Church of North India

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Church of North India
CNI-Seal-Trans JPEG.jpg
Logo of the Church of North India.
Classification [reforming]
Orientation United and Uniting denomination,[1] Anglican High Church as well as Low Church (especially in the North-East), as well as Presbyterian and Congregational
Polity Episcopal and Presbyterian
Moderator Bishop of Patna, Philip P. Marandih
Associations Anglican Communion,
World Methodist Council,
World Council of Churches,
World Communion of Reformed Churches,
Council for World Mission,
Christian Conference of Asia,
Communion of Churches in India,
National Council of Churches in India
Region Covers all states of the Indian Union with the exception of the four states in the south covered by the Church of South India (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu).
Origin 29 November 1970
in Nagpur
Merge of Merger of the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon (Anglican), the United Church of Northern India (Congregationalist and Presbyterian), the Baptist Churches of Northern India (British Baptists), the Church of the Brethren in India, which has withdrawn from the CNI., the Methodist Church (British and Australia Conferences) and the Disciples of Christ denominations.
Separations

In 1994 at a synod in Etah, a decision was made by some members of the then dioceses of Agra and Lucknow to withdraw from the CNI and revive the United Church of Northern India - Presbyterian Synod, to which they belonged prior to the union.[2]

Also the Church of the Brethren in India, which has withdrawn from the CNI after the landmark verdict of the Supreme Court of India [CIVIL APPEAL NOS.8800-8801 /2013 (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos. 16575-16576 of 2012) dated 30th Sept., 2013]
Congregations 3500 congregations in 3000 parishes and 26 dioceses.[3]
Members 1,500,000 members[3]
Ministers 1200[3]
Hospitals 65 hospitals and nine nursing schools.
Secondary schools 250 educational institutions and three technical schools.

The Church of North India (CNI), the dominant Protestant denomination in northern India, is a united church established on 29 November 1970 by bringing together the main Protestant churches working in northern India. It is the successor of Church of England in India along with Church of South India. 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 (Congregationalist and Presbyterian), the Baptist Churches of Northern India (British Baptists), the Church of the Brethren in India, which withdrew in 2006, the Methodist Church (British and Australia Conferences) and the Disciples of Christ denominations.

CNI's jurisdiction covers all states of the Indian Union with the exception of the four states in the south (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu) and has approximately 1,250,000 members in 3,000 pastorates.[4]

History[edit]

Ecumenical discussions with a view to a unified church was initiated by the Australian Churches of Christ Mission, Australian Methodist Church, the Wesleyan Methodist Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church and United Church of Northern India during a round table meeting in Lucknow in 1929.

A negotiation committee was set up in 1951 using the plan of Church Union that resulted from the earlier consultations as its basis. The committee was composed of representatives from the Baptist Churches in Northern India, the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon, the Methodist Church (British and Australia Conferences), the Methodist Church in Southern Asia and the United Church of Northern India.[5][6] In 1957, the Church of the Brethren in India and the Disciples of Christ denominations joined in the negotiations as well.

A new negotiation committee was set up in 1961 with representatives from all the abovementioned denominations. In 1965, a finalised plan of Church Union, known as the "White Paper", was made. The union was formalised on 29 November 1970 when all the negotiating churches were united as the Church of North India with the exception of the Methodist Church in Southern Asia which decided not to join the union.

In 1994 at a synod in Etah, a decision was made by some members of the then dioceses of Agra and Lucknow to withdraw from the CNI and revive the United Church of Northern India, to which they belonged prior to the union.[2]

Beliefs and practices[edit]

The CNI is a trinitarian church that draws from the traditions and heritage of its constituent denominations. The basic creeds of the CNI are the Apostle's Creed and the Nicene Creed of 381 AD.

Liturgy[edit]

The liturgy of the CNI is of particular interest, as it combines many traditions, including that of the Methodists and such smaller churches as the Church of the Brethren and the Disciples of Christ. Provision is given for diverse liturgical practices and understandings of the divine revelation.

Governance[edit]

The polity of the CNI brings together the Episcopacy, the Presbytery and the Laity in an effort to reflect the polity of the Churches that entered into union. The Episcopacy of the CNI is both historical as well as constitutional. There are 26 dioceses, each under the supervision of a bishop. The main administrative and legislative body is the Synod, which meets once every three years to elect a presiding bishop, called a Moderator, and an Executive Committee. The Moderator acts as the head of the church.

