Trichy-Tanjore Diocese of the Church of South India

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Diocese of Tiruchirappalli-Thanjavur
Country India
Ecclesiastical province Church of South India
Members 88,831 (as on 2010)
Cathedral 2
Secular priests 100
Current leadership
Bishop Gnanamuthu Paul Vasanthakumar

The CSI Tiruchirappalli Thanjavur Diocese is a diocese of Church of South India in Tamil Nadu state of India. The diocese is one among the 22 dioceses of Church of South India and this diocese was one of the first 14 dioceses to be formed at the inaugural of the Church of South India in 1947.

About the Diocese[edit]

The diocese spreads over the 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 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 and a Bishop. The diocese has partnership with Leicester in The United Kingdom. Empowerment of women and dalits are the main thrust of this diocese.


The diocese does Education Ministry, Hospital Ministry, Tribal Welfare Ministry, Mission and Evangilisation Ministry and Ministry among women. Education Ministry: The diocese has 52 primary schools, 2 high schools, 17 higher secondary schools, 2 nursing schools, 1 industrial training center and 4 colleges (specialised in Arts & Science, Management, Nursing & Community Welfare). 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 Urayur, Tiruchirappalli and the CSI Dr. Anne Booth Mission Hospital in CSI Mission Compound, Dharapuram. These hospitals are multispeciality 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 upliftment of the life style and social status of the women. Diocesan Press and Book: The diocese has its own printing press at Woraiyur, Tiruchirappalli; where they print all their reading materials. They also publish a book called "Thiruchabai Malar" on every month which is circulated internally.

Officers of the Council[edit]

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 who takes care of all the income and expenditures of the Diocese

Bishops of the diocese and their tenure[edit]

Following is the list of bishops in the Trichy-Tanjore Diocese.

† The Rt. Rev. Dr. Edgar Bentley Thorp(1947-1962)[edit]

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Edgar Bentley Thorp

Methodist missionary Rt. Rev. Dr. Edgar Bentley Thorp, a distinguished scholar and educationist was the first Bishop of the diocese. He was consecrated as Bishop in the St. George's Cathedral, Chennai on the 27th September 1947 when he was aged 42. He was a son of former Missionary. He was a brilliant mathematician in the famous Oxford University; but gave up the science for the Church. He was guiding the diocese as Bishop for 15 years and left India on 1962 on health grounds. He passed on to the glory in September 1991. Bishop Thorp Arts and Science College in Dharapuram is named in his remembrance.

† The Rt. Rev. David Chellappa (1962-1964)[edit]

The Rt.Rev. David Chellappa

The Rt.Rev. David Chellappa, the first Indian Bishop of the Madras (Chennai) diocese, was requested by The Most Rev. A. H. 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 was guiding the diocese as an interim Bishop till the 7th February 1964. He passed on to the glory on the same year.

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

The Most Rev. Dr. Solomon Doraiswamy was the first Indian Bishop to head 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 Doraisawmy as the Bishop in Tiruchirappalli Thanjavur diocese. He was officially consecrated as the bishop on the 8th February 1964 at St. Peter's Church (built by Rev. Christian Frederick Schwartz), Thanjavur by The Most Rev. A. H. Legg (Moderator) and co-consecrated by The Most Rev. P. Solomon (Deputy Moderator). Bishop Chellappa's ring, cross and staff were used in the consecration to Bishop Doraisawmy as they were not arranged on time.

He was also elected as the Moderator of the Church of South India in the year 1974 and served the Church of South India in the same position till 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 and Bishop Heber Schools. 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.

† The Most Rev. Dr. R. Paulraj(1982-1998)[edit]

The Most Rev. Dr. R. Paulraj

The Most Rev. Dr. R. Paulraj was elected and consecrated as the third Bishop of the Tiruchirappalli Thanjavur diocese on the 21st 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. 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 the 18th January 2016.

