Church of North India

The Church of North India (CNI), the dominant United denomination in northern India, is a united church established on 29 November 1970 by bringing together the Anglican and Protestant churches working in northern India; it is a province of the worldwide Anglican Communion. It is the successor of the Church of England in India along with the Church of Pakistan and the Church of South India. The merger, which had been in discussions since 1929, came eventually between the Churches of India, Pakistan, Burma and the 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 Australian Conferences) and the Disciples of Christ denominations.

The 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 (0.1% of India's population) in 3,000 pastorates.[4]

Church of North India (CNI)
CNI-Seal-Trans JPEG
Logo of the Church of North India
OrientationUnited and Uniting denomination,[1] Anglican High Church as well as Low Church (especially in the North-East), as well as Presbyterian and Congregational
ModeratorPrem Chand Singh, Church of North India
AssociationsAnglican 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
RegionAll of India except Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Lakshadweep, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu
Origin29 November 1970
Merger ofChurch of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon, the Baptist Churches of Northern India, Church of the Brethren in India (since left), Methodist Church (British and Australian Conferences), and Disciples of Christ
SeparationsUnited Church of Northern India - Presbyterian Synod[2] Church of the Brethren in India
Congregations3500 congregations in 3000 parishes and 26 dioceses[3]
Hospitals65 hospitals and nine nursing schools.
Secondary schools250 educational institutions and three technical schools.


Ecumenical discussions with a view to a unified church was initiated by the Australian Churches of Christ Mission, the Methodist Church of Australia, the Wesleyan Methodist Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church and the 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 Australian conferences), the Methodist Church in Southern Asia and the United Church of Northern India.[5][6] The Methodist Episcopal Church, however, did not join the discussions and, in 1981, it became the Methodist Church in India (MCI).[7] 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 4th Plan of Union 1965, 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.

Beliefs and practices

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.


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.


The polity of the CNI brings together the episcopal, the presbyterial and the congregational elements in an effort to reflect the polity of the churches which 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

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, Social Services, Rural Development, Literature and Media. There is also a synodal Programme Office 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, La Martiniere Calcutta, Wilson College in Mumbai, St. James' School, Calcutta, Hislop College in Nagpur, St. John's Diocesan Girls' School, Calcutta, St. Paul's School in Darjeeling, St. John's College in Agra and St. Stephen's College in Delhi, Bishop Cottons' School in Shimla, Sherwood College in Nainital are under the administration of the CNI.


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.


St Paul's Cathedral

St. Paul's Cathedral, Kolkata

Allsaintcathedral ald

All Saints Cathedral, Allahabad

Cathedral Church of the Redemption - New Delhi

Cathedral Church of the Redemption, New Delhi

Christ Church Shimla India

Christ Church, Shimla


St. John's Church, Meerut

St.james b

St. James' Church, New Delhi

St. Thomas Cathedral, Mumbai

St. Thomas' Cathedral, Mumbai

The Wilson College, Mumbai

The Wilson College, Mumbai

La Martiniere College, Lucknow - by Ahmad Faiz Mustafa

La Martiniere College, Lucknow

La Martiniere, Calcutta by Francis Frith

La Martiniere College, Calcutta

St Pauls School

St. Paul's School, Darjeeling

Scottish Church College

Scottish Church College, Calcutta

Delhi, Holy Trinity Church (Turkman gate)

Holy Trinity Church, New Delhi

Present administrators

  • Moderator: Prem Chand Singh, Bishop of Jabalpur
  • Deputy moderator: Probal Kanto Dutta, Bishop of Calcutta
  • General secretary: Alwan Masih
  • Honorary treasurer: Jayant Agarwal

As of October 2017.[8]


Diocese of Calcutta

When originally founded in 1813, the fourth overseas diocese of the Church of England covered all the subcontinent, all Australasia and some of Africa. With its 1835 split to create Madras diocese, Calcutta was made metropolitan over all its original area, and has been split many times since. The Bishop of Calcutta remained Metropolitan of India until the CNI's 1970 creation; the current diocese covers West Bengal and the bishop is Probal Kanto Dutta, the Deputy Moderator.[9]

