The Diocese of Cuttack, Church of North India, is the oldest of the three Dioceses of the CNI, in Orissa. The membership comprises of 80% of Dalits, tribals and backward caste people. In the rural churches, there are marginal farmers and landless labourers, who are an exploited lot due to their ignorance and poverty. The Diocese was worst hit by the Super Cyclone of October, 1999. The Diocese runs educational Institutions such as Schools, Hostels and one College in the urban centres of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, and Homes in the rural areas. Most of these were started by the Old Baptist Missionary Society of England and continue to provide vital educational services. However, they are limited mostly to the urban elite.
The story of the rural Churches is however, very different. Village Christians have remained poor for generations since conversion. They have suffered neglect, discrimination and deprivation, both by the Government