The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, dedicated a newly constructed building of the church belonging to the Vallimalai Pastorate of the Church of South India (CSI) at Anna Nagar in Kugainallur village near Ranipet on Tuesday.

The Most Rev. Williams stressed the need to think of the foundations of Christian life, as preached by St. Paul, who said that Christ had made peace between God and human beings, and between human beings and human beings. Speaking on the topic, ‘Mission to Rural India,' the Archbishop of Canterbury said that Jesus Christ had intimate knowledge of what it was like to live in a rural community. Mission in rural India meant recognising many things hidden in the lives of rural people. The Bishop of the CSI Vellore Diocese Y. William said that the Diocese of Vellore was predominantly rural. The founding vision for the Diocese was laid by the Missionaries of the American Arcot Mission of the Reformed Churches in America. “The Diocese is involved in various ministries like education, health care, rural development and agriculture, which pay attention to the physical, spiritual, intellectual, psychological and economic well-being of all people”, he said.

Rev. William said that there were about 60 rural churches undergoing construction in the Vellore Diocese. Devakadasham, Deputy Moderator of the CSI Synod, introduced the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Y. John Bashkar, vice-president, Vellore Diocese, said this was the 96th new church building being built in the Diocese during the tenure of the Bishop Rev. William. The Diocese had built 90 school buildings.

Later, talking to reporters at Voorhees College, the Archbishop of Canterbury lauded the role of the missionary organisations in Vellore district in the uplift and empowerment of women and children in the poor rural families. He recalled the great missionary service, which led to the establishment of Voorhees College and Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore.

Earlier, he was given a reception on behalf of the CSI Vellore Diocese at Voorhees College. C. Rajendran, Collector of Vellore, Rev. William and D. Daniel Ezhilarasu, Principal and Secretary of the college participated.