In 2006, a group of about 27 families from Kerala, India, formed the St Mary’s Wellington Kerala Catholic Community under the spiritual leadership of Fr Joseph Akkara, the then parish priest of St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Hamilton.
One of the main goals of forming SKCCW was a desire to preserve and hand on the faith and ancestral traditions of the St Thomas Catholic Christians to the next generation, the most important of these being the celebration of the Divine Liturgy or Qurbana in the Syro-Malabar rite, which is one of the Eastern Catholic rites.
The NZ government’s recruitment drive in health care over the past years has seen a steady influx of Kerala Catholics from India and other parts of the world. Today the SKCCW is a vibrant community of about 500 families in the territory of Wellington Diocese led by Fr. Biju Xavier and Fr. Joy Raphel. Many members of the community are professionals working in Healthcare and Information Technology.