29 November, 1970: Formation of Church of North India (CNI). The inaugural meeting of the CNI was held in the Unity Hall opposite the Anglican Cathedral in Nagpur. The metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church Dr. Juhanon Mar Thoma attended this meeting.
The Church of North India was established in 1970 after a series of consultations that began in 1929. The fourth and final edition of the plan was complied in 1965, and on that basis Church Union in North India was inaugurated on the 29th of November, 1970 in Nagpur.
Churches that formed the new Church of North India, included:
- The Church of Northern India
- The Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon
- The Methodist Church in Southern Asia
- Council of the Baptist Churches in Northern India
- The Church of the Brethren and the Disciples of Christ (1957)
The concern for a unified Church grew out of a zeal for the mission of the Church. A divided Church could not bear witness to the one Gospel and the one Lord in a country like India with its diverse religions, languages, races and cultures. Through the process of negotiations and prayerful seeking of the guidance of the Holy Spirit, unity was achieved in the understanding and practice of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, the three-fold ministry of Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons and in the organizational structures of Pastorates, Dioceses and the Synod. Episcopacy was received and accepted as both constitutional and historic. The Church of North India was created as a unifying body to reach out to those in need and provide spiritual guidance and support. ~ http://cnisbss.org/cni/
Golden Jubilee Of Church of North India CNI at Nagpur 2019
Photo credits Shona Thangavel and Richard Masih
Hear Barbara Beach Alter speak about the auspicious day. She and her husband James were present for the event. They spent 35 years in Northern India serving the American Presbyterian Church as missionaries. Her theology evolved by interacting with and reading the books of Indian nationalist Mahatma Gandhi and the French Benedictine priest Abhishiktananda.