The Diocese of Kurunegala was born on the Feast of the Presentation, on the 2nd of February 1950. The formation of this new Diocese was marked by the induction, installation, and enthronement of the Founder Bishop, the Rt. Revd. Lakdasa De Mel at the Trinity College Chapel.
The first Bishop of the Diocese of Kurunegala ensured that the Diocese was self-supporting from its inception. The construction of a Cathedral Church of Christ the King was undertaken as a priority on three and a half acres of land at Ethugalwatte on Kandy Road. The foundation stone was laid on the Feast of St. Thomas, on the 21st of December, 1950.
It was built according to an indigenous style of architecture, incorporating features from the Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, and Kandy periods, and was constructed largely from local resources (only the Chapter House being a gift from the Anglican Church in Canada - the Diocese of Nova Scotia). This edifice, in keeping with our culture and the aspirations of a resurgent Sri Lanka, was completed in 1960. Bishop De Mel addressed the challenge of the paucity of workers in the Diocese. He sent his ordinands to be trained in Bishop's College, Calcutta. He was invited by lay people with pastoral gifts to serve as a catechist and bible woman. He encouraged and founded two indigenous monastic orders - Devasaranaramaya at Ibbagamuwa, and Devasevikaramaya at Kurunegala. Work in the village areas of the Diocese expanded as a result.