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The Church of South India (CSI) came into being as a union of Anglican and Protestant churches in South India. It is India's second largest Christian church after the Roman Catholic Church in India. CSI is also one of four united churches in the Anglican Communion.

The inspiration for the Church of South India was born from ecumenism and inspired by the words of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Gospel of John, 17.21

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

That they all may be one is also the motto of the Church of South India.


The CSI was inaugurated in September 1947 at St. George's Cathedral Chennaimarker. It was formed from the union of the South India United Church (itself a union of churches from the Congregational, Presbyterian and Reformed traditions) and the southern provinces of the Anglican Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon and the Methodist Church of South India. . In the 1990s, a small number of Baptist and Pentecostal churches also joined the union

Discussions about the merging of South India's Protestant denominations began at a 1919 conference at Tranquebarmarker (today known as Tharangambadimarker), and by the independence of India in 1947, the union was achieved and the CSI officially established .


The church accepts the Lambeth Quadrilateral as its basis and recognises the historical episcopate in its constitutional form . The CSI Church is the second largest church in India based on the population of members, next to Catholic church and The largest Protestant denomination in the country is the Church of South India


The church is governed by a synod based in Chennaimarker and headed by a presiding bishop bearing the title of Moderator who is elected every two years. The current moderator is J. W. Gladstone, the bishop of the Diocese of South Keralamarker.


The church is further divided into 22 dioceses, each under the supervision of a bishop, including one diocese encompassing Jaffnamarker, Sri Lankamarker. The dioceses are governed by diocesan councils comprising of all clergy in the diocese as well as lay people elected from the local congregations.

Name Headquarters Location Bishop Link
Dornakal Diocese Dornakalmarker Andhra Pradeshmarker B. Satyanandam Devamani [89164]
Karimnagar Diocese Karimnagarmarker P. Surya Prakash [89165]
Krishna-Godavari Diocese Machilipatnammarker G. Dyvasirvadam [89166]
Medak Diocese Secunderabadmarker T.S kanaka prasad [89167]
Nandyal Diocese Nandyalmarker P. J. Lawrence [89168]
Rayalaseema Diocese Kadapamarker K. B. Yesuvaraprasad [89169]
Central Karnataka Diocese Bangaloremarker Karnatakamarker Suputhrappa Vasantha Kumar [89170]
Karnataka Northern Diocese Dharwadmarker J. Prabhakara Rao [89171]
Karnataka Southern Diocese Mangaloremarker Devaraj Bangera [89172]
East Kerala Diocese Melukavumattom Keralamarker K. G. Daniel [89173]
Madhya Kerala Diocese Kottayammarker Thomas Samuel [89174]
North Kerala Diocese Shoranurmarker K. P. Kuruvila [89175]
South Kerala Diocese Trivandrummarker John Wilson Gladstone [89176]
Coimbatore Diocese Coimbatoremarker Tamil Nadumarker Manickam Dorai [89177]
Kanyakumari Diocese Nagercoilmarker G Davakadasham [89178]
Madras Diocese Chennaimarker V. Devasahayam [89179]
Madurai-Ramnad Diocese Maduraimarker A.Christopher Asir [89180]
Thoothukudi - Nazareth Diocese Thoothukudimarker J. A. D. Jebachandran [89181]
Tirunelveli Diocese Tirunelvelimarker J.J. Christudoss [89182]
Trichy-Tanjore Diocese Tiruchirappallimarker G. Paul Vasanthakumar [89183]
Vellore Diocese Velloremarker Yesuratnam William [89184]
Jaffna Diocese Jaffnamarker Sri Lankamarker Daniel Thiagarajah [89185]


The church has 14,000 local congregations with 3.8 million members worldwide. While the majority of the members are in Indiamarker, congregations exist in Sri Lankamarker where a full diocese is organized, the United Statesmarker, the United Kingdommarker, Australia, Canadamarker, Bahrainmarker, Kuwaitmarker, Qatarmarker and the United Arab Emiratesmarker.


The church runs 2000 schools, 130 colleges and 104 hospitals in South India. In the 1960s the church became conscious of its social responsibility and started organising rural development projects. There are 50 such projects all over India, 50 training centres for young people and 500 residential hostels for a total of 35,000 children.

The School for Small Farmers is a specific agency catering to the needs of the farming communities in their Dalit and Adivasi congregations.


The logo of the CSI is a cross superimposed on a stylised lotus and surrounded by the motto and the name of the church. The symbols of the lotus and the Christian cross used in the logo possess a rich cultural heritage in India and is used to symbolise the call and mission of the CSI.

In Indian mythology, the lotus flower is the seat of the Creator. It is also known variably as those that are born in mud and the flower of the sun. These symbolisms are adopted to interpret the position of God and the nature and role of the people in the CSI.

The petals of the lotus and the cross are knitted together with the symbol of the fiery-tongues of the Holy Spirit as referenced in the book of the Acts of the Apostles. It is an expression of the people's communion with God. The original colors, red (for life) and purple (for piety and ecclesiastical) on a white backdrop communicate the nature of the mystical union where an inseparable companionship is established between God and humanity.

The motto and the name of the CSI is placed in a circle around the lotus and the cross. The words are taken from the prayer of Jesus Christ who prayed not only for the church but also for the whole world. This universality is portrayed by placing the words in a form of circle, a symbol which also represents the universe. It calls for the unity of both the church and all peoples of India.

The central position of the cross in the logo conveys the idea that it was the sacrifice that was made by Jesus on the cross that is the foundation of the Church. The four ends of the cross painted in deep color indicates that it is the cross that guides all Chrsitians to join in one stream to pray and labor united for a peaceful coexistence and communal harmony.


Theological education

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


The CSI is a member of the Anglican Communion and its bishops participate in the Lambeth Conferences and has representation on the Anglican Consultative Council. It is also a member in the World Council of Churchesmarker, World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and the National Council of Churches in India. The CSI is in full communion with the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church of India and the Church of North India (CNI).

The CSI, CNI, and Mar Thoma Church jointly formed the Communion of Churches in India (CCI) in 1978 for mutual recognition of the ministry and leaders, intercommunal relationship, and to explore possibilities of working together especially in the field of evangelization in India and other areas of cooperation in the fulfillment of the mission of the Church.

Prominent Members

See also


Image:St Mary's Church Chennai.jpg|
St. Mary's Churchmarker, Chennai

Oldest Anglican church in India
Holy Trinity Cathedral, Palayamkottai, Tirunelveli
St. George's Cathedralmarker, Chennai
Anderson Church, Chennai
English Wesley Church in Broadway, Chennaimarker.

One of the oldest Methodist churches in the Asia Pacific region
Image:CSI Communion Church of the Risen Redeemer.jpg|
Communion service, Church of the Risen Redeemer, Kodambakkammarker, Chennai
Image:The CSI Church.JPG|
Church in Nangamangalammarker, Chittoor District, Andhra Pradeshmarker
Christ Church, Trivandrummarker, Keralamarker
Image:M.M.Church.jpg|Mateer Memorial Church,Trivandrummarker,Keralamarker

External links


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