Trichy-Tanjore Diocese of the Church of South India

Last updated

The CSI Tiruchirappalli-Thanjavur Diocese
Location
Country India
Ecclesiastical province The Church of South India
Statistics
Members88,831 (as on 2000)
Information
Secular priests 100+
Current leadership
BishopRt.Rev.Dr. Dhanraj Chandrasekaran
Website
http://www.trichytanjore.csi1947.com/

The CSI Tiruchirappalli Thanjavur Diocese (தென்னிந்திய திருச்சபை, [https://ta.wikipedia.org/wiki/திருச்சிராப்பள்ளி-தஞ்சாவூர்_மறைமாவட்டம் ) is a diocese of Church of South India in Tamil Nadu state of India. The diocese is one among the 24 dioceses of Church of South India and was one of the first 14 dioceses to be formed at the inaugural of the Church of South India in 1947.

Contents

About the diocese

The diocese spreads over the Mayiladuthurai district, Nagapattinam District, Tiruvarur District, Thanjavur District, Tiruchirappalli District, a part of Perambalur District, Karur District, a part of Tirupur district, a part of Coimbatore District, a part of Cuddalore District, a part of Pudukottai District, a part of Ariyalur District and part of the Union Territory of Puducherry & Karaikal. For administration purposes the diocese is subdivided into six District Church Councils(DCC) - Thanjavur DCC, Tiruchirappalli DCC, Perambalur DCC, Karur DCC, Dharapuram DCC and the Anaimalai Hills DCC. The diocese had a membership of 88,831 in 2000 and the mission in the diocese is carried through 100+ ordained pastors along with a bishop. The diocese has partnership with Leicester in The United Kingdom. Empowerment of women and dalits are the main thrusts of the diocese.

Ministry

The diocese does Education Ministry, Hospital Ministry, Tribal Welfare Ministry, Mission and Evangelisation Ministry and Ministry among women. Education Ministry: The diocese has 52 primary schools, 2 high schools, 17 higher secondary schools (including St.Peter's Higher Secondary School, Thanjavur, which taught English to Indians for the first time in India since 1784, St.John's Vestry Higher Secondary School and Bishop Heber Higher Secondary School, Teppakulam, Tiruchirappalli in education service since 1763 and 1762 respectively), 2 nursing schools, 1 industrial training centre and 4 colleges specialised in Arts & Science, Management, Nursing & Community Welfare (including Bishop Thorp College, Dharapuram, the first self-financing college in Tamil Nadu). All institutions of this diocese are religious minority educational institutions. These institutions are some among the earliest institutions of the Tamil Nadu state started by the then missionaries with a highly dedicated sacrifice and a vision of super quality education in the area wherever they are located. Most of these institutions are residential. Hospital Ministry: The diocese has 2 general hospitals; The CSI Mission General Hospital is located in Uraiyur, Tiruchirappalli and the CSI Dr. Anne Booth Mission Hospital in CSI Mission Compound, Dharapuram. These hospitals are multi-speciality hospitals on service committed and dedicated to the glory of God through the ministry of healing with modern facilities, infrastructure, dedicated management and staff. Tribal Welfare Ministry: The diocese operates Tribal Welfare programmes in the tribal area whichever located in the jurisdiction of the diocese. Mission and Evangelisation Ministry: The diocese does Mission and Evangelisation programme in the limit of the diocese's territories. Ministry among women: Having the motto of empowering women in the diocese, the diocese operates various programmes and welfare measures for the development of the life style and social status of the women. Diocesan Press and Book: The diocese has its own printing press at Uraiyur, Tiruchirappalli; where they print all their reading materials. They also publish a book called "Thiruchabai Malar" (திருச்சபை மலர்) on every month which is circulated internally.

Officers of the Council

The diocese is headed by a bishop, who is an elected presbyter through the Diocesan Council. He is considered as the head of the diocese and all the institutions belonging to the diocese. Other than the Bishop as the head of all, the Clerical Secretary position takes care of the Pastoral & Evangelical workers in the diocese, the Lay Secretary position takes care of all the Lay Workers in the diocese, the Educational Secretary position takes care of all Educational Institutions and the workers of those institutions and as usual of all the organisations, this diocese also has a position for the Diocesan Treasurer to manage all the incomes and expenditures of the diocese.

Bishops of the diocese and their tenure

Following is the list of bishops served in the Diocese.

