The Syro-Malabar Catholic community formed in Britain as a result of migration from India, which increased in the decades following the end of British rule in 1947. There are now an estimated 1.5 million members of the British Indian population, according to the last U.K. census in 2011, 10% of whom are Christian.
When the Syro-Malabar Eparchy of Great Britain was erected in 2016, it had 23 priests. Srampickal said that today that figure had doubled to 46, with a further 10 expected to join next year.
"With the generosity, cooperation, and support of many people, including the local bishops, priests, and laity, we were able to plan and grow in many ways," he said.
As part of a five-year pastoral plan called "Living Stones," Srampickal oversaw the reorganization of the eparchy's 173 Holy Qurbana (Mass) centers into 74 parishes, missions or proposed missions in eight regions.
The eparchy is based in Preston, Lancashire, a city known for its loyalty to the Catholic faith long after the English Reformation. Srampickal is based at the Syro-Malabar Cathedral of St Alphonsa, a soaring Gothic Revival building previously known as St. Ignatius Church.
The bishop said it was "providential" that the eparchy is based in Preston, a city whose name derives from the Old English meaning "priests' settlement." The "spacious and beautiful" building was donated by Lancaster diocese. The church was originally served by Jesuit priests. One of its curates was the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.
"A great legacy has been handed over to us and we are immensely grateful for that," Srampickal said. "As the Eparchy is spread across England, Wales, and Scotland, we have meetings and gatherings in different parts of Great Britain, often for practical purposes in the Midlands."
Although the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is not well known in wider British society, the bishop said that its members had not encountered misunderstandings among Latin Rite Catholics.
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"Before the foundation of the Eparchy, the Syro-Malabar faithful were very much part of their local parishes. The priests and the people understood our traditions and appreciated our presence and contributions," he said.
"The faith we share is the same, but the Syro-Malabar Church is a church sui iuris, with her own unique liturgy, spirituality, theology, and discipline."
"It was to promote these unique patrimonies that the Holy See established the Eparchy of Great Britain, and I am glad that the bishops, priests and the faithful were understanding, welcoming, supportive, and encouraging the Eparchy in many ways."
Srampickal said that some bishops in Britain had shown "extraordinary care and concern" towards Syro-Malabar Catholics.
"Certainly, the Eparchy of Great Britain will ever be grateful to them, and their generosity will be marked in our history," he said. "I am deeply convinced that faith and gifts are not merely for 'preserving,' but for sharing and celebrating. Knowing ourselves and others, without fear and misunderstanding, are an integral part of Christian love and spirituality."
Syro-Malabar Catholics appear notably successful at passing on the faith to the younger generation. While teens are sometimes scarce at Masses in Britain, it's common to see Syro-Malabar youngsters attending church with their families.