About Us

Rt. Rev. Dr. Daniel S. Thiagarajah
Bishop

Jaffna Diocese

The Church of South India was established on 27 September 1947 as a union of the South India Provincial Synod of Methodist Church, the South India United Church (Congregational, Presbyterian and Reformed) and the southern dioceses of the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Sri Lanka (Anglican). The Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India (JDCSI) was one of the 24 dioceses of the new church. Sabapathy Kulendran was enthroned as the first Bishop of Jaffna on 10 October 1947.
The Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India recognizes the participation of the people at all levels of Church government, but, as members of the Body of Christ and servants of the Servant Lord, we remind ourselves that power and authority should be considered a means of service.


Bishop

Bishop Thiagarajah was born as the eldest son to R.K. Thiagarajah of Velanai and Lydia Chellammah Thiagarajah of Uduppiddy. Having received early childhood formation, first in Holy Family Convent, Jaffna and later in Vembadi Girls High School, his career was right through at Jaffna Central College where he excelled in sports, particularly in cricket.


On completion of theological studies in India, he began his ministry as a young priest in Colombo in May 1981. He married Thayalini (nee Rasaratnam), a Zoology graduate, on 24th May 1982 in JDCSI Tellippallai Church. He was ordained.
Bishop Daniel Selvaratnam Thiagarajah is the Fourth Bishop of the Church of South India in the Jaffna Diocese. He takes up the Episcopal position with a sound theological and pastoral experience.

Bishop Thiagarajah was born as the eldest son to R.K. Thiagarajah of Velanai and Lydia Chellammah Thiagarajah of Uduppiddy. Having received early childhood formation, first in Holy Family Convent, Jaffna and later in Vembadi Girls High School, his career was right through at Jaffna Central College where he excelled in sports, particularly in cricket.

On completion of theological studies in India, he began his ministry as a young priest in Colombo in May 1981. He married Thayalini (nee Rasaratnam), a Zoology graduate, on 24th May 1982 in JDCSI Tellippallai Church. He was ordained a Deacon on 2nd October 1982 while serving the parish at Nunavil. His ordination as Presbyter was on 12th May 1984 during his ministry in the Island of Delft. His services, both as priest and the president of Citizen's Committee in this Island, are still remembered for his active role during the "Kumuthini" massacre in 1985.

He, along with his wife, was called to be Missionaries-in-Residence for a year in the Indiana-Kentucky Conference of the United Church of Christ in USA in 1986. Both received their higher education in Indianapolis, USA through Christian Theological Seminary where Daniel was given American Bible Society Award for highest Biblical Achievement and graduated with Summa Cum Laude (Grade Point Average of 4.0 on a 4.0 scale).

Daniel was appointed Principal of Christian Theological Seminary, Chunnakam in 1991. The accreditation of this seminary by the Serampore University was granted during his four-year tenure as principal. He was also appointed a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Christian Civilization in the University of Jaffna.

Daniel and Thaya's joint-ministry covers a wide range of places viz., Nunavil, Delft, Kilinochchi, Mankulam (whole of Vanni Area), Uduvil and Colombo.

The Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), based in Hong Kong, chose him to be the Executive Secretary first for Mission and Evangelism and later for Faith, Mission and Unity (FMU) in 1999. Mission Round Table; Congress of Asian Theologians (CATS); Asian Theological Students Conference; Network Of Theological Inquiry (NOTE), Mission & Dialogue Programs; Journeying Together with Indigenous Peoples; Dalit-Minjung-Tribal Tri-logue are noteworthy initiatives of Daniel during his tenure as Executive Secretary.

Daniel comes to lead the Jaffna Diocese with a rich experience not only locally but also ecumenically (both Asian and World levels). He has presented papers in many countries in theology, missions, dialogue and human rights. He is also a powerful convetion preacher. It was a rare honor for him to have been recognized as a recipient of "Gold Medal" by His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia ALEXY II in 2003 for Missionary Activity, Sermon of the Word of God and Organization of the help to the Needy.

Daniel's doctoral degree (PhD) in 1995 in the field of New Testament (Johannine Studies) was another feather in his cap.

His wife, Dr Thayalini, is a Psychologist and a Trauma Counselor. Her sound educational background in Science, Theology, Women's Studies and Psychological Counseling adds a great weight to the ministry they are doing as a family. She authored a ‘Festschrift’ for Daniel's 50th birthday titled "An Ecclesiology of a New Humanity" (a collection of his articles and presentations in the ecumenical world). Their daughter, Lydia Gitanjali, is a graduate in International Relations (Global) from Monash University.

Besides many responsibilities, Bishop chairs the Board of Directors of Jaffna College and Board for Uduvil Girls College.

