Monday, January 14, 2013

In search of St.Thomas and the oldest church in the world..

'' Where's the oldest church in the world ? " asks ' the font ' . All my guesses - Rome, Armenia, Israel - wrong.  It's in India. Seems that in AD 42 St.Thomas overcame his doubts and set off on a voyage to the East.

Tomorrow Angus flies off to Moscow and Beijing to speak to serious folk in dark suits about ' trillion dollar coins ' and ' Brixit '.  ' The font ' will be heading off to India to visit the school for blind girls and visit the saintly but disorganized Jain lady with the chaotic dog hospital ( Frontline and Avantix already on the way ) .

Later,on a whim,we'll take Air India down to the south of the country in search of St.Thomas. Not a religious quest ; more intrigued that this early figure should have wandered so far away and built a series of churches. 

A call to a professor at the local university. The saints tomb easy to find. The cave where he lived and the  place of his martyrdom a little more difficult to pinpoint  - a  little chapel , surrounded by the lights of the new airport runway , marks the spot. The six churches Thomas built  scattered across southern India. Some now washed into the sea, others in ruins, others have simply disappeared. The little church of Thiruvitkamhode right on the tip of the subcontinent the only suvivor.

Here's a couple of links. The second from the London Review of Books  ( if you can deal with the hassle of the free registration ) the more interesting of the two .


  1. Sounds like a fascinating quest. Looking forward to the blogposts.
    Safe travels.

  2. So interesting, can't wait to read about your adventures!

    Best wishes to you both for a safe trip,
    Clive & Co

  3. Most interesting post. Being abysmally or should that be blissfully ignorant of what Brexit means I had to research that before even starting on St Thomas and India. Then there was the reference to Jainism and the intriguing mention of a disorganised lady running a dog hospital and many many minutes later I am typing this comment. Bon voyage and I hope your rabies vaccinations are up to date.

  4. Angus, this was an eye-opening post for me. My guess would have been wrong too regarding the location of the oldest church in the world.
    Glad that you are able to help out the chaotic dog hospital with your kind donation of flea/tick medication.
    Safe journey to both you and the Font, and we'll see you both back here when you return with lots of interesting news from those far reaches of the world. I am looking forward to your posts from this trip.
    Take care.

  5. I would have had a better chance of guessing where the church is NOT. Very interesting not only to me but Carl as well--Thank-you for sharing.

    I wish you and 'the font,' safe and enjoyable travels!

  6. Have had to look up trillion dollar coins, Brixit, and St.Thomas. 2nd link a pain but worth it. Safe travels Shirley and Lorenzo xxxx

  7. That sounds very interesting: looking forward to hearing your tales.

  8. How fascinating! I hope you have a great trip, both times. I can't wait to hear about the adventure!

  9. Just curious about where you and the font will rendezvous.

    Wishing you both safe and interesting travels. (Latest news this morning is that the trillion dollar coin is a non starter!)

    1. All being well we shall be sitting down to breakfast in The Leela Palace Hotel in New Delhi on Thursday.That assumes the snow is Moscow doesn't lead to delays.

  10. Oldest church? Very thought provoking. Quite an interesting journey ahead of you.
    Be safe, stay well and enjoy your adventure.
    Trillion dollar coin is off the table, it appears. I saw a TV show quite a while back about a woman with a school for blind girls. The woman was a beast, odious,expected to be treated like the queen but she was the only one helping.

  11. There is the connection that Jesus Christ had been to India - looking forward to the results - bless your Lady Font for what she is doing in India - love and respect - Susanne, Foxiie, Daisy and Kiri

  12. Be careful on your travels. India has a lot going on right now.

  13. Dame Maggie won at the Globes - cheers!

  14. Safe journey! Enjoy the seriousness of the dark suits and the fun of finding the church!

  15. That sounds like a fun trip, from the crazy "trillion dollar coin" to the even more exciting church! That would not have been my guess as to the location. I bet that you'll have lots of fun.

  16. Looking forward to your 'report' on the trip ;) Have an amazing time!