St Thomas Day/STEFM

Dr Graeme Blackman, VCC President, was guest at the Annual Event of St. Thomas Day celebrations on Saturday the 16th July 2022. He delivered an address to the gathering.

STEFM (St. Thomas Ecumenical Fellowship of Melbourne) is an informal fraternity of episcopal churches from Kerala (Malayalam speakers). Christianity has existed in India since St Thomas the apostle brought it to the sub-continent around the year 52 AD. Syro Malabar Christians and many other Syrian Churches of India consider the Apostle Thomas as their founder.

It is believed that St Thomas, affectionately called “Mar Thoma”, arrived at Kondungalloor on the Kerala coast in 52 AD. The fruit of the Apostle’s two decades of missionary work saw the establishment of more than seven communities (churches) on the south western coast of India. Unfortunately, at the end of his missionary efforts, St Thomas met with hostility and was martyred at Mylapore near Chennai, in 72 AD.

This year, 2022, marks the 1950th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Apostle Thomas.

The memorial feast of St Thomas the Apostle is on 3 July each year.

STEFM consists of several VCC Member Churches (along with other non-member churches) – St Mary’s Indian Orthodox Church, the St George Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, the St Marys Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, the St Thomas Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, the Melbourne Mar Thoma Church, the Immanuel Mar Thoma Church, the Church of South India, and the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church with their communities in South East, North and West.

Each parish associated with STEFM presented an item, with choirs, singing, drama and dancing.