Diocese of Mumbai

Split from Calcutta diocese in 1837,[10] the Diocese of Bombay was the last new Indian diocese of the Church of England before all colonial dioceses became independent in 1863. Like Calcutta, Mumbai diocese has been a very large Church of England diocese, a diocese of the independent Indian Anglican church, and now a United Church diocese. The CNI diocese today covers Maharashtra, and the bishop is Prakash D. Patole.[11]

Diocese of Chotanagpur

Founded from Calcutta diocese in 1890,[10] the current diocese is based in Ranchi, its territory is Jharkhand and the bishop is B. B. Baskey.[12]

Diocese of Lucknow

Erected 1893[10] from the Diocese of Calcutta, the current CNI bishop is Peter Baldev;[13] the diocese is headquartered at Allahabad and serves Uttar Pradesh.

Diocese of Nagpur

Paul B. Prabhudas Dupare is the current Bishop of Nagpur,[11] based in Nagpur itself. The diocese was originally created in 1902/03, from Chotanagpur diocese.[14]

Diocese of North East India

The CNI Northeast diocese, based in Shillong, North East India is headed by bishop Michael Herenz.[15] It originated as the Diocese of Assam, in the Anglican Church of India, erected from Calcutta in 1915;[16] and became known by the present name before 1986.[17]

Diocese of Nasik

In 1929, Nasik diocese was founded from Bombay;[18] her present bishop is Pradip Kamble.[19]