† The Rt. Rev. Dr. Daniel James Srinivasan (1998-2008)[edit]

† The Rt. Rev. Dr. Gnanamuthu Paul Vasanthakumar (2008- )[edit]

Theological education[edit]

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

List of Pastorates in Tiruchirappalli Thanjavur Diocese[edit]

List of Pastorates in Tiruchirappalli DCC[edit]

  • All Saints Church & Pastorate
  • Bethel Church & Pastorate
  • The Fort Christ Church & Pastorate
  • Christ Church GOC. North – D & Pastorate
  • Redeemer's Church & Pastorate
  • Emmanuel Church & Pastorate
  • OFT Church & Pastorate
  • Holy Trinity Church, Kattur & Pastorate
  • Manaparai Pastorate
  • St. Andrew's Church & Pastorate
  • St. Christopher's Church & Pastorate
  • St. Mathew's Church & Pastorate
  • St. John's Church & Pastorate
  • St. Paul's Church & Pastorate
  • St. Peter's GOC Church & Pastorate
  • St. Thomas Church & Pastorate
  • St. Marks, Karumandapam Pastorate
  • St. Luke's Church & Pastorate (Bishop Heber College Chapel, Tabernacle of Testimony)(

List of Pastorates in Perambalur Collidum DCC[edit]

  • Pudukottai Village Pastorate
  • Viragalur Pastorate
  • Annamangalam Pastorate
  • Ariyalur Pastorate
  • Irungalur Pastorate
  • Mettu Irungalur Pastorate
  • Jeyangondam Pastorate
  • Mettupatti Pastorate
  • Perambalur Pastorate
  • Pullambadi Pastorate
  • Thuraiyur Pastorate
  • Chidambaram Pastorate
  • Lalgudi Pastorate

List of Pastorates in Anaimalai DCC[edit]

  • Anaimudi Pastorate
  • Henry Edwin Bleby Pastorate
  • Iyerpadi Pastorate
  • Karamalai Pastorate
  • Mudis Pastorate
  • Nadumalai Pastorate
  • Sholayar Nagar Pastorate
  • Sirukundra Pastorate
  • Valparai Pastorate
  • Vellonie Pastorate
  • Waterfalls Pastorate

List of Pastorates in Dharapuram DCC[edit]

  • Avinashipalayam Pastorate
  • Bethel - Dharapuram Pastorate
  • Chinnaputhur Pastorate
  • Dharapuram Town Pastorate
  • Dharapuram Central Pastorate
  • Devanurpudur Pastorate
  • Gudimangalam Pastorate
  • Kannivadi Pastorate
  • Kundadam Pastorate
  • Kuthampoondi Pastorate
  • Kallivalasu Pastorate
  • Kolathupalayam Pastorte
  • Madathukulam Pastorate
  • Manakadavu Pastorate
  • Mulanur Pastorate
  • Perunkarunaipalayam Pastorate
  • Thalavaipattinam Pastorate
  • Thayampalayam Pastorate
  • St. Thomas Pastorate (Dharapuram Rural)
  • Udumalaipettai Pastorate
  • Uthiyur Pastorate
  • Vellakovil Pastorate

List of Pastorates in Karur DCC[edit]

  • Aravakurichi Pastorate
  • Chinnadharapuram Pastorate
  • Karur Pastorate
  • Kulithalai Pastorate
  • Musiri Pastorate
  • Karur Paramathy
  • Puliyur Pastorate
  • Thalavaipalayam Pastorate
  • Thanthondrimalai Pastorate
  • Thennilai Pastorate
  • Visuvanathapuri Pastorate

List of Pastorates in Thanjavur DCC[edit]

  • Aathanur Pastorate
  • Anaikaadu Pastorate
  • Aranthangi Pastorate
  • The Fort Christ Church & Pastorate
  • Karaikal Pastorate
  • Kumbakonam Pastorate
  • Mannaargudi Town Pastorate
  • Mannaargudi Rural Pastorate
  • Melanattham Pastorate
  • Nagapattinam Pastorate
  • Nangur Pastorate
  • Pattukottai Pastorate
  • St. Peter's Church & Pastorate
  • Thiruvarur Pastorate
  • St. Andrews Church & Pastorate
  • Myiladuthurai Pastorate

