Nikhila Henry, TNN | Sep 28, 2013

India gets first woman Anglican bishop from Andhra
“I am glad that the supreme authorities of the church chose me but more than that i am glad that the lord chose me,” Rev Pushpalalitha told TOI.
HYDERABAD: In a historic decision, the Church of South India appointed its first woman Bishop, who hails from a small village in Kurnool.With her appointment Rev E Pushpalalitha becomes the first woman bishop of the Anglican family churches in South Asia, top CSI officials said.”I am glad that the supreme authorities of the church chose me but more than that i am glad that the lord chose me,” Rev Pushpalalitha told TOI.

She will formally assume charge as bishop of Nandyal diocese on September 29 at a consecration ceremony to be held at the historic Anglican cathedral in Nandyal.

“We were surprised by the decision. But we guess it is time for a woman to find her place in the history of churches in the country. Rev Pushpalalitha is right choice to be the first woman bishop of the Anglican family of churches,” said Rt Rev G Dyvasirvadam, deputy moderator of CSI.

In India, the Anglican family of churches, include Church of South India, Church of North India, Methodist Church and Marthoma Church, among others.

In fact, Rev Pushpalalitha is the second woman to become bishop among all churches in the country. Good Samaritan Evangelical Lutheran Mission located in Bhadrachalam appointed Rev A Katakshamma as their bishop in 1996.

After she assumes the post, Rev Pushpalalitha will perform all the sacraments of the church including dedication of churches in her diocese which has over 1 lakh believers and 100 presbyters.

She will also be in charge of ordaining priests and giving confirmation to young members of the church. The CSI has 22 bishops across all the dioceses in the country and Sri Lanka. The mission also has over 3,000 presbyters of which around 120 are women.

Rev Pushpalalitha attributed her appointment to the grace of God and said she is confident of leading the Nandyal diocese now.

Rev Pushpalalitha who was born in Diguvapadu, Kurnool district in 1956 got her pastor post in 1984. She was born to a family of agriculturists and has held several administrative posts of CSI, including that of chairperson of the Denary committee.

She was also a CSI Synod member and part of the National Committee for Women’s Fellowship.

Rev Pushpalalitha was selected for the top post from a four-member panel. Other contenders for the post were presbyters Rev P B Vijayaraj, Rev K Israel and Rev Satyanandam Paul.

Appointment to bishop post is done as per the recommendations of a high level expert committee constituted by CSI’s Synod selection committee. The decision of the committee is later ratified by the moderator of CSI in the country, Rt Rev G Devakataksham.


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