Church of South India in the Bay Area
- August 01, 2023
- Steve Macias
I had some friends from Kerala, India visit us at St. Paul’s Anglican Church Los Altos. They are part of Church of South India in the Madhya Kerala Diocese. Their Achen Rev. Aby Thomas is currently leading a congregation in Los Angeles called St. Peters and now exploring the idea of a Malayalam service for the Bay Area. Malayalam is one of the Dravidian language primarily spoken in the Indian state of Kerala and nearby states with approximately 38 million native speakers. The services would be in their language and hosted somewhere near San Francisco or San Jose—I’ve offered St. Paul’s as a possible venue and Los Altos would be right in the middle of that target area.
Since the mid-70s, there has been an extraordinary surge of Christians migrating from South India to the United States of America. Many of them are from churches associated with the Church of South India. Most Christians I’ve met in the Bay Area are from Kerala, including several from our Canterbury School.
What is CSI?
The Church of South India (CSI) was established in 1947 as a result of the union of several Protestant denominations in South India, including Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodists, and Congregationalists. It has a close relationship with the Anglican Communion as it inherited many of its liturgical and ecclesiastical practices from the Anglican Church, and it maintains full communion with the Anglican Communion and their service follows a structure very similar to the Book of Common Prayer.
Their Bishop (Madhya Kerala Diocese) is Rt. Rev. Dr Malayil Sabu K. Cherian and he is visiting the Bay Area the first weekend of Sept and will lead a Malayalam service here in the Bay Area.
Leslie Newbigin and CSI
Leslie Newbigin (1909-1998) was a British Christian theologian and missionary who played a significant role in the development of the Church of South India (CSI). I first read his work and began studying him a decade back and wrote some about his role in the founding of CSI here: