Bishop Joseph Srampickal
The Holy Father Pope Francis has erected the Eparchy of Great Britain of the Syro Malabar Church based in Preston. Pope Francis has appointed Dr. Fr. Joseph Srampickal, a priest from the Eparchy of Palai in Kerala, until now Vice Rector of the Collegio De Propoganda Fide in Rome, as the first Bishop of the Eparchy of Great Britain.
The See of the Circumscription is in Preston, in the Diocese of Lancaster, where the Cathedral dedicated to St Alphonsa, the first Syro Malabar saint, is located. Bishop Srampickal’s episcopal ordination took place on October 9,2016 at Preston North End’s Deepdale Stadium.
Bishop Dr. Joseph Srampickal was born on May 30, 1967 in Poovarany, in the Eparchy of Palai. He entered the minor seminary and he studied philosophy at St Thomas Apostolic Seminary, Vadavathoor, and theology at the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome, where he obtained a licentiate in biblical theology. He did his Masters in Oriental Theology from Oxford University, England. Besides his native language Malayalam, he is fluent in English, Italian and German.
Ordained a priest on August 12, 2000, he has held the following positions: Professor at the minor seminary and Ephrem Formation Centre of Pala; Director of the Mar Sleeva Nursing College, Cherpumkal; Director of the Evangelization Programme; Secretary of the Bishop; Pastor at Urulikunnam. From 2013, he was Vice Rector of the Pontifical Urbaniana College of the Propaganda Fide, Rome.
With over 38000 Syro Malabar faithful residents in England, Scotland and Wales, this was a welcome news for the Syro Malabar community in England and Wales.
The announcement of the new appointment was made by Cardinal George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of the Syro Malabar Church at Mount St Thomas and in Vatican simultaneously on July 28, 2016.