CSI Formation Day

The Church of South India union ceremony happened at St George’s Cathedral in Madras on 27 September 1947, a month after India achieved its independence from the United Kingdom. It was formed from the union of the SIUC, (South India United Church itself a union of churches from the Congregational Presbyterian and Reformed traditions); the southern provinces of the (Anglican) Church of India, Pakistan, Burma, and Ceylon; and the Methodist Church of South India.  The inaugural service was presided by Bishop Rt. Rev. C. K. Jacob, of the Anglican diocese of Travancore and Cochin.  As part of it, nine new bishops, drawn from all the traditions, were consecrated to serve with five Anglican bishops already in the office.  Each new bishop was ordained with the imposition of hands by the presiding bishop, along with two more Anglican bishops (Rt. Rev. A. M. Hollis and Rt. Rev. G. T. Selwynthe) and six presbyters from the uniting Churches, also laying hands.  This reconciliation of the Anglican views with those of the other uniting denominations, on the doctrine of apostolic succession, realized in the formation of the Church of South India, is often cited as a landmark in the ecumenical movement.

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