In 1791 the Parayil Tharakans built a church at Thycattussarry, the village of which Olavipe is a part, to house the statue of the family’s patron saint, St. Antony, which had been brought with them when they came to the place perhaps a century earlier.
The Parayils rebuilt the church twice to accommodate the growth in membership. The photographs reproduced below are of the third structure, constructed around 1881. This building, which had been a silent witness to several crucial events in the Malabar (Kerala) Church history, is now a memory. It was demolished a couple years back and a new church is almost complete at the same site. The number of parishioners today is perhaps lower than that of the original church!
This has been happening to several old churches in Kerala. Wonder whether the seminaries that churn out priests impart a sense of local history to the aspirants.
At least we have the photographs! And the story - 'Once upon a time there was a church...'