Vellore Cambridgeshire Prayer Day is the first Sunday before Lent, so it changes every year. It is an opportunity to remember the link we have with Vellore, what we can learn from each other through it, and to pray for our continuing journey of faith together.
How it all began
In January 1976 the Diocese of Madras (now known as Chennai), Church of South India, had grown so large that it was divided into two parts. The Diocese of Vellore was born following this division. The diocese now has 685 church congregations which serve over 150,000 families, equating to about 900,000 Christians!
The history of Christianity in the area goes back some time before, to the arrival of the American Arcot Mission and the Scudder family, as well as missions from Britain and Germany.
In 1990 churches in Cambridgeshire linked with the churches in Vellore, which was one of the newest dioceses in the united churches (Church of South India, Church of North India, Church of Bangladesh, Church of Pakistan). The Church of South India is a united church and became so in 1947, shortly after India achieved independence.
The early missionaries worked with the poorest people, the Dalit communities, to build schools, hospitals and healthcare facilities. In more recent years training colleges have been built to serve those in need, regardless of religion. The Diocese continues to work with, for and amongst all people in need.
Journeying in faith with the Diocese of Vellore has shown us how mission and service go hand-in-hand. We have learnt so much during our partnership; to trust in God even when resources are running low, and about hospitality, and the love of God.