Monday, 8 May 2023

Kandy Methodist Church

Kandy Methodist Church
The Methodist Church in Kandy (Sinhala: මහනුවර මෙතොදිස්ත පල්ලිය) is situated on the wayside of Brownrigg Street (or Yatinuwara Veediya) in Kandy Town, Sri Lanka.

The history of the Methodist Church in Sri Lanka dates back to the early 19th century (Melton & Baumann, 2010). The Methodist Bishop Thomas Coke (1747-1814) who hoped to open Methodist missions in the East Indies, set sail for Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) on 30 December 1813 with six other missionaries including William Ault, Benjamin Clough, George Erskine, Thomas Hall Squance, William Martin Harvard, and James Lynch.. However, during the voyage, Coke died and was buried at sea (Melton & Baumann, 2010). The six others, except for Harvard (he remained in Bombay, India due to family circumstances), arrived in Galle on 29 June 1814, six months after they started their journey and one year before the fall down of the Kingdom of Kandy.

The Kingdom of Kandy was annexed to the British Empire under the terms of a treaty known as the Kandyan Convention that was signed on 2 March 1815 at the Magul Maduwa of the Temple of the Tooth Relic premises. In 1836, the Methodist Mission entered Kandy led by converts from the coast who had settled there and in March of the same year, a European missionary arrived in Kandy (MCC, 1964). In July, a large house which is said to be the residence of an Adigar was occupied by them and in it was space for a dwelling house, a chapel and a school (MCC, 1964). In 1837, the European missionary was recalled to Colombo and after that, the station was looked after by a person named Poulier (MCC, 1964).

In 1839, a missionary named Spence Hardy came to Kandy and he fitted up a room at his residence to serve as a chapel (MCC, 1964). Since then, religious activities were carried out at a low profile until the formation of the first Methodist Society in Kandy in the 1860s (MCC, 1964). In 1867, Rev. J. Bough arrived in Kandy as the missionary in charge (MCC, 1964). As a result of the effort of the laymen, the present Methodist Chapel on Brownrigg Street was constructed and opened for worship in 1871 (MCC, 1964). The small hall that has been attached left to the chapel is inscribed with the date 1897.

A protected monument
The Methodist Church located on the Yatinuwara Veediya in Kandy in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Kandy is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 8 July 2005.

1) Kandy-Eglise méthodiste (1) by Ji-Elle is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

1) MCC, 1964. Methodist Church Ceylon: Jubilee Souvenir 1814-1964. pp.48-49.
2) Melton, J.G. and Baumann, M. eds., 2010. Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices, [6 volumes]. abc-clio. p.1868. 
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. no: 1401. 8 July 2005.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 8 May 2023


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