Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean

Church family:Anglican churches
Based in:Madgascar
Present in:

About membership

Statistics of church membership, number of churches, congregations, pastors, etc. are those given by the churches and organizations, unless otherwise indicated. WCC member churches have various ways of defining their membership: state churches in which virtually every citizen is baptized and thus counted as a member, churches which include in their membership persons who are baptized but not actively participating, churches in which only adult baptized or communicant members are counted, etc. No attempt has been made to classify the membership figures in such categories, because agreed upon indicators to so do not exist.

Member of:
 WCC (1975) 
Associate member of:
Periodicals:planning to publish Le Phare (in French)

The first Anglican missionary arrived in Madagascar in 1864, sent by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. In 1874 the diocese of Madagascar was founded. It was divided into three in 1969, and two more dioceses were created in 2003. The number of Anglicans in Madagascar began to grow rapidly as of 1991 (Anglican Decade of Evangelism) and is estimated at close to 500,000. The church is open to cooperation and social activities: dispensaries, schools, orphanages, training centres and various types of development work. It is committed ecumenically and endeavours to put its talents at the service of the ecumenical movement. The clergy are trained at St Paul's College, near the capital.

The Anglican Church in Mauritius started as the "Church of England in Mauritius" after Great Britain took over the country from France in 1810. At first its ministers were civil chaplains serving the colonial administration. The church undertook educational, social and medical work and was supported by two English missionary societies, the Church Missionary Society and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. As the church grew, indigenous pastors were trained and ordained to the ministry. Mauritius is a microcosm of different cultures and faiths, eastern and western, Asian, African and European. The Anglican Church embraces the different cultures and strives to be relevant to the society, in spite of its minority position. It maintains a theological college and centres for the care of old people and blind and unwanted children, and two secondary schools. Besides its commitment to mission and evangelism, it seeks to be involved in interfaith dialogue.

Until 1973 when it became a diocese in its own right the Anglican Church in the Seychelles was part of the church in Mauritius. The diocese has a theological training centre.

The province of the Indian Ocean was formed in 1973, comprising the islands of Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and La Réunion. The see of the province depends on where the primate resides. La Réunion is not a diocese, it is a missionary area placed directly under the care of the province.

Last updated:01/01/06