It is with great sadness that National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) received the news of the demise of Rt. Revd. Collin Christopher Theodore, a working committee member of NCCI and the vice president of North West India Council of Churches. He was the former Bishop of the Diocese of Rajasthan of the Church of North India and served as the Moderator’s Episcopal Commissary to the Diocese of Lucknow. He was also a member of the Brotherhood of Ascended Christ, a religious order of CNI.
NCCI expresses its sincere condolences on his passing. In his condolence message The Most Revd Dr. P. C. Singh, the President of NCCI and the Moderator of CNI Synod said; “We are thankful to God for the life, witness and leadership of Bishop Collin Theodore.” He also said, “We believe that the contributions that he made to the Church at large will always be cherished with gratitude”.
He was surely respected and beloved among the ecumenical fraternity in India especially in North India. Bishop Collin had a strong commitment to ecumenical formation of the clergy and he was ready to go to any extent to reach out to people from different churches and denominations. His passion for ecumenical endeavor was explicitly expressed through his commitment in organising different ecumenical events especially the World Day of Prayer in Delhi and around.
From his humble beginning as a person who worked at a petrol pump to feed his family members after losing his father at an early stage, Bishop Collin stood as an example of God’s miracle. His radical commitment to Christ and the gospel compelled him to lead a monastic life. He was informal in his dealings and approaches but was disciplined as far as the ecclesiastical, liturgical, canonical and other official matters are concerned.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11: 25-26). We are sure that Bishop Collin will continue to live through us as we follow certain examples, he set for us, especially in celebrating life with those who belonged to all walks of the society.
In this hour of grief and sorrow we pray to the Almighty to grant peace, courage, confidence and fortitude to bear the irreparable loss to all in bereavement including the family, the Church of North India, the Brotherhood community and those who had the privilege of knowing Bishop Collin and being blessed by his ministry.
May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
Rev Asir Ebenezer,