St. Mary's Syrian church at Cherai, popularly known as Cherai Valiyapally, was established in April 1802 as per the permission granted by Sakthan Thamburan, the Raja (King) of the erstwhile princely State of Kochi. The founder parishioners of this church were members of the ancient St. Thomas church at North Paravur. It was Pulikottil Ittoop Kathanar of Kunnamkulam (Mor Dionysius Pulikottil I) who celebrated the first Holy Qurbono in the church. In 1840 the old church building was reconstructed.
Cherai St. Mary's church is one of the prominent parishes in the Kochi diocese. The main thronos here is dedicated to the Mother of God and the thronos on either sides are named after Mor Thoma Sleeho and Mor Geevarghese Sahdo. The sacred relics of Maphryono St. Baselios Yeldho Bava of Kothamangalam is installed in one of the altars of the church. The church have some beautiful paintings and works that adorn the ceiling and the walls which is of great attraction to the tourists. There are two shrines under the parish; one at the Republic road and another at the Cherai beach. The St. George church (Cheriapally) at Cherai, St. John's church at Ayyampilly and St. Mary's church at Areepalam are parishes that separated from the Valiyapally in due course. The main festival of the St. Mary's Valiyapally is celebrated on January 15th.
Late lamented Catholicos of the East Aboon Mor Baselios Paulose II (1996), Mor Athanasius Paulose Kadavil I (1907) and late Mor Severios Mulayirickal, the founder of Koratty Zion Seminary (1962), were members of this parish.
Sunday School & Office buildings of the Cherai St.Mary's Church
1. Kochi diocesan directory published in 1972
2. Photos taken on July 3, 2006