of South India, a brief History
Dr. Ninan Mathew
Church of South India was inaugurated on
September 27, 1947 in St. George's Cathedral,
became an independent country on August 15,
1947. The year 1947 was important to India as
a nation and to the church, not only in India
but also all over the world. The presiding
bishop of the inaugural function was Rt. Rev.
C. K. Jacob of the Anglican
Diocese of Travancore and Cochin.
A vast congregation gathered in the cathedral
at Madras from all over the world. History was
made as the following declaration was done by
Beloved brethren, in obedience to the Lord
Jesus Christ the head of the church, who on
the night of his passion prayed that his
disciples might be one, and by authority of
the governing bodies of the uniting churches
whose resolutions have been read in your
hearing and laid in your prayer before
Almighty God; I do hereby declare that these
three churches, namely:
Madras, Madura, Malabar, Jaffna, Kannda,
Church councils of the South India united
church of South India.
Hyderabad and Mysore districts; The Madras,
travancore and Cochin,
Tinnevelly and Dornakal dioceses of the
churches of India, Burma and Cylon; are become
one CHURCH OF SOUTH INDIA, and these bishops,
presbyters, deacons and probationers who have
assented to basis of union and accepted the
constitution of the Church of South India,
whose names are laid upon this Holy table are
bishops, presbyters and deacons of this
church. in the name of the Father, and the
son, and the Holy Sprit. Amen"
formal discussion on church union began in May
1919 at Tranquebar. This famous conference on
church union is known as Tranquebar 1919. One
of the main leaders of this conference and
later negotiations was Bishop V. S. Azariah of
the Dornakal diocese who was the first Indian
bishop of the Anglican Church. The Church of
South India is the result of twenty-eight
years of prayers and discussions. Of course,
this was consummation of the work of the Holy
sprit among leaders of the church.
inaugurations of the Church of South India
opened a new chapter in the history of the
churches. This was the first time in the
history of the church such a union was
realised between Episcopal and non-episcopal
churches. By this union four traditions came
of the three churches to come into Church of
South India was South India United Church (S.I.U.C.).
S.I.U.C. was formed in 1908. This was a union
between Congregationalists and Presbyterians.
The Basal Mission, district of Malabar also
joined the S.I.U.C. in 1919.
C.S.I. was inaugurated there were fourteen
dioceses. Today the church has twenty-one
dioceses and more than 2 million members.
There are seven diocese in Tamil
six in Andrhra Pradesh, four in Kerala,
three in Karnataka
and one in Sri Lanka.
are thankful to God for Church of south India.
At the same time we have to repent before God
for our failures in fulfilling the mission of
the Church. Let us re-dedicate ourselves to
live and work as true members of the church,
which is the Body of Christ.