Search

Priest of Harold Hill church dies due to coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 17:32 12 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:32 12 May 2020

Dr Biji Markose Chirathilattu dedicated his life to tirelessly supporting others. Picture: St Thomas JSOC

Dr Biji Markose Chirathilattu dedicated his life to tirelessly supporting others. Picture: St Thomas JSOC

St Thomas JSOC

The parish priest of St Thomas Jacobite Syrian Orthodox in Harold Hill has died after testing positive to coronavirus.

From left to right: Fr Abin Markose, assistant vicar, 
Fr Dr Biji Markose Chirathilattu, 
councillor Jan Sargent, Dr Mathews Mor Antheemos , patriarchal vicar of the UK, and 
Biju Jacob, Ireland diocese and treasurer of St Thomas JSO Church. Picture: St Thomas JSOCFrom left to right: Fr Abin Markose, assistant vicar, Fr Dr Biji Markose Chirathilattu, councillor Jan Sargent, Dr Mathews Mor Antheemos , patriarchal vicar of the UK, and Biju Jacob, Ireland diocese and treasurer of St Thomas JSO Church. Picture: St Thomas JSOC

Fr Dr Biji Markose Chirathilattu, who was 52, had dedicated his life to tirelessly supporting others.

He died on Wednesday May 6, after falling ill the Friday before. He was admitted to Worthing Hospital just a day before he died.

Originally from Kerala, India, he worked as a hospital chaplain for Western Sussex Hospitals Trust, as well as his work at St Thomas.

A spokesman from the hospital trust said: “Fr Dr Biji worked tirelessly to meet the spiritual and religious needs of our patients, their loved ones and all of us.”

The parish priest died on Wednesday May 6 due to coronavirus at a hospital in Worthing.  Picture: St Thomas JSOCThe parish priest died on Wednesday May 6 due to coronavirus at a hospital in Worthing. Picture: St Thomas JSOC

The priest’s brother, Diji said: “Biji loved what he did and was always there to support others.

You may also want to watch:

“As well as working at Worthing Hospital and in Portsmouth, Biji travelled the country to lead services for people who wanted to pray together.

“He will be greatly missed by all those who knew him.”

Fr Dr Biji celebrated 24 years of service in July at St Thomas and he worked hard to initiate many community projects, such as recently creating free grocery kits for the community during the crisis and advising the vulnerable in Harold Hill on how to protect themselves from coronavirus.

Young people of St Thomas remember him as a “great teacher,” a “father figure,” and an “amazing human and role model, who touched the lives of every he met”.

Friend and colleague Basil John, charity co-ordinator of St Thomas said: “He was a pillar of support for the NHS team, who were giving emotional and spiritual care to people at the end of their lives in the absence of loved ones.

“He created several videos to comfort and keep frontline key workers motivated during this time of crisis.

“He never took leave as he was determined to be available for those in need.”

Church member and NHS worker, Jincy Bino Vaithara Elias said: “While we clap hands and beat pots and pans for doctors and nurses, let us not forget the hospital chaplains of all faiths.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Romford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Most Read

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Most Read

Latest from the Romford Recorder