Christ Church, Galkissa (Dehiwala)
Christ Church, Galkissa (Dehiwala)
Date of Consecration
1843 - 02 - 16
Galle Archdeaconry
Revd. Maxwell Doss

According to the historian Valentyn, the earliest reference to a church in Galkissa is in 1705 when there was a pretty good church, roofed with tiles and built upon 10 masonry and 20 stone pillars, taken from the heathen temple of Pepiliyana with a wall of clay three and a half feet high.

At the time the British arrived in Sri Lanka, in 1803, there was a Church in Galkissa. It was roofless and according to the historian Valentyn, a Church had been built by the Dutch in 1705 in Galkissa, and this was most probably that Church. Due to the proximity of the Church to the Governor’s country residence at Mount Lavinia, Sir Robert Brownrigg took a personal interest in its restoration, which commenced around 1820, meeting much of the cost out of his private purse. Evidently the Governor frequently attended Sunday worship in this Church.

This Church was used for many years prior to its formal consecration. Till 1833 the only resident minister at Christ Church was a “proponent.” This was a clerical functionary peculiar to the Church of Holand, performing duties intermediate between those of a Catechist and a Deacon of the Church of England, under the Archdeacon.

In 1833, Canon S W Dias was the first regular Minister. In addition, to Christ Church, Galkissa, he was in charge of the parishes of Moratuwa and Koralawella.

The Church was consecrated by the Rt. Rev. Trevor Spencer, Bishop of Madras, on 16 February 1843.

Canon S.W Dias was succeeded in 1852 by the Rev. James Thurstan, who was also in Charge of Milagiriya, Polwatte and Thimbirigasyaya. In 1889, the Rev. Dr. G.B Ekanayake was appointed visiting priest of Christ Church and it was during his tenure of office that the Deacon who was permanently attached to Christ Church Galkissa, the rev. Mathias De Silva was ordained a priest and Christ Church had its first full time pastor. In 1916, the Rev. Francis Mendis was appointed full time pastor. It was during his tenure of office that the Church became a self supporting parish and the old Vicarage was built.

The Rev. F.R.E Mendis was appointed Vicar in 1946. It was during his time that major structural changes were made to the Church. The sanctuary on the East Side of the Church ws moved to the West, and the entrance moved to the East and a porch was added, literally making it possible for anyone to step into the Church from the Galle Road. Two side Chapels were also added, to serve the expanding congregation.

With the main entrance from Galle Road, when the Rev. Felix Dias Abeysinghe was Vicar, the main door of the Church was opened, never to be closed again on 6 June 1959, and Christ Church, Galkissa became the “Church of the open door.”

Name From To Remarks
Canon S William Dias Bandarankayke 1833 1852  
Rev. James Thurstan 1852 1858  
Rev. Cornelius Senanayake 1861 1886  
Rev. Fredrick William Daundaskekera 1916 1929  
Rev. James Gregory Newsam Seneeviratne 1930 1935  
Rev. Reginald Vincent Becket De Silva 1935 1940  
Rev. Neville Walter Fernando 1940 1946  
Rev. Francis Reginald Ernest Mendis 1946 1957  
Rev. Felix Abraham Dias Abeysinghe 1957 1965  
Rev. George Chrles Gallaway Jirasinghe 1965 1974  
Red. Edison Tertius Lancelot Mendis 1975 1979  
Rev. Gerald De Alwis 1980 1983  
Rev. Henry Douglas Pereira 1984 1987  
Rev. Chrisantha B. Mendis 1988 1997  
Rev. Melvin de Silva 1992 1997  
Rev. Devapriya de Silva 1998 2001  
Rev. John Isaiah 2002 2004  
Rev. Perry Brohier 2005 2010  
Rev. Samuel J. Ponniah 2011 to date  

Contact Details

Postal Address
Christ Church, Galkissa (Dehiwala), No. 82, Galle Road, Dehiwela, Sri Lanka
Telephone & Fax
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bishop of colombo rt revd dushantha rodrigo


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