Social involvement[edit]

Social involvement is a major emphasis in the CNI. There are synodal boards in charge of various ministries: Secondary, Higher, Technical and Theological Education, Health Services [1], Social Services [2], Rural Development, Literature and Media. There is also a synodal Programme Office [3] which seeks to protect and promote peace, justice, harmony and dignity of life.

The CNI currently operates 65 hospitals, nine nursing schools, 250 educational institutions and three technical schools. Some of the oldest and well-respected educational institutions in India like Scottish Church College in Calcutta, Wilson College in Mumbai, Hislop College in Nagpur, St. Paul's School in Darjeeling, St. John's College in Agra and St. Stephen's College in Delhi are affiliated to or administered by the CNI.

Ecumenism[edit]

The CNI participates in many ecumenical bodies as a reflection of its commitment towards church unity. Domestically it participates in a joint council with the Church of South India and the Mar Thoma Syrian Church known as the Communion of Churches in India. It is also a member of the National Council of Churches in India. Regionally, the CNI participates in the Christian Conference of Asia and on an international level it is a member of the World Council of Churches, the Council for World Mission, World Alliance of Reformed Churches, World Methodist Council and in full communion with the Anglican Communion. The CNI is also in partnership with many other domestic, regional and international Christian agencies.

Present administrators[edit]

  • Moderator: Bishop Philip P. Marandih, Bishop of Patna,
  • Deputy Moderator: Bishop Pradeep Kumar Samantaroy, Bishop of Amritsar
  • General Secretary: Mr Alwan Masih
  • Honorary Treasurer (acting): Mr Prem Masih

Dioceses[edit]

Name Headquarters Location Bishop Website
Diocese of Agra Agra Uttarpradesh [4]
Diocese of Lucknow Allahabad Morris Edgar Dan
Diocese of Amritsar Amritsar Punjab P.K. Samantaroy [5]
Diocese of Barrackpore Barrackpore West Bengal Brojen Malakar
Diocese of Durgapur Durgapur Probal Kanto Dutta
Diocese of Kolkata Kolkata Ashoke Biswas
Diocese of Bhopal Bhopal Madhya Pradesh Robert Ali
Diocese of Jabalpur Jabalpur Prem Chand Singh
Diocese of Chota Nagpur Ranchi Jharkhand B B Baskey
Diocese of Chhattisgarh Raipur Chhattisgarh Purna Sagar Nag
Diocese of Chandigarh Ludihana Chandigarh Younas Massey
Diocese of Gujarat Ahmedabad Gujarat Silvans Christian
Diocese of Kolhapur Kolhapur Maharashtra B. R. Tiwade
Diocese of Mumbai Mumbai Prakash D. Patole
Diocese of Marathwada M.U.Kasab
Diocese of Nagpur Nagpur Paul Dupare
Diocese of Nasik Nasik Pradip L. Kamble
Diocese of Pune Pune Andrew. B. Rathod
Diocese of Patna Patna Bihar P.P.Maharandi
Diocese of Phulbani Phulbani Odisha Bijay Kumar Nayak
Diocese of Sambalpur Balangir Pinuel Dip
Diocese of Rajasthan Ajmer Rajasthan Waris K Masih
Diocese of North East India North East India Purely Lyngdoh
Diocese of Andaman and Nicobar Port Blair Andaman and Nicobar Christopher Paul
Diocese of Eastern Himalaya Darjeeling

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ www.oikoumene.org/en/member-churches/church-of-north-india
  2. ^ a b Reformed Online : United Church of Northern India - Presbyterian Synod. Retrieved 17 June 2006
  3. ^ a b c "World Council of Churches - Church of North India". Retrieved 2009-12-18. 
  4. ^ Reformed Online : "Church of North India". Retrieved 17 June 2006.
  5. ^ Empire Club Foundation : "Lambeth and Church Unity" - Rt Rev Frederick Hugh Wilkinson, Bishop of Toronto. Retrieved 17 June 2006.
  6. ^ IndianChristianity.org Church of North India. Retrieved 17 June 2006

External links[edit]