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From Our Bishops

Letter to the Diocese from Bishop Andrew

Dear Friends,

This March Break, I am aware of many people who have taken the week off to spend time with family, go skiing, go to the cottage, take a breather as winter slowly turns to spring. Some of them are even taking a trip! It reminds me of my own travels to India, including my own winter break just six weeks ago.

I’ve written about the experience already, and you may have seen my photographs, but I wanted to share one final word with you from that trip: this lovely letter from the Rev. Anish George, who served in the Diocese and whom some of you may remember. He writes to you, the clergy and people of Diocese of Toronto, and I reprint it here, unedited:


Beloveds in the Diocese of Toronto Anglican Church,

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Expressed our thanks to the Anglican Church because Toronto Diocese of Anglican Church have been most helpful at all times. Madhya Kerala Diocese of CSI Church is an Indian Anglican Community established in 1816 by CMS missionaries. The members of this church are mainly from the provinces of Andhra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. There are Malayalam speaking people from Kerala who are members of Toronto CSI Parish. We Madhya Kerala Diocese of CSI started this relationship with Anglican Church of Toronto from the time of Bishop Poole. Bishop Poole and Bishop Jenny Andison were instrumental in renewing this relationship. That is why Bishop Andrew Asbil’s visit is very precious to us. Especially he attended our Diocesan Convention.

Both Bishop and his wife attended many of our meetings every day. He helped us by delivering the keynote address on two days and appropriate messages during the daytime meetings. He delivered very powerful sermons in simple ways. He addressed more than 1500 people daily. Final day of our convention he delivered a small message to 8000 more people.

Many people were inspired by his simple life. And both Bishop Andrew and Mary have been involved in many of our mission field activities. It was he who inaugurated the counseling section of Bishop Moore Vidhyapith higher secondary school, Kayamkulam, where I am now the bursar. On January 27th, Bishop Andrew led the gathering of priests who served the Toronto CSI Parish. Rev Shajan Idikkula, Rev T.J.  John, Rev Raju Jacob, Rev Shaji M Johnson, Rev George Jacob & Rev Anish M George Padickamannil arrived with their family members. That fellowship was a very touching experience for us.  All shared experiences from their time in Toronto. We discussed the development of CSI Church Toronto. Rev Thomas Ninan started the worship. Then Rev Shajan served. After a long gap Rev T J John served from our Diocese.

The relationship with the Anglican Church became stronger when Rev Raju served there. Within a week of Rev Shaji taking charge, the congregation split into two. The ones who split were those who wanted no relationship with the Anglican Church. The Toronto Anglican Church was with us in our crisis.  With the efforts of Rev. George who came later, the congregation grew again into 83  families with an out station Church in Edmonton. After that I, Anish, took the charge. By the help of Anglican Church God used me to make 3 more out station churches in Calgary, Vancouver, and London Ontario with 250 families.

Anglican Church helped us with all this. So we all expressed our thanks to Bishop Andrew. We got together at Hotel Arcadia. We were all gifted with some memorable moments.

Also we asked a help from the Diocese of Toronto. We provide English education in our schools in India. But we informed the bishop about ways to provide that education in a better way. Many Canadians are coming to India for service. We requested the Bishop to please send any Canadians who wish to serve in India, to be sent to our institutions. We would be very happy to see the Anglican Church take the lead in this.

On behalf of the CSI Church, I once again thank you for all the services rendered to us. On behalf of the Church, I thank Bishop Andrew and his wife for their willingness to do so.

Thank you so much.


It is our delight to welcome Bishop Sabu Cherian, Diocesan Bishop of Madhya Kerala, and his wife Jesse to the Diocese later this month. Bishop Cherian will be the preacher at the Maundy Thursday service at St. James Cathedral on April 6. It is our joy to deepen our relationship with CSI.

Yours in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Andrew Asbil
Bishop of Toronto


P.S. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!