Bishop Harold de Soysa

Bishop Harold de Soysa

On the 4th of May, the Church remembered Bishop Harold de Soysa.

Bishop Harold was the first Ceylonese Bishop of Colombo. He and Bishop Abeynaike are perhaps the only two Bishops of Colombo to be elected uncontested.

Bishop Harold hailed from a family which has served both the church and society in our country. He had his early education at Royal College. Thereafter he went to England, where he studied at Oxford and was trained for Ordination at Cuddesdon. Bishop Harold after his Ordination in England worked for a short period there.

On his return to Ceylon, he worked in Kandy and Moratuwa, amongst other places.

He was also the Principal of the Colombo Divinity School, where he was responsible for the training of many Ordinands. While being Principal, he was made the Archdeacon of Colombo.

Bishop Harold will be remembered for many things. Some of them being the following.

1). Bishop Harold with others, was involved in the work of the Sunday School Movement and the Church of Ceylon Youth Movement.

2). He was part of the Gospel and Culture Movement in our

Church, Indegenisation.

3). He played a very important role in the Church Union and the Ecumenical Movement. In fact, his work in this area, was so recognised that, he was part of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Anglican Roman Catholic conversations.

4). It was he with others, who dreamed dreams and saw visions about our New Cathedral, but, alas, he like Moses didn t enter the Promised Land of the New Cathedral, for while the New Cathedral was being built, he died in 1971. However, his mortal remains were buried inside the Cathedral. They lie behind the main Altar, in front of the Unity Chapel.

Above everything else, Bishop Harold was a man of God. He was a man of prayer. He developed his own spirituality. He was a man who spent many hours on his knees. That was seen and heard in and through his life and work.

This man of God was indeed the perfect child of God for he was childlike simple and humble in many ways.

We thank God for the life and work of this man of God.

Sydney Knight