On Sunday, 15th March, 2020 The Rt. Rev. Dr. Paritosh Canning, Bishop of Calcutta, CNI blessed and dedicated CNI Nawhazari Church as St. John’s Church in the presence of Office Bearers, Clergy, Heads of Institutions and Laity of the Diocese of Calcutta, CNI. Henceforth the Church at Nawhazari will be known as “St. John’s Church”, Diocese of Calcutta, CNI.
The Church last witnessed a visit from the Office Bearers or an Episcopal visit on 14th November, 2001 on its foundation day. Ever since, the Church has been neglected and not cared for due to lack of funds and resources coupled with the difficulty of reaching the Church for non availability of proper roads.
However, for Bishop Dr. Paritosh Canning, these are not obstacles or stumbling blocks. Very recently, on a bright sunny morning he left for the Church in Nawhazari without prior information to the Pastorate Committee or the Presbyter-in-Charge. In the days when he was the Presbyter-in-Charge of Church of the Epiphany, Thakurpakur(under which the Local Congregation of Nawhazari comes) he had tougher times getting to the Church through muddy roads. There were times when he had to walk through ankle deep slush for miles, the only means to get here. Bishop personally experienced here the deep faith of the Community in Christ and their love for the Church.
It was his vision to enable the Church at Nawhazari to become a true Evangelizing Parish. Having discussed with Office Bearers of the Diocese it was decided to request the Select Vestry Committee of St. John’s Church, 2/1, Council House Street, Kolkata – 700 001 to support CNI Nawhazari Church under the Diocese of Calcutta through an outreach programme.
Bishop Paritosh Canning at the dedication of the Church building said our Diocesan Mission calls us to “Reach out and welcome all God’s children and Make Disciples.” In the years 2020-2025, we are working towards fulfilling our mission of making disciples. The Diocese will do what it could, and looks to the more affluent Churches and Institutions in the Diocese to support this mission.
The Church here has been neglected and is in much need of the support for Sunday School and evangelism besides other needs. This is a long term goal because much needs to be done and it is simpler said than done. We look forward to walking together with the family of St. John’s Church in this endeavour.
Bishop Paritosh Canning thanked Rev. Pradip Kumar Nanda, Presbyter-in-Charge and the Select Vestry Committee of St. John’s Church, for accepting the mission of the Diocese and adopting the congregation; Mrs. Sanchita Biswas, Principal of St. Paul’s Mission School for her support towards the renovation of the Church building and for also all the many ways by which Mrs. Biswas contributes towards building up the Diocese besides her own role as Principal and member of several standing committees in the Diocese, the Office Bearers, Mr. Kader Khan, the building contractor for doing a marvellous job with the renovation in a short time and all those present at the dedication and blessing of the new Church.
Also present as special guests were Revd. Mark Meatcher, Minister of Bush Hill Park, Christ Church and Lancaster Road United Reformed Churches, UK along with his wife Melanie.
The service concluded with a time of fellowship and dinner for all.