This (along with Dornakal Diocese in the Church of South India) was the first partnership formed by the Diocese and was established in 2001 under Bishop Vasantha Kumar, who has now retired. Bishop P K Samuel was consecrated bishop in 2015.
The Diocese is centred on the city of Bangalore (recently renamed Bengaluru) on the Deccan plateau in Karnataka State. Bangalore is well known as the software centre of SE Asia and the home to many hi-tech companies. The church of South India is well established there and based in the city and outer areas, a number of which are much poorer (such as the Kola Gold Fields – the mines all closed some years ago). Bangalore is a large bustling city with huge contrasts within it. Modern buildings and multi-national corporations are often only a street apart from roadside shanty dwellers. The main language is Kanada, with Tamil a close second and some Malayalam, Hindi and Telugu spoken: as a result even the auto-rickshaw drivers speak a little English as a common tongue.
A major aspect of the church’s ministry is in education to both the poorest and more affluent and along with this a number of hostels and homes for orphan or disadvantaged children.
The church recognises its opportunities in ministry to a growing prosperous and well educated middle class. However, these same opportunities are also a cause of social and cultural change both in society and the church. Family life and relationships are changing fast; too fast for many.
Bishop Rachel in Bangalore
There are two church hospitals, both with nursing schools, which have been a central part of their work in the past. The growth of government responsibility for health care provision is leading to a rethinking of the church’s role in this area.
The annual Youth Trip stays in Bengalaru each year and has built up many contacts and friendships. As English is very widely spoken there are a number of opportunities for clergy and laity from the diocese to spend time working with local churches/pastors or with schools and this has been significant in building up the partnership. Anyone interested in this or in assisting with the annual Youth Team should contact the Link Officer.
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