Everything is overwhelming about this newly constructed parish church, touted as the biggest in Kerala.
With a built up area of 75,000 sq ft, the St. Augustine’s Forane Church rises up to 235 ft and three storeys high at Ramapuram, a village near Pala. The new building, comprising nine towers of various sizes and the edifice, will be blessed and dedicated on January 13.
It took the church authorities nearly a decade to construct the church, which has a capacity to conduct Mass for 5,000 people. The edifice will be home to several features including a 110-ft long Thora, museum, parish library, administrative offices, guest rooms and a couple of reception halls.
Further, special facilities have been set upon both sides of the sanctuary to make the structure friendly to the differently abled and senior citizens.
“It is designed as a combination of Greek, Portuguese, German and Byzantine architecture. Relief sculptures portraying the baptism of Jesus and the Virgin Mary adorn both walls of the alter,” said George Njarakkunnel, vicar of the church.
The existing centuries-old church building, which stands next to the upcoming church, will be retained. The church was built with donations from members of the parish, including those living abroad, the authorities said. They, however, kept the cost of construction confidential.
“The need for a bigger church arose with the church here is on its course to become Basilica in a few years,” the vicar added.
Cardinal George Alencherry and Mar Joseph Kallarangattu will officiate the ceremony. Cardinal Cleemis Mar Baselios will deliver the message.