Diocese of Calcutta Church of North India CNI

West Bengal, India

32, Mother Teresa Sarani

Kolkata, West Bengal India

Diocese of Calcutta Church of North India CNI



Calcutta Diocese is one of the oldest dioceses in the Church of North India (CNI). It has a rich ecumenical history and legacy of more than 198 years, since its initiation in 1814 under the banner of the then Church of India Pakistan Burma and Ceylon (CIPBC) with The Rt. Rev. Thomas F. Middleton as its first Metropolitan. In 1970 the Diocese came under the umbrella of the Church of North India, which is a united and uniting church. The Rt. Rev. Joseph Amritanand was its first CNI Bishop.

The Court of Directors of the Hon'ble East India Company addressed a circular dated 13th February 1657 to the University of Oxford and Cambridge as to the appointment of the First Chaplain in India and the East. It said "The East India Company has resolved to endeavour the advane and spread of the Gospel in India and the settlement of an orthodox godly ministry such as one may instruct and teach the people, that shall be committed to his charge in building up in the knowledge of God and faith in Jesus Christ." Subsequently there was an appeal to find a suitable person.

It was on the 2nd of May 1814, when Letters Patent were issues constituting to the British Territories in India. A “Bishop’s See” to be called “The Bishopric of Calcutta” was considered, subject to the archiepiscopal See of Canterbury. On the renewal of the Charter of the East India Company with the Parliament, this matter was given effect to and the Diocese of Calcutta was defined as extending from Delhi to Cape Comorin and from the river Indus to the mouth of the river Ganges. In fact the entire India, including Burma constituted by and large, the Diocese at this period, which extended as far as the Straits settlement including the island of Ceylone (now Sri Lanka) and beyond Borneo, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania and partially Cape Town and China.