On the 2nd of July 2023, the Annual Feast of St. Thomas's Church in Aranayaka was celebrated with great joy and reverence. The event's highlight was the participation of the Bishop of the Diocese of Kurunagala, the Rt. Reverend Nishantha Fernando, made his annual official visit to the church.
The Feast of Saint Thomas, the Apostle, which falls on July 3rd, holds significant importance for Christians worldwide. Saint Thomas was one of the original twelve Apostles and is renowned for his strong faith and unwavering commitment to spreading the message of Christianity.
Adding to the excitement of the occasion, a special announcement was made on the same day regarding the appointment of Rev. Anuruddha Bandara as the new parish priest of St. Thomas's Church in Aranayaka. Rev. Anuruddha Bandara, known for his dedication and service within the diocese, has been entrusted with the priest-in-charge position of this church.
The parishioners of St. Thomas's Church organized a small parade to welcome their esteemed Bishop and the newly appointed parish priest, ensuring a warm and heartfelt reception.
The event highlighted the Anglican Church of Ceylon's commitment to honouring Sri Lankan culture and promoting harmony between different religious traditions. In a gesture of unity, two Buddhist religious leaders from the area also participated, symbolizing the mutual respect and collaboration between faith communities.
Rev. Anuruddha Bandara, ordained in 2009 is an esteemed figure within the diocese, serving as the parish priest of Kadugannawa and Rathmeewala, overseeing the Christ Church and the Church of Christ the King. Additionally, he holds the position of Rural Dean of the Kandy Deanery. His unwavering dedication, talents, and passion for service have greatly contributed to the growth and well-being of the diocese.
It is worth noting that Rev. Bandara's service extends beyond the boundaries of the Kurunagala Diocese. He actively lends his support to the Diocese of Colombo, further exemplifying his commitment to the wider Anglican community. Throughout his tenure, Rev. Bandara has spearheaded numerous initiatives within the diocese, demonstrating his visionary leadership and tireless efforts in fostering spiritual growth and community development.
The Annual Feast of St. Thomas's Church in Aranayaka served as a joyous occasion for the parishioners, who came together to celebrate their faith and extend a warm welcome to their new parish priest. The presence of the esteemed Bishop and the participation of Buddhist religious leaders reinforced the message of harmony and respect, creating an atmosphere of unity and cooperation.
As the church continues its spiritual journey under the leadership of Rev. Anuruddha Bandara, the parishioners of St. Thomas's Church in Aranayaka can look forward to a future filled with spiritual nourishment, guidance, and a renewed sense of community.