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

  • The Bishop Thomas Fanshawe Middleton, consecrated on 1814; died at Calcutta in 8 July 1822 due to sun stroke and is buried under the altar of St. John's Church, Kolkata the then cathedral of Calcutta.
  • The Bishop Reginald Heber, consecrated on 1 June 1823 and arrived at Calcutta on 10 October 1923; died at Trichinopoly on 3 April 1826 due to cold stroke and buried under the north side of the altar of St. John's Church, Trichinopoly(Tiruchirappalli) where he preached his last sermon.
  • The Bishop John Thomas James, consecrated on 3 June 1827 and arrived at Calcutta on 18 January 1828; sailed for China on 9 August 1828, but died due to illness during the voyage on 22 August 1828 and buried at sea a few miles off Singapore.
  • The Bishop John Matthew Turner, consecrated 17 May 1829 and arrived at Calcutta on 10 December 1829; died at Calcutta on 7 July 1831 and buried in the churchyard of St. John’s Church, Kolkata, Calcutta.
  • The Metropolitan of India, Bishop Daniel Wilson, First Metropolitan of India and Ceylon; consecrated and arrived at Calcutta on 5 November 1832; died at Calcutta in 2 January 1858 and is buried in St. Paul's Cathedral, Kolkata, Calcutta.
  • The Metropolitan of India, The Bishop George Edward Lynch Cotton, consecrated on 1858; drowned in the Ganges at Kushtea while consecrating a cemetery on 7 October 1866. His body was never recovered.
  • The Metropolitan of India, The Bishop Robert Milman, consecrated on 2 February 1867. He caught a chill when travelling from Calcutta to Peshawur and died at Rawul Pindi in February 1876. He had never married.
  • The Metropolitan of India, The Bishop Edward Ralph Johnson, consecrated on 1876; resigned due to illness on 1898; died outside India on 11 September 1912.
  • The Metropolitan of India, Bishop James Edward Cowell Welldon, consecrated 1898; resigned owing to ill health in early 1902 and disagreement with the Viceroy, Lord Curzon; was a lifelong bachelor, and for nearly fifty years had the close companionship of a manservant, Edward Hudson Perkins, from whose death in 1932 Welldon never recovered and died at Sevenoaks, Kent, on 17 June 1937 aged eighty-three.
  • The Metropolitan of India, The Bishop Reginald Stephen Copleston, consecrated Bishop of Colombo, in Westminster Abbey, 1875 and served for 27 years in Colombo; translated to Calcutta on 20 May 1902; resigned on 20 January 1913 and died at Putney in England on April 19, 1925.
  • The Metropolitan of India, The Bishop George Alfred Lefroy, consecrated Bishop of Lahore on 1 November 1899; translated to Calcutta on 19 February 1913; died on 1 January 1919 in the close of the Calcutta Cathedral.
  • The Metropolitan of India, The Bishop Foss Westcott, consecrated as Bishop of Chota-Nagpur on 1905; translated to Calcutta 1919 and served as The Metropolitan of India, Burma and Ceylon until 1945. He resigned and retired in 1945 to spend the last four years of his life at St. Paul’s School Darjeeling. There he died and was buried in a garden in the school grounds
  • The Metropolitan of India, The Bishop George Clay Hubback, consecrated as The Bishop of Assam in 1924; translated to Calcutta and became the last European Metropolitan of India in 1945; retired in 1950 and died on 2 November 1955.

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

Bishops Appointed in India by Church of England Before The Church of South India Union
Thomas Fanshawe Middleton (First Bishop of Calcutta 1814-1822) 
Reginald Heber (Bishop of Calcutta 1823-1826) 
John Thomas James (Bishop of Calcutta 1827-1828) 
Daniel Wilson (Bishop of Calcutta, First Metropolitan Bishop of India & Ceylon 1832-1858) 
James Edward Cowell Welldon (Bishop of Calcutta 1898-1902) 

External links[edit]