Name Founded Headquarters Location Bishop Website
Diocese of Delhi 1947, from Lahore[20] New Delhi Delhi, Haryana Warris K. Masih[11] (prev. Rajasthan)[9]
Diocese of Amritsar 1953, from Lahore[21] Amritsar Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir P. K. Samantaroy[11] [18]
Diocese of Barrackpore 1956, from Calcutta[22] Barrackpore West Bengal Paritosh Canning[12]
Diocese of Andaman & Nicobar 1966, from Calcutta[23] Port Blair Andaman and Nicobar Islands Christopher Paul[24]
Diocese of Jabalpur 1970, from Nagpur[25] Jabalpur Prem Chand Singh (Moderator)[12]
Diocese of Patna bef. 70 Patna Bihar P. P. Marandih[26]
Diocese of Cuttack 1970 Cuttack Cuttack, Odisha Surendra Kumar Nanda[27]
Diocese of Bhopal betw. 70-79, from Jabalpur Bhopal Madhya Pradesh vacant
Acting: Prem Chand Singh (Jabalpur)
Diocese of Rajasthan 1981, from Delhi[28] Ajmer Rajasthan Darbara Singh[29]
Diocese of Gujarat betw. 70-96 Ahmedabad Gujarat Silvans Christian[30]
Diocese of Kolhapur betw. 70-96 Kolhapur Maharashtra Sandeep Suresh Vibhute[11]
Diocese of Durgapur betw. 70-96 Durgapur vacant[9]
Diocese of Chandigarh 1974, from Amritsar Ludhiana Chandigarh, Punjab Younas Massey[31]
Diocese of Agra 1976, from Lucknow[32] Agra Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand Prem Prakash Habil[33]
Diocese of Eastern Himalaya bef. 1987 — Darjeeling, renamed c. 1992,[34] from Barrackpur Darjeeling West Bengal, Bhutan vacant
Acting: Purely Lyngdoh[12]
Diocese of Sambalpur bef 96[35] Balangir Pinuel Dip[12]
Diocese of Phulbani 1997,[36] from Cuttack Kandhmal Odisha Bijay K. Nayak[26]
Diocese of Marathwada c. 2000[37] Aurangabad M. U. Kasab[11]
Diocese of Pune c. 2000[37] Pune Sharad Yuvraj Gaikwad[11]
Diocese of Chhattisgarh 2010, from Jabalpur Raipur Chhattisgarh Robert Ali[33] (prev. Bhopal)[9]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ 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. ^ Church of North India. Retrieved 17 June 2006
  7. ^ Abraham, William J.; Kirby, James E. (24 September 2009). The Oxford Handbook of Methodist Studies. Oxford University Press. p. 93. ISBN 9780191607431. While the Methodist Churches of British and Australian origin joined the two great unions of 1947 (Church of South India) and 1970 (Church of North India), the Methodist (Episcopal) Church refrained and, in 1981, was inaugurated as Methodist Church in India (MCI), autonomous, yet affiliated with the UMC.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ a b c d [2]
  10. ^ a b c The Indian Year Book. Bennett, Coleman & Company. 1940. p. 455. The three dioceses thus formed have been repeatedly subdivided, until in 1930 there were fourteen dioceses, the dates of their creation being as follows : Calcutta 1814; Madras 1835; Bombay 1837; Colombo 1845; Lahore 1877; Rangoon 1877; Travancore 1879; Chota Nagpur 1890; Lucknow 1893; Tinnevelly 1896; Nagpur 1903; Dornakal 1912; Assam 1915; Nasik 1929.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g [3]
  12. ^ a b c d e [4]
  13. ^ [5]
  14. ^ "A New Indian Bishopric (Archived; subscription only)". Church Times (#2080). 5 December 1902. p. 678. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 21 February 2019. (Subscription required (help)). & "Church News (Archived; subscription only)". Church Times (#2087). 23 January 1903. p. 106. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 21 February 2019. (Subscription required (help)).
  15. ^ [6]
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "The New Diocese of Nasik (Archived; subscription only)". Church Times (#3448). 22 February 1929. p. 217. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 21 February 2019. (Subscription required (help)).
  19. ^ [7]
  20. ^
  21. ^ [8]
  22. ^ "New Dioceses (Archived; subscription only)". Church Times (#4853). 10 February 1956. p. 13. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 21 February 2019. (Subscription required (help)). & "Diocese of Barrackpore (Archived; subscription only)". Church Times (#4875). 20 July 1956. p. 1. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 21 February 2019. (Subscription required (help)).
  23. ^ "Happy Nicobars (Archived; subscription only)". Church Times (#5381). 1 April 1966. p. 7. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 21 February 2019. (Subscription required (help)).
  24. ^ [9]
  25. ^
  26. ^ a b [10]
  27. ^ [11]
  28. ^
  29. ^ [12]
  30. ^ [13]
  31. ^ [14]
  32. ^ [15]
  33. ^ a b [16]
  34. ^ [17]
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ a b

External links

Bankura Christian College

Bankura Christian College, established in 1903, is the oldest college in Bankura district in India. It offers undergraduate courses in arts and sciences. It is affiliated with the Bankura University.

Cathedral Church of the Redemption

Cathedral Church of the Redemption in New Delhi, also known as the Viceroy Church, is a church in India. The church is located east of Parliament House and Rashtrapati Bhavan, formerly Viceroy House, which was used by then British Viceroy. The Cathedral Church of the Redemption India, is a part of the Delhi diocese of the Church of North India (CNI)The Church derives its name from Palladio's Church of Il Redentore in Venice.

Christianity in Odisha

Followers of Christianity are a small minority in Odisha state of India. According to the 2001 Census, Christians make up about 2.44% of the population (about 898,000 people).Church of God (Anderson), Council of Baptist Churches in Northern India and Evangelical Missionary Society in Mayurbhanj are among the Protestant denominations of Odisha. Christ Church the full Gospel Church, Gospel Outreach Ministries, India Evangelistic Association, Orissa Baptist Evangelical Crusade and The Pentecostal Mission are among the non-Catholic denominations of Odisha as well.

