The Church of South India is the result of the union of churches of varying traditions such as Anglican, Methodist, Congregational, Reformed and Presbyterian. It was inaugurated in September 1947, after protracted negotiation among the churches concerned. Organized into dioceses, each under the spiritual supervision of a bishop, the Church is governed by a synod, which elects a moderator (presiding bishop) every 2 years. Episcopacy is thus combined with synodical government and the church explicitly recognizes that Episcopal, Presbyterian, and congregational elements are all necessary for the church's life. The Scriptures are the ultimate standard of faith and practice. The historic creeds are accepted as interpreting the biblical faith and the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper are recognized as of binding obligation.
Being the largest Protestant church in India, the CSI celebrates her life with Indian culture and spirituality and she also raises her voice for the voiceless on matters of justice, peace and integrity of creation. Sharing the love of Jesus Christ with the people of India through proclamation of the good news of Jesus; responding to human need through institutional and emergency relief work; through community development projects and skill training programmes for the marginalized and disadvantaged sections of the people and programmes for the integrity of creation.
The CSI is a united and uniting church moving forward with a dynamic vision for The Communion of Churches in India. The Church of South India, the Church of North India and the Mar Thoma Church are already members of this commune of Churches and are venturing into wider ecumenical relations to witness to One Lord Jesus Christ.
The Church of South India (CSI) affirms that the purpose of the union is to fulfil the priestly prayer of Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Church "That they all may be one, and that the world may believe that you have sent me". And the Church of South India would become an effective instrument of God's mission so there will be greater peace, closer fellowship and fuller life in the Church and a renewed commitment for the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through word and deed.
The Church of South India affirms that the Church is the Servant of God to carry on the mission rooted in Jesus Christ based on the Scriptures. The Church through her mission expresses solidarity with the broken communities for a new hope to face the challenges of life. The Cross continuous to be the sign of hope for the witnessing Church, which strives towards Unity, Peace and Reconciliation as a vibrant Channel of God.
CSI Parish London History
The CSI Parish in UK has finally emerged as a reality on 07th October 2007, bearing true witness to God's love and care towards his children. By the immense grace and blessings of our loving God, our first Malayalam Holy Communion service as UK CSI parish was celebrated on this day.
Showers of Blessing
September 2007 was a wonderful and miraculous month for the CSI members in the United Kingdom; our prayers for finding an ideal place for worship have been answered. God's answer was through the Church of England; they offered us a beautiful church in Central London to perform CSI services during Sunday afternoons.
Worshipping our lord as CSI Malayalam community has been a long cherished dream for the CSI members in UK. One evening in May 2007 a number of CSI members decided to meet in East London. At that meeting every one expressed their extreme support to begin a CSI Malayalam church in London and discuss about our future plan. We decided to meet again on 03-06-07 at another venue in East London. Followed by two more meetings, we fixed our first prayer meeting on 22nd july 2007 in Hainault and also we decided to start a website
After our first prayer meeting at Hainault, we started working out the plans to obtain an ideal place for worship in Central London. As a first step, we sought an appointment with Bishop Rt. Rev. Michael Colclough, the Bishop of Kensington who has Central London area under his jurisdiction. On 13th September 2007 we were honoured by the generosity of Bishop, who wholeheartedly welcomed us all CSI members to use the St. Augustine’s Church, Queens Gate, South Kensington. That day we witnessed the miracle of God as the privilege bestowed upon us to worship in one of the London's landmark and historical churches. Following Bishop Michael's approval, the Parish Priest Rev. Stephen Caple has taken the patronage for future plans for worship. We again met the Bishop and Rev. Stephen on 18th September 2007; during latter's licensing service at St. Augustine’s. We had another meeting with Rev. Stephen on 21st September 2007 to discuss the future plans. During that meeting we were officially granted permission to commence CSI Malayalam worship service on the Sunday the 7th October 2007 at 15.00hrs. St. Augustine's was our home for nearly 3 years, until such times the church has entered into an evangelical partnership with Holy Trinity, Brompton. We had our last service in St. Augustine's in the month of August 2010.
Our parish met with a crisis while the attempts to locate an alternate worship place did not materialise quickly, however we continued our services using the facilities of the Indian YMCA, London. Again in October 2010 our church has witnessed God's miracle, while being invited by Rev. Paul Hawkins, vicar of St. Pancras Church, Euston Road, London. The CSI Malayalam parish has entered into a new phase with this relocation and and the great blessing of the Lord. We started at St. Pancras with the November service on 14th November 2010.
We continued regular services at St Pancras till mid 2014 when we had to search for a new home which could accommodate our needs better.
This search led us to our current parish in East Ham.St Bartholomew’s Parish in East Ham welcomed us wholeheartedly to be a part of their family and we have been worshiping here since September 2014.
Our association with the St Bartholomew’s parish, East Ham and its vicar, Revd. Susan Lucas, continues to grow stronger every year. Our Christmas Carol services are held every year as an event to celebrate for the entire parish. Malayalam Holy Communion services continue to be held regularly at 2:00 pm on the second Sunday of every month under the leadership of The Venerable Dr. John Perumbalath, Archdeacon of Barking. In addition to this we are also fortunate to get advice and guidance from other Malayalee priests in the UK with a CSI background.
We are truly honoured by other UK Malayalam parishes such as Marthoma, Jacobite, Orthodox and Catholic churches by their esteemed presence and active participation in our services. We extend our sincere thanks to all from our neighbouring churches. Furthermore, we are proud of our young men and women who volunteered selflessly in all the activities of this church. We request your valuable prayers and kind participation.
Love and Prayers
Your Friends in Christ