Lakdasa De Mel
Lakdasa Jacob De Mel
|Anglican Bishop of Calcutta
Anglican Bishop of Kurunegala
|Church||Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon
Anglican Church of Ceylon
|In office||1962 – 1970
1950 – 1962
|Consecration||2 February 1950
by George Hubback
|Born||24 March 1902
Moratuwa, Sri Lanka
|Died||23 October 1976
Kurunegala, Sri Lanka
|Previous post||Assistant Bishop of Colombo|
Lakdasa De Mel was born on 24 March 1902 in Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, to a prominent Anglican family. He was the son of Sir Henry de Mel, former Member of the Legislative Council and his mistress. De Mel was educated at the Royal College Colombo and went on to study at Keble College at the University of Oxford, gaining an MA. De Mel was ordained to a short curacy at St John the Divine, Kennington before returning to Sri Lanka, where he was appointed as the parish priest at St Michael and All Angels Church, Polwatte. For 10 years he was the authority of Missionary of South Sri Lanka’s Baddegama Parish. From 1940 he served as the priest at St. Paul's Church, Kandy. As a priest he became one of the pioneers of the indigenisation of the Anglican Church in Sri Lanka. He said his first Mass in Sinhala and sought to integrate local music styles into the service.
De Mel was consecrated as Assistant Bishop of Colombo on 8 November 1945.
In January 1950 the Church of Ceylon resolved to create a new diocese, the Diocese of Kurunegala. The diocese was formally inaugurated on 2 February 1950, on the Feast of the Presentation, with George Hubback, the then Metropolitan of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon, appointing De Mel as the first Bishop of Kurunegala. The formation of this new Diocese was marked by the induction, installation and enthronement of De Mel as the founding Bishop, at Trinity College Chapel, Kandy. He, along with other members of the De Mel family were largely responsible for the funding of the construction of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Kurunegala.
In May 1962, De Mel was elected as Metropolitan of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon and Bishop of Calcutta, the first Sri Lankan to become an Archbishop of the Anglican Church. He was enthroned on 21 August 1962, at St. Paul's Cathedral, Calcutta. It was a post that he held until his retirement in 1970.
In 1971 he married Joan Hamilton (1921-2009) and at the end of 1972 they moved to live in Kurunegala.
- St. Peter's Church, Koralawella: 130 years of dedicated service by W. Annesley Sumith Fernando, Sunday Observer, Retrieved 11 June 2015
- Our History, St. Peter's Church Website, Retrieved 11 June 2015
- Rev. Lakdasa de Mel: inspiring legend of Baddegama
- The New Diocese of Kurunegala, Holy Emmanuel Church Website
- Rev. Abayasekera, Jeffrey (2002). "Bishop Lakdasa De Mel : Called for justice and uplift of poor". Sunday Observer. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
- History of the Diocese of Kuunegala Diocese of Kuunegala.com Retrieved 2 February 2015
- Anglicanism: A Global Communion edited by Andrew Wingate, p.340 (Church Publishing Inc) ISBN 9780898693041
- The Church of Ceylon (Anglican Communion)
- Anglican Church of Ceylon News
- Worship Resources including a Prayer for Sri Lanka written by Metropolitan Lakdasa de Mel
- Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan of India
- Diocese of Kuunegala
- Kurunegala, a regal city
|Church of England titles|
|Bishop of Kurunegala
1950 – 1962
Aurobindo Nath Mukherjee
|Bishop of Calcutta
1962 – 1970