St. Margaret's Church, Kotagala
St. Margaret's Church, Kotagala
Date of Dedication
Nuwara Eliya Archdeaconry
Revd. S. K. Daniel

The Church of St. Margaret at Forest Creek was built by plans supplied by a London architect. At that time, there was a connection with the English parish of Homewood in Surrey. It is situated about 10 km from Hatton along the Nuwara-Eliya Road. The origin of the Church begins with the plantation Churches built in the 19 century. The districts now known as Dimbulla and Dickoya were originally uninhabited tracts of jungle patina, brought under cultivation by coffee and later tea planters. There were no district organizations and English services only were conducted in coffee stores or in planter’s bungalows at infrequent intervals by itinerating government stipendiary chaplains on circuit. These ministries were supplemented by unofficial and occasional assistance given by European clergy in charge of missionary work among the Tamil estate labour.

The first resident chaplain was Rev. W.H. Elton. His Incumbency lasted from 1874-1880.

On 25 September 1871, a meeting was held in Dimbula Chaired by the Bishop of Colombo. There was unanimous decision that the district must have its own Churches and support its own clergy. Plans were made to raise money for building and a chaplain’s stipend.

The stone laying ceremony of this Church took place in 1876.  This Church was dedicated in the year 1880 by the Rev. W.H. Elton.

The first chaplain was the Rev. John Kemp, of sound record and classical scholarship. The Rev. Kemp came to Ceylon from Sarawak where he had been a Chaplain and a missionary under the S.P.G. for 3 years. He was the Chaplain for Dimbula Chaplaincy from 1873 to 1876. The first residential Chaplain for Dimbula Chaplaincy was the Rev. F.W.C. Rigby who served from 1877 to 1889.

The presence of a resident chaplain in each district naturally strengthened the movement to erect permanent Churches. Between 1875- 1880, 5 Churches were undertaken and completed. The original Dimbulla scheme provided for two Churches, one at Lindula and the other at Forest Creek, Kotagala was built from plans supplied by a London architect.

Originally Kotagala was part of the Dimbula parish where one priest looked after the needs of a vast area comprising of Lindula, Talankande, Agrapatana, Kotagala and Mayfield. It was found humanely impossible to cater to the religious needs of the entire parish by just one individual priest. Therefore, Kotagala Church was taken out of the Dimbula parish and made a separate independent unit with effect from 1999.

Name From To Remarks
Rev John Kemp 1873 1876 English
Rev F W C Rigby 1877 1889  
Rev Edwin Bellerby 1889 1890  
Rev C F Turner 1891 1897  
Rev C W Ford 1897 1905  
Rev A L Keith 1905 1910  
Rev W A Parton 1910 1912  
Rev W E Rowlands 1912 1912 TCM
Rev A K Finnimore 1913 1914 TCM
Rev Arthur Le Feuvre 1914 1915  
Rev W E Rowlands 1915 1916 TCM
Rev Victor Dunphy 1916 1919  
Rev A Pakkianathan 1917 1927 TCM
Rev H P Napier Clavering 1919 1925  
Rev R P Butterfield 1926 1934  
Rev H R Horsington 1928 1929 Tamil
Rev S Gnanamanickkan 1931 1931 Tamil
Rev G E P Paramenter 1934 1937  
Rev J Yorke 1932 1933 Tamil
Rev S P C David 1934 1934 Tamil
Rev R G Cartmel 1937 1945  
Rev H R Horsington 1939 1943 Tamil
Rev A Vethakkan 1944 1946 Tamil
Rev A B Champion 1946 1948  
Rev S Asirvatham 1947 1947 Tamil
Rev H R Horsinghton 1948 1950 Tamil
Rev J W L Timmins 1951 1958  
Rev H E Jones 1959 1961  
Rev Augustine Yorke 1951 1951 Tamil
Rev C Thambimuttu 1952 1952 Tamil
Rev Augustine Yorke 1953 1963 Tamil
Rev S D Horsington 1962 1962  
Rev R V L Pereira 1963 1974  
Rev J A R Navaretnam 1964 1964 Tamil
Rev Cornelius J Samuel 1965 1971  
Rev Jubilee S Ponniah 1972 1976  
Rev Augustine Philips 1975 1976  
Rev A Chinniah 1977 1977  
Rev Joshua V Ratnam 1978 1981  
Rev Christopher Daniel 1982 1984  
Rev Susantha Ranasinghe 1985 1987  
Rev Augustine Philips 1988 1994  
Rev Patrick Lawrence 1995 1998  
Rev S J Jeyaraj 1997 1998  
Rev S S Parimalachelvan 1999 2000  
Rev Philip A Jesudevan 1999 2002 Separated from Dimbula Parish in 99
Rev Priyajayanth Paul 2003 2003 Asst. Curate
Rev S S Jebachelvan 2004 2009 Resident Priest/Vicar
Rev G Manoruban 2010 todate  
Name From To Remarks
Bro N Devadason 1972 1977 Served as Catechist in the Parish
Rev S Manickarajah 1978 1984 Served as Catechist in the Parish
Rev J Dharmaraj 1985 1994 Served as Catechist in the Parish
Sis S Asothamary 1996 2000 Served as a Lay Worker
Bro R Kannan 2000 2000 Served as a Lay Worker
Sis Selvarani Walter 2001 2011 Served as a Lay Worker
Bro J Paulraj 2012 - 2012- -Served as a Lay Worker
The names of European Priests served in this church was abstracted from various old records available in the church and we do not have accurate records of them.

Contact Details

Postal Address
St. Margaret's Church, Kotagala
 0512 244 002 

bishop of colombo rt revd dushantha rodrigo


Daily Bible Verses

  • WhatsApp Image 2023-01-23 at 07.07.12.jpeg
  • WhatsApp Image 2023-01-23 at 07.07.12 (1).jpeg
  • WhatsApp Image 2023-01-21 at 07.18.43.jpeg
  • WhatsApp Image 2023-01-21 at 07.18.42.jpeg
  • WhatsApp Image 2023-01-21 at 07.18.42 (1).jpeg
  • WhatsApp Image 2023-01-21 at 07.18.22.jpeg
  • WhatsApp Image 2023-01-21 at 07.18.21.jpeg
  • WhatsApp Image 2023-01-21 at 07.18.21 (1).jpeg
  • WhatsApp Image 2023-02-01 at 08.23.28.jpeg
  • WhatsApp Image 2023-02-01 at 08.23.28 (1).jpeg
  • WhatsApp Image 2023-02-01 at 08.23.27.jpeg
  • WhatsApp Image 2023-01-23 at 07.07.13.jpeg

The Samaritan Pledge

Thelivu - Newspaper
The Ceylon Churchman