Bishop Thiagarajah, consecrated as Bishop on 21st August 2016, is the third senior-most bishop of the Church of South India. His tenth year of consecration was aptly celebrated with the launch of a book, "The Bones of the Righteous Shall never Be Broken," co-authored by bishop and Australian Missionary cum Consultant the Rev. John Bottomley.

The Constitution of The Jaffna Diocese of The Church of South India

We, the members of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India, affirm that this Church is a part of the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. We believe that the Church of South India is a gift of God to the people of India and Sri Lanka, formed out of the union of four different Church traditions – Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational – towards the fulfillment of the Lord's prayer, "That they all may be one." As a united Church, the Church of South India is committed to the union of all who acknowledge the name of Christ.

The Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India is an autonomous Church, free from any control, legal or otherwise, of any Church or Society external to itself. It is our conviction that the destiny and character of our Church, the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India, are to be shaped by our obedience to the call of Jesus Christ as well as our determination to root the Church in the cultural and social realities of the Sri Lankan context. We are proud of the rich cultural and religious heritage of Sri Lanka and commit ourselves to sharing with our fellow citizens, through our life and work, God's transforming act in Christ in a spirit of humility and openness.

The Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India is an autonomous Church, free from any control, legal or otherwise, of any Church or Society external to itself. It is our conviction that the destiny and character of our Church, the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India, are to be shaped by our obedience to the call of Jesus Christ as well as our determination to root the Church in the cultural and social realities of the Sri Lankan context. We are proud of the rich cultural and religious heritage of Sri Lanka and commit ourselves to sharing with our fellow citizens, through our life and work, God's transforming act in Christ in a spirit of humility and openness.

The Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India recognizes the participation of the people at all levels of Church government, but, as members of the Body of Christ and servants of the Servant Lord, we remind ourselves that power and authority should be considered a means of service.

We prayerfully commit our lives to Christ, the giver of New Life and acknowledge the need to be continually renewed by the Holy Spirit so that we as a Church will be the sign and instrument of peace and reconciliation in the many conflicts around us. We stand before God in prayer, asking God's Spirit to empower us and lead us in Christ's way. We pledge to follow and uphold the Governing Principles of the Church of South India and the provisions of the Constitution for the glory of God, the good of the Church and the welfare of all people.

The Name of the Church and The Bodies which have Constituted It

The name of the Diocese shall be the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India (hereinafter referred to as J.D., C.S.I.) and the Diocesan Council of this Diocese shall be called the Jaffna Diocesan Council of the Church of South India (hereinafter referred to as the Diocesan Council).

Whereas the Jaffna Council of the South India United Church is a constituent part of the Church of South India which is an Episcopal Church, it is necessary that the work of the Jaffna Council of the South India United Church and that of the American Ceylon Mission be coordinated under a common Diocesan Council. The name of this Council shall be Jaffna Diocesan Council of the Church of South India.

Whereas following the arrival of the American Ceylon Mission in Jaffna on the 11th July in the year 1816 and the formation of the Ceylon Congregational Council in 1905, the Churches of the Madura and Jaffna Missions of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and those of the South India District Committee and the Travancore Mission of the London Missionary Society (LMS), in their organized capacity as "The United Churches of South India and Ceylon," on the one part; and the Churches of the Arcot Mission of the Dutch Reformed Church and those of the United Free Church Mission of Madras in their organized capacity as "The South India Synod of the Presbyterian Church" on the other part; have determined for the glory of God to unite organically into one body.

And whereas, in pursuance of this determination, the above two bodies have agreed upon a common basis of union which has been accepted by the Churches which they represented.

It was, therefore, resolved that the appointed representatives of the two Bodies as referred to above, having been assembled for the purpose of consummating the proposed Union, gratefully acknowledging God's guidance in the past, and invoking His blessing upon all those who were present on 25th July 1908 constituted themselves the Provincial General Assembly of the South India United Church; and that they adopted as their own name of the Plan of the Union "The South India United Church (S.I.U.C.)." The S.I.U.C. was formed in the year 1910 and the Jaffna Congregational Council became the Jaffna Council of the S.I.U.C.

The Church of South India (C.S.I.) is the Church constituted by the union, in 1947 (27th September), of the Madras, Madura, Jaffna, Kannada, Telugu and Travancore Church Councils of the South India United Church; the South India Province of the Methodist Church, comprising the Madras, Trichinopoly, Hyderabad and Mysore districts, and the Dioceses of Madras, Dornakal, Tinnevelly and Travancore and Cochin in the Church of India, Burma and Ceylon, in which in 1950 merged the North Tamil Church Council of the South India United Church, in 1958 the Bombay Karnataka Council of the United Basel Mission Church in India, in 1968 the South Canara and Coorg District Council of the United Basel Misiion Church in India, and in 1975 the Anglican Congregations in the Nandyal Diocesan area.