The Church of North India is present in Odisha as well with the

dioceses of Cuttack, Phulbani, and Sambalpur. The diocese of Chota Nagpur also serves a small part of

Odisha.Oraon, Kharia and Munda people are notable ethnic groups with a significant Christian population.

Diocese of Calcutta (Church of North India)

The Diocese of Calcutta, Church of North India was established in 1813 as part of the Church of England. It is led by the Bishop of Calcutta and the first bishop was Thomas Middleton (1814–1822) and the second Reginald Heber (1823–1826). Under the sixth bishop Daniel Wilson (1832–1858) the see was made Metropolitan (though not made an Archbishopric) when two more dioceses in India came into being (Madras, 1835, and Bombay, 1837).

Calcutta was made a metropolitan see by letters patent on 10 October 1835 and in 1930 was included in the Church of India, Burma and Ceylon (from 1948 the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma, and Ceylon) until 1970. In 1970, the Church of the Province of Myanmar, Church of Ceylon and the Church of Pakistan were separated from the province.

The Anglican dioceses in Northern India merged with the United Church of Northern India (Congregationalist and Presbyterian), the Methodist Church (British and Australian Conferences), the Council of Baptist Churches in Northern India, the Church of the Brethren in India, and the Disciples of Christ to form the Church of North India in the same year.

The diocese currently has jurisdiction over the corporation limits of Kolkata and the Districts of Hooghly & Howrah in the state of West Bengal. The bishop's seat (cathedra) is located in the city of Kolkata at St. Paul's Cathedral. The current bishop is Probal Kanto Dutta.

Diocese of Chotanagpur

The Diocese of Chotanagpur is the jurisdiction of the Church of North India (since 1970) under the episcopal leadership of the Bishop of Chotanagpur.

Diocese of Eastern Himalaya

Diocese of Eastern Himalaya is a diocese of the Church of North India. Its seat is Darjeeling. Its area includes states of India as well as Bhutan. There are about 10 congregations in Bhutan. It is likely to be the oldest and largest Protestant denomination of Bhutan.

The Diocese has a twinning agreement with the Presbytery of Lothian of the Church of Scotland (which covers Midlothian and East Lothian in South-East Scotland).

Diocese of Lucknow (Church of North India)

The Diocese of Lucknow is a diocese of Church of North India headquartered in the city of Allahabad. The jurisdiction of the diocese mainly covers the Eastern side of Uttar Pradesh.

Diocese of Mumbai (Church of North India)

The Diocese of Mumbai of the Church of North India is the Anglican diocese covering metropolitan Mumbai and the state of Maharashtra. The cathedra seat of the Bishop of Mumbai is St. Thomas Cathedral, Mumbai.

Historically known as the Diocese of Bombay from its inception in 1837, it was a diocese of Church of India, Burma and Ceylon, which was renamed the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon in 1947; since then it has been one of its most prominent Dioceses in the Indian subcontinent. It is headed by the Anglican Bishop of Bombay.

Diocese of Nandyal

Nandyal Diocese is a diocese of Church of South India in Andrapradesh state of India. The diocese is one among the 22 dioceses of Church of South India in India.

Diocese of Nasik (Church of North India)

The Diocese of Nasik is a diocese of Church of North India headquartered in the city of Nashik.

Diocese of North East India

The Diocese of North East India is a diocese of the Church of North India, centred in Shillong, North-East India.

The Diocese of Assam, of the (Anglican) Church of India, Burma and Ceylon, was created from the Diocese of Calcutta in 1915. In 1970, it became a diocese of the united Church of North India; and had its current name by 1986.

Gossner Theological College

Gossner Theological College is the only Theological Seminary of Jharkhand affiliated to Serampore College. It is owned by Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chotanagpur and Assam.

