St. Andrew's Church, Batticaloa
St. Andrew's Church, Batticaloa
Date of Consecration
1891 - 10 - 11
Nuwara Eliya Archdeaconry
Rev. T. O. Thirukkumar

The history of the Church of Ceylon records the consecration of St. Andrew’s Church, Batticaloa on 11.10.1891 by the then Bishop of Colombo, Rt. Rev. R.S. Copleston. However, the history of St. Andrews Church can be traced to the period long before the consecration took place, because records show that most of the English soldiers who took control of Batticaloa forts from the Dutch were Anglicans, and there had been ecclesiastical oversight on them.

As we mentioned above, Anglicanism started in Batticaloa since the inception of British rule in 1796, and the Church was under the Diocese of London. The year 1846 was significant to the Church in Ceylon, thus it became a separate Diocese, and the Rt. Rev. Chapman was appointed the first Bishop to the new Diocese. Bishop Chapman took much interest in his infant Diocese and he visited Batticaloa for the first time on 7.8.1846 when the parish was in an unsatisfactory condition. Bishop Chapman visited Batticaloa after four years in 1850 and he took great care and immediate action for the progress of the parish. His visits gave a new outlook in the life of St. Andrew’s and also the ministry of the colonial Chaplain the Rev. Glenie was commendable.

In 1859, the Diocesan School Society was formed and the Church moved in the area of education, and as a result the following mission stations with schools were established :- Puliyanthivu, Koddaimunai, Amirthakaly, Navatkudah, Urani, Arayampathy, Kokuvil, Valaichenai, Pethalai, Kaluthavalai, and Kalkudah.

In 1985 the first native Anglican Priest the Rev. David Somanander was appointed as the resident priest. Thereafter, the Rev A. Vethacan was appointed and he was responsible for the building up of the other Churches at Navatkudah and Valaichenai.

It was when Batticaloa became the capital of the Eastern Province the necessity for a permanent Church at Batticaloa was felt. Till then a part of the warehouse in the customs was used for worship. The present Church was built almost near the old customs warehouse. The following clergymen served in the Church till 1932. They are Revs. Glenie, Thampoe, S. Nicholas, H.L Wait, J Hannah, D. Somanathar and A. Vethacam.

The Rev. Canon S.H.W. Ramanaden who was the incumbent from 1943 to 1976 was the longest serving priest in the church..

The work was expanded to Morakotanchennai during the time of the Rev. K. Gnanadass in 1975. The Rt. Rev. Cyril Abeynaike laid the foundation stone for a Chapel thus called St. Paul’s Chapel. This Church got its status of electoral body in 1991.

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Contact Details

Postal Address
St. Andrew's Church, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka
0652 222 698

bishop of colombo rt revd dushantha rodrigo


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