Dr Ajesh T Phillip (OCP Delegate of the Indian Sub-Continent) – June 2016
Anglican Church of India
Kerala: On Monday 20th of June 2016, the Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE (Pan-Orthodox Christian NGO Movement) delegation visited His Eminence Archbishop Stephen Vattapara, Metropolitan-Primate of the Anglican Church of India (An Independent Anglican Church in India and which is not a part of the Anglican Communion).
OCP Delegation consisted of Varghese John Thottapuzha (Director- Dept. of Publications), George Alexander (Secretary & Spokesperson) & Joice Thottakadu (OCP Associate & Freelance Orthodox Journalist). Metropolitan Stephen Vattapara cordially welcomed the delegation at his residence. They discussed topics of mutual interest. The Metropolitan spoke on the history of his church and contemporary issues. Anglican Church of India works among Dalit and converted Christians. Metropolitan Stephen was presented with the ‘Icon of Three Saints’ as a token of love and respect from the OCP Family.
The Anglican Church of India
As India become independent in 1947, Churches in India joined together to establish the Church of South India in 1947. Church of South India consists of Anglicans, Baptists, Basel Mission, Lutherans and Presbyterians. The unified Church of South India accepted an order of uniformity in worship and practice. This was at the expense of the Anglican faith. Anglicans in the CSI did not accept it. There was a provision for separation within a period of 30 years from the CSI. In 1964, the Anglicans decided to withdraw from the CSI. Anglicans re-established the Anglican Church of India on August 24th, 1964. Dr. V. J. Stephen was consecrated as a Bishop by Anglican Bishops from USA and Africa, and also by the Anglicanized Evangelical Bishop from Kerala, India, on May 5th 1966. Even though the church was re-established in 1964, the Synod of the Anglican Church of India was formed only in 1990 at Kottayam.
Anglican Synod constitutes of all the Diocesan Bishops, Clergy Secretaries, Lay Leaders of the Dioceses and Church-related organizations and representatives of each Dioceses and Independent Churches. Independent Churches functioning where there are not enough congregations exists to form a Diocese are also given representation in the Synod. Archbishop Dr Stephen Vattappara serves as the Chairman of the Synod and also as the Metropolitan of Anglican Church of India.
The Orthodox Christian Connection
The Anglican Church of India claims certain Orthodox connections in their Episcopal Lineage. Their Bishop Rt Rev V J Stephen was consecrated by the late Most Rev James Parker Dees whose episcopal lineage comes from Archbishop Joseph René Vilatte (Mar Timotheus I). Archbishop Vilaltte was consecrated by Metropolitan’s St. Alvares Julius, Mar Athanasius Paulose and St. Gregorious Geevarghese (Parumala Thirumeni) of the Indian Orthodox Malankara with the knowledge and permission of the Patriarch Ignatius Peter IV of Antioch and All East.
OCP News Service