La Martiniere Calcutta

La Martinière Calcutta (informally known as LMC) is an independent private day school located in Kolkata (Calcutta), West Bengal. It comprises two single-gender boys and girls schools. It was established in 1836 in accordance with the will of the French soldier of fortune and philanthropist, Major General Claude Martin. They are Christian schools, controlled by the Protestant Church of North India and independent from the Government, with English as the primary language of instruction.La Martiniere Calcutta is often ranked among the best day schools in the country, and has produced a distinguished list of alumni in all walks of Indian and British society. It has an annual meet with La Martiniere Lucknow hosted in September, as well as occasional meets with its sister school La Martiniere Lyon in France.

Scottish Church Collegiate School

The Scottish Church Collegiate School is a selective boys' school in north Kolkata, West Bengal having a history of more than 180 years. The school was founded in 1830 by Reverend Alexander Duff, who came to Calcutta as the first missionary of the Church of Scotland to India. The Scottish Church Collegiate School is affiliated with the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, and the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education for the secondary and higher secondary school examinations respectively. The school functions under the Governing Body of Diocesan Schools, the Diocesan Board of Education and the Church of North India.

St. James' School (Kolkata)

St. James' School, Kolkata, India, is a CNI school, one of the oldest and most prestigious private schools in India. It completed 150 years in 2014. It is associated with the ICSE Board of Education. It was established on 25 July 1864 by Bishop Cotton. In 1900, St. James' School won the Beighton Cup and has till date been the only school to ever win the oldest hockey tournament in the world.

St. Paul's Cathedral, Kolkata

St. Paul's Cathedral is a CNI (Church of North India) Cathedral of Anglican background in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, noted for its Gothic architecture. It is the seat of the Diocese of Calcutta. The cornerstone was laid in 1839; the building was completed in 1847. It is said to be the largest cathedral in Kolkata and the first Episcopal Church in Asia. It was also the first cathedral built in the overseas territory of the British Empire. The edifice stands on Cathedral Road on the "island of attractions" to provide for more space for the growing population of the European community in Calcutta in the 1800s.

Following the 1897 earthquake and the subsequent massive earthquake of 1934, when Calcutta suffered substantial damage, the cathedral was reconstructed to a revised design. The architectural design of the cathedral is "Indo-Gothic", a Gothic architectural style designed to meet the climatic conditions of India. The cathedral complex has a library, situated over the western porch, and a display of Plastic art forms and memorabilia.

Apart from that of Bishop Daniel Wilson, the founder of the cathedral, the other notable burial in the church is that of John Paxton Norman, an acting Chief Justice who was assassinated in 1871.

St. Paul's School, Darjeeling

St. Paul's School is an independent boarding school for boys in the town of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. Entrance tests for admission are held every September. The school follows the ICSE curriculum till the class 10 and the ISC for higher secondary (classes 11 and 12).

St. Stephen's College, Delhi

St. Stephen's College is a constituent college of the University of Delhi. Widely regarded as one of the oldest and most prestigious colleges for arts and sciences in India, the institution has produced a line of distinguished alumni. It was established by the Cambridge Mission to Delhi. The college admits both undergraduates and post-graduates, and awards degrees in liberal arts and sciences under the purview of the University of Delhi. As of 2017, the Governing Body of the College has unilaterally initiated a move towards making it an autonomous institution.

St. Thomas Cathedral, Mumbai

St. Thomas Cathedral, Mumbai, is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Mumbai of the Church of North India. Named in honour of Saint Thomas the Apostle, the Cathedral is located in the historic centre of Mumbai, Horniman Circle, and is close to Flora Fountain and Bombay House.

The 300-year-old church is controlled by the Cathedral and John Connon School.

The foundation stone of the church was first laid in 1676, although the church was only finally consecrated for divine service 1718 as the first Anglican church in Mumbai (then called Bombay), within the walls of the fortified British settlement. The Cathedral then lead to the creation of the Cathedral & John Connon School in 1860, in order to provide choristers to the church. The cathedral is a landmark in South Mumbai and is one of the oldest churches in India. It is used by the school for its Founder's Day Service on 14 November every year, Carol Service on the last day before the school's Christmas vacation and other special occasions.

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