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East and assisted by Their Graces the Metropolitans from Damascus and Malankara on 1st October 2004. As part of our Silver Jubilee celebrations we constructed 27 houses for the homeless in Kerala and we are extremely grateful to all those who generously contributed towards this project.
A fortune of any entity never revolves around a single person. The success and faith borne growth of our parish is dedicated to the hundreds and thousands of worshippers, who without hesitation worked in solitude and eternal grace to develop the parish and create in it the magma of belief in His Almighty.
We extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to our Holy Father H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East for his unstinted and unflinching support and dedicated prayers. Also sincere thanks go out to our Diocese and all our Metropolitans for their love, care, concern, support and guidance. Deepest gratitude is due to all our bishops and priests who have showered blessings with their prayers and Holy Qurbana.
Our profound thanks are due to His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohamad AI Qassimi, the Ruler of Sharjah and the Supreme Council Member and all the respected Government Officials for the kind gesture of granting the land and all the help and support being extended to us from time to time.
Sincere thanks to all the members and all those who labored hard for the establishment of the church, its growth and smooth functioning.
And above all let us thank the Lord Almighty for His kindness and gentle benevolence, for helping us through troubles and sorrow for bringing us joy and happiness we deserved and creating in us a love for brotherhood and peace.
To one and all, a sincere and dedicated acknowledgement.