† The Right Rev. Dr. Edgar Bentley Thorp (1947-1962)

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Edgar Bentley Thorp Bishop Thorpe.jpg
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Edgar Bentley Thorp

Wesleyan Methodist missionary Rt. Rev. Dr. Edgar Bentley Thorp, who was born in Bengaluru was the first Bishop of the diocese. He was consecrated as bishop in St. George's Cathedral, Chennai on 27 September 1947 when he was aged 42. He was the son of a former missionary and Chairman of Mysore District, Mr.William Hubert Thorp and was one among the two Methodists consecrated as bishops. A distinguished scholar and educationist educated at Kingswood School and with degrees from Oxford and Cambridge. He was a brilliant mathematician in the famous Oxford University, but he gave up the science for the Church. After a year studying Comparative Religion at Marburg, Edgar went to the Trichinopoly (Tiruchirappalli) District in 1930. He was Principal of the Bible School at Dharapuram, training village evangelists. He was the Chairman of the District from 1945 to 1947. He was guiding the diocese as bishop for 15 years and left India on 1962 on health grounds. His ministry among poverty-stricken village Christians in the Dharapuram mass movement area and on the tea plantations in Valparai area, was underpinned by his simple lifestyle; and as bishop, the impartiality of his leadership fostered unity between the Anglican minority and Methodist majority in the diocese. He died at Prestatyn on 1 September 1991.

Bishop Thorp Arts and Science College in Dharapuram is named in his remembrance. Also, the diocese have named lot of constructions in some of its institutions in his remembrance. For example, Thorp Block at Bishop Heber Higher Secondary School in 2001 Puthur, Tiruchirappalli, Bishop Thorp hostel for women at Bishop Heber College 2008 Tiruchirappalli and Bishop Thorp Memorial Church at Chinnaputhur Pastorate in Dharapuram, 2014 Ammapatti village.

† The Right Rev. Dr. David Chellappa (1962-1964) (Interim Bishop)

The Rt.Rev. Dr. David Chellappa Bishop David Chellappa.jpg
The Rt.Rev. Dr. David Chellappa

The Rt.Rev. David Chellappa, the first Indian bishop of the Diocese of Madras of the Church of South India, was requested by The Most Rev. Arnold Henry Legg, the then Moderator of CSI, to extend his service and leadership to Tiruchirappalli Thanjavur diocese, as Bishop Thorp left India on a health emergency and couldn't plan for a backup then. Bishop Chellappa had a long personal connection with the diocese. After being ordained in 1933 by Rt. Rev. Edward Harry Mansfield Waller, he was sent to Tiruchirappalli district to serve two churches - Mettupatti and Irungalur. The bishop was the son of Mrs. Elizabeth Daniel Chellappa, who hailed from one of the illustrious and distinguished families of Thanjavur. Mrs. Elizabeth Daniel Chellappa was a daughter of Munsif A. David Pillay, who served as the Legal Adviser to King Serfoji II of Bhonsle dynasty in Thanjavur. Munsif David was a great grandson of Mr.Malayperuman of Thanjavur who was led to Christ by the great and devoted Danish Missionary Rev. Christian Friedrich Schwarz. Munsif David's daughter Mrs. Elizabeth married Justice Daniel Chellappa. And Mrs. Elizabeth Daniel Chellappa christened her first born son as David in remembrance of her father Munsif David. Bishop Chellappa was guiding the diocese as an "interim Bishop" till 7 February 1964 and passed on to the glory the same year on August 25. During his stay in United States of America, the famous Hope College, Holland, Michigan State, conferred an honorary Doctor of Divinity [D.D] degree on Rt. Rev. David Chellappa.

† The Most Rev. Dr. Solomon Doraiswamy (1964-1982)

The Most Rev. Dr. Solomon Doraiswamy was the first Indian bishop to lead the diocese. When Bishop Thorp left India, the diocese was in a state of confusion. The Tiruchirappalli Thanjavur diocese had failed to make a panel. As per the constitution, they were required to send a panel of at least two names. Owing to the internal troubles, they had sent only one name and so the Synod of CSI appointed Rev. Solomon Doraiswamy as the Bishop in Tiruchirappalli Thanjavur diocese. He was officially consecrated as the bishop on 8 February 1964 at St. Peter's Church (built by Rev. Christian Friedrich Schwarz), Thanjavur by The Most Rev. Arnold Henry Legg (Moderator) and co-consecrated by The Most Rev. Pereji Solomon (Deputy Moderator). Bishop Chellappa's ring, cross and Staff were used in the consecration to Bishop Doraiswamy as they were not arranged on time.

During the fourteenth Church of South India Synod held from 10 to 14 January 1974 at the Women's Christian College, Madras, Bishop Doraiswamy was elected as the Deputy Moderator and held the office from 1974 to 1980 for over three terms (1974-1976; 1976-1978 and 1978-1980). Again during the seventeenth Church of South India Synod held from 10 to 14 January 1980 at Madras Christian College, Tambaram, Bishop Doraiswamy became the Moderator and held the office for a term up to 1982. In his tenure, he rejuvenated and started so many people friendly and people development projects. One of his achievements was the rebirth of Bishop Heber College, Tiruchirapalli. The most remembered are the Bishop Heber College, Bishop Heber Schools, Kindernothilfe, etc. The Senate of Serampore College (University) awarded an honorary doctorate degree upon Bishop Doraiswamy in 1981. He retired in his 65th age in the year 1982 on attaining superannuation.

