Bishop Collin Theodore

Bishop Collin Theodore spent his life serving the church in Delhi, except for the time when he was consecrated as Bishop to serve the Diocese of Rajasthan. From his childhood till his death he remained a faithful son of the Church of North India.

In Delhi joined the Brotherhood of the Ascended Christ, which is a monastic-missionary community of the Church of North India. After completing a period of two years as probationer in 1979 he made his final promise for life-intention as a member of the Brotherhood. He was trained at Bishop College Kolkata and was ordained as deacon in his home parish of St. Mary’s Church Ajmer in 1977, and then returned to the Brotherhood where he was admitted as a probationer. In Delhi he served at St. James Church Kashmere Gate and Holy Trinity Church Turkman Gate as the following year he was ordained as presbyter in the Diocese of Delhi. He continued to serve in these churches, serving and visiting the members on his black Rajdoot motorcycle.

In 1985 Collin was appointed Diocesan Youth Director; consequently in the following year which was the International Year of Youth, he played an important part in planning conferences at Diocesan and regional levels. The most important one was at St. Stephen’s College in Delhi for the delegates from each diocese of CNI. This was part of the moderator’s “Transfer of Vision” programme, and the Moderator, the Most Revd. Dinesh C. Gorai was present.

Due to his active ministry as a pastor and youth director, he had become widely known among all sections of the people of Delhi Diocese. Moreover his involvement was beyond the confines of the diocese, particularly in the administration of the Christian Study and Retreat Centre at Rajpura Dehradun and Fr. Wyld Memorial Retreat and Study Centre at Tezpur Assam. As a very active Secretary of the Delhi Christian Pastor’s Fellowship he was in touch with the local churches. His experience in pastorates was very wide having ministered only in small Hindi-Speaking Churches like St. Stephen’s Church Fatehpuri, Christ Church Basai Darapur and Prabhu Prakash Sadan Nandnagari, Mukti Aradhnalaya Pitampura but also in multi-lingual Congregation of the Cathedral Church of the Redemption in New Delhi.

At a meeting of the Chapter in November 1997 Collin was elected as the eleventh Head of the Brotherhood of the Ascended Christ. He took over his office as Head from Fr. Amos Rajamoney. Later, he served as Bishop of Rajasthan for a decade 2001-2011 stationed at Ajmer. He did his best to build up the diocese under most difficult circumstances. After his retirement he was called upon to take charge as the episcopal commissary of the Diocese of Lucknow, which was also a very challenging ministry. Thereafter he retired at the Brotherhood House and served as the Guardian of the St. Stephen’s Community, and also built up the ministry of the North West Region of the National Council of Churches of India. As an ecumenical minded person he was loved and respected by Bishops of the Roman Catholic and Methodist Churches.

On the last week of his life he was at St. Stephen’s Hospital Delhi where Fr. Monodeep Daniel (Head of the Brotherhood) was also admitted under the same condition. They shared the same floor but could not meet in person due to health regulation of isolation. Fr. Monodeep called him on mobile each day from his hospital room. Collin spoke very little as he had become very weak. “Yes, Mono” … “still going on, slowly” he would say. He died on the morning of 15th April 2021 in the hospital. According to his wishes he was cremated and his ashes were divided; half were buried at the Nicholson Cemetery Delhi along with Fr. Ian Weathrall and Bishop Christopher Robinson both members of the Brotherhood, and the other half in Ajmer among his family graves.

We will remember him for his very strong voice heartily singing hymns during Sunday Services and the Brotherhood Chapel, his sense of humor and love of mughalai cuisine.      

Fr. Monodeep Daniel (PhD)

Head

Brotherhood of the Ascended Christ