As a result of this historic union, The Jaffna Council of the South India United Church became the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India (J.D., C.S.I.). Within a month, on 20th October 1947, the American Ceylon Mission handed over its work to the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India. This integration of the Mission with the Diocese has made the Diocese responsible for a wider and varied type of work.

The Jaffna Council of the South India United Church had inherited a Congregational tradition, though the "independency" of the Local Church which is the governing principle of Congregationalism, had in later years come to be considerably modified. But the Church of South India is Episcopalian in character.

The Handbooks of the Jaffna Council of the S.I.U.C. and the J.D., C.S.I. were published in 1942 and 1959 respectively. The Constitution of the Jaffna Diocesan Council of the Church of South India together with the Institutional Appendix incorporating all amendments up to the end of the Diocesan Council of 1995 was published in 1995. Later in the year 2009, The Constitution of the Jaffna Diocesan Council of the Church of South India was amended incorporating all the obligatory clauses of the Revised Constitution of the Church of South India.

The present Constitution (November 2016 Edition) incorporates all the obligatory and mandatory clauses of the Revises Constitution of the Church of South India Synod as proposed and passed at the Special Session of the Church of South India Synod held on 8th April 2015 in Chennai, India and later ratified by the required number of Diocesan Councils. This also incorporates all Bye-Laws that came into effect from April 08, 2015.

Nothing in this Constitution shall be of any effect which is not in accordance with the Constitution of the Church of South India of which the agreement, the Synod of the Church of South India, shall be the sole judge.

The jurisdiction of the Diocesan Council shall be the work of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India as allotted to the Diocese by the American Ceylon Mission at the time of the official handing over of the Mission on 20th October 1947 soon after the birth of the Diocese on 27th September 1947 at the very first meeting of the Executive Committee of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India.

This does not preclude any adjustments that may at any time be made with respect to certain definite areas and portions subject to the approval of the synod of the church of south India.

The Office of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India shall be situated in the Cathedral Precincts, Vaddukoddai, and / or at such other place or places as the Diocesan Council or its Executive Committee may, from time to time decide.

Diocesan Officers


Rev. Dr. J. G. Thiagarajah

Vice-President

19, Kawdana Gardens, Dehiwela,
Sri Lanka

+94 719422724
jgthiagarajah@yahoo.co.uk

Rev. Dr. David Sathananthan Solomon

Secretary

Principal, Jaffna College, Vaddukoddai,
Sri Lanka

+94 773699494
solomon3111962@gmail.com

Mr. R. M. Ratnaraja

Assistant Secretary

Diocesan Office, Vaddukoddai,
Sri Lanka.

+94 775994669.


Rev. Dr. S. C. Arnold

Treasurer

Diocesan Office, Vaddukoddai,
Sri Lanka

+94 775994669
csiinjaffna@gmail.com

Mrs. Sujani Rajathevan

Associate Treasurer

Diocesan Office, Vaddukoddai,
Sri Lanka.

+94 779232643
sujani_raja@yahoo.co.in

Mr. N. Victor Jeyakumar

Registrar

Diocesan Office, Vaddukoddai,
Sri Lanka.

+ 94 713151076

News & Events

News
  • Renovated Nursery School Declared Open by the Bishop
  • Renovated Nursery School Declared Open by the Bishop
  • Renovated Nursery School Declared Open by the Bishop
  • Renovated Nursery School Declared Open by the Bishop
  • Renovated Nursery School Declared Open by the Bishop

Renovated Nursery School Declared Open by the Bishop

Rt. Rev. Daniel Thiagarajah, the Bishop in CSI Jaffna Diocese, declared open the renovated JDCSI diocesan nursery on 15th of June, 2018 at Vaddukottai, Jaffna, Srilanka.

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  • New Church Dedicated at Marawankulam
  • New Church Dedicated at Marawankulam
  • New Church Dedicated at Marawankulam
  • New Church Dedicated at Marawankulam
  • New Church Dedicated at Marawankulam
  • New Church Dedicated at Marawankulam
  • New Church Dedicated at Marawankulam
  • New Church Dedicated at Marawankulam
  • New Church Dedicated at Marawankulam

New Church Dedicated at Marawankulam

A newly constructed CSI Church in Marawankulam in the Diocese of Jaffna was dedicated to the glory of God by Bishop Daniel Thiagarajah, the Bishop in CSI Jaffna Diocese on the 23rd of March 2018.

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Vaddukoddai, (N.P), 
Sri Lanka.

+94 212250826
+94 774201713
+94 112582015
csiinjaffna@gmail.com

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