† The Right Rev. Dr. Rajamanickam Paulraj (1982-1998)

The Right Rev. Dr. R. Paulraj The Most Rev. Dr. R. Paulraj.jpg
The Right Rev. Dr. R. Paulraj

The Right Rev. Dr. Rajamanickam Paulraj was elected and consecrated as the third Bishop of the Tiruchirappalli Thanjavur diocese on 21 January 1982. He guided the diocese for 16 years. An excellent scholar and a bishop who was awarded with three doctorates. He was actively involved in the CSI Synod as a bishop and was elected to serve as the Deputy Moderator of the Church of South India for the term 1994 – 1996 during the twenty fourth Church of South India Synod held on January 1994 at the Bishop Heber College, Tiruchirappalli. Considering the need for higher education in Dharapuram area, this former Bishop took great efforts to start "Bishop Thorp College" affiliated to the Bharathiar University, Coimbatore in 1984 – under the C.S.I Tiruchirappalli Thanjavur Diocese. Thus "Bishop Thorp College" emerged as the "First Self-Financing College" in the state of Tamil Nadu. He passed on to the glory on his 82nd age on 18 January 2016.

† The Right Rev. Dr. Daniel James Srinivasan (1998-2008)

† The Right Rev. Dr. Gnanamuthu Paul Vasanthakumar (2008-2018)

† The Right Rev. Dr. Dhanraj Chandrasekaran (2018 incumbent)

The Right Rev. Dr. Dhanraj Chandrasekaran has been elected and consecrated as the sixth bishop of the diocese. He was consecrated by The Most Rev. Thomas Kanjirappally Oommen, the Moderator of the Church of South India and bishop in Madhya Kerala Diocese, on 28 May 2018 at St. Luke’s Church, Bishop Heber College in Tiruchirappalli.

Theological education

The diocese recognises theological degrees granted by institutions affiliated with the Board of Theological Education of the Senate of Serampore College. These might include:

List of Pastorates in Tiruchirappalli Thanjavur Diocese

List of Pastorates in Anaimalai (Valparai) DCC

List of Pastorates in Dharapuram DCC

List of Pastorates in Karur DCC

List of Pastorates in Perambalur Kollidam DCC

List of Pastorates in Thanjavur DCC

List of Pastorates in Tiruchirappalli DCC

Bishops appointed in India by Church of England before the Church of South India Union

The Bishops of Calcutta became Metropolitans in 1835; Royal Letters Patent, dated 10 October 1835.

Related Research Articles

Church of South India union of Anglican and Protestant churches in South India

The Church of South India (CSI) is a united Protestant Church, being the second-largest Christian church in India based on the number of members; it is the result of union of a number of Protestant churches in South India.

Church of North India

The Church of North India (CNI), the dominant united Protestant Church in northern India, was established on 29 November 1970 by bringing together the Protestant churches working in northern India; it is thus a province of the worldwide Anglican Communion and member of the World Methodist Council, as well as the World Communion of Reformed Churches. The merger, which had been in discussions since 1929, came eventually between the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon (Anglican), the United Church of Northern India,, the Baptist Churches of Northern India, the Church of the Brethren in India, which withdrew in 2006, the Methodist Church and the Disciples of Christ denominations.

Peter Sugandhar Indian theologian

B. P. Sugandhar was the fifth successor of Frank Whittaker as Bishop - in - Medak of the Church of South India whose bishopric lasted for more than a decade and half from 1993 through 2009 coinciding with the archbishoprics of Samineni Arulappa and Marampudi Joji of the Archdiocese of Hyderabad.

Diocese of Medak of the Church of South India

The Diocese of Medak is one of the prominent Dioceses in the Church of South India, a Protestant Uniting Church with its headquarters in Medak comprising nearly 200 Presbyters ministering to Telugu, Lambadi, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Hindustani, English and other linguistic groups numbering nearly 1/3rds of a million spread over 105 pastorates and administered through 3 District Church Councils (DCC), namely, the Town DCC, the Medak DCC and the Godavari DCC geographically located in the erstwhile civil districts of Adilabad, Nizamabad, Medak, Rangareddy, Hyderabad and Mahboobnagar in Telangana.

Govada Dyvasirvadam is Bishop Emeritus of Krishna-Godavari Diocese of the Church of South India.

John Wilson Gladstone was the Moderator of the Church of South India as well as Bishop of South Kerala.

T. B. D. Prakasa Rao Indian bishop

Bishop T. B. D. Prakasa Rao was the fourth CSI-Bishop - in - Krishna-Godavari of the Protestant Church of South India who occupied the Cathedra placed at CSI-St. Paul's Cathedral, Vijayawada. The Bishopric of Prakasa Rao lasted for two decades from 1981 through 2001, one of the longest in the history of the Church of South India Society. Prakasa Rao led the bishopric of Krishna-Godavari that comprised the Christian missions established by the London Missionary Society (LMS) and the Church Missionary Society (CMS) which merged its South India Christian missions in India into the Church of South India Society which was inaugurated in 1947 at the CSI-St. George's Cathedral, Madras.

Ryder Devapriam was Systematic Theologian who taught during the 1960s and the 1970s at the Andhra Christian Theological College, a Protestant Regional Theologiate in Secunderabad, affiliated to the nation's first University, the Senate of Serampore College (University) {a University under Section 2 (f) of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956}with degree-granting authority validated by a Danish Charter and ratified by the Government of West Bengal.

South Kerala Diocese is a diocese of the Church of South India which consists of CSI churches in Trivandrum and Kollam districts of Kerala. It is one of the biggest dioceses in the Church of South India. In April 2015 a part of the diocese was removed to form a new diocese, the Kollam-Kottarakkara Diocese. In Kerala, there were until April 2015 three other CSI Dioceses viz: North Kerala Diocese, Madhya Kerala Diocese, East Kerala Diocese. In 2010 the diocese had 352 ordained pastors, 49 retired pastors and more than 200 church workers. There are 60 districts and 623 churches in this diocese.

Diocese of Madhya Kerala of the Church of South India

The Madhya Kerala Diocese is one of the twenty-four dioceses of the Church of South India covering the central part of Kerala. When the Church of South India was formed on 27 September 1947 the diocese was called the Diocese of Central Travancore. It was a part of the erstwhile Anglican Diocese of Travancore and Cochin founded in 1879. The Diocese was later renamed as Diocese of Madhya Kerala.

CSI Immanuel Church, Ernakulam Place in Kerala, India

The CSI Immanuel Cathedral, Ernakulam, under the Diocese of Cochin of the Church of south India, was dedicated more than 103 years ago.

Thomas K. Oommen 20th and 21st-century Indian bishop

Thomas Kanjirappally Oommen is an Indian Anglican bishop. He is the Bishop of the Madhya Kerala Diocese and past Moderator of Church of South India.

Baker Ninan Fenn Indian bishop

Baker Ninan Fenn is the Bishop of North Kerala Diocese of Church of South India.

K. Reuben Mark

The Right Reverend K. Reuben Mark is the present Bishop in Karimnagar and the sixth in succession and occupies the Cathedra of the Bishop placed in Karimnagar's CSI-Wesley Cathedral. Reuben Mark is currently a Council Member for the period 2015-2018 at the fully-ecumenical United Theological College, Bangalore. During the XXXVIth session of Church of South India Synod, Reuben Mark has been elected as Deputy Moderator for the triennium 2020-2023 succeeding V. Prasada Rao.

Bishop G. B. Devasahayam(born 23 August 1925; died 20 August 1996) was the second elected CSI-Bishop - in - Karimnagar Diocese of the Church of South India who occupied the Cathedra from 1982 through 1987 placed in the CSI-Wesley Cathedral in Karimnagar Town in Telangana, India

Bishop Babbili Prabhudass(died 1996) was the first elected Bishop - in - Karimnagar Diocese of the Church of South India which was ecclesiastically bifurcated from the Diocese of Dornakal of the Church of South India in early 1978. Prabhudass led the bishopric for a period of five years from 1978 through 1982.

Bishop I. Jesudasan was the third Bishop-in-South Kerala Diocese of the Church of South India.

The Right Reverend Mohan Manoraj is the present Bishop - in - Karnataka Southern Diocese of the Church of South India, the sixth in succession, and occupies the Cathedra at the CSI-Shanthi Cathedral in Mangalore who has been consecrated on 14 December 2015.

A. C. Solomon Raj Indian theologian

A. C. Solomon Raj(born 18 March 1961) is the seventh successor of Frank Whittaker and eighth Bishop in Medak of the Protestant Church of South India Society and shepherds the Diocese from the Cathedra of the Bishop housed in the CSI-Medak Cathedral in Medak Town, Telangana, India. On 12 October 2016, the Church of South India Synod headquartered in Chennai, appointed Solomon Raj to assume the ecclesiastical Office of the Bishopric of Medak without following the usual practise if election and was consecrated the next day on 13 October 2016 at the CSI-St. George's Cathedral, Chennai, ending four years of sede vacante in the Diocese of Medak which was without a Bishop during the intervening period of 2012–2016.

Samuel Devasahayam Bishop of Thoothukudi Nazareth Diocese

Samuel Ebenezer Clement Devasahayam is the 2nd Bishop of Thoothukudi - Nazareth Diocese of the Church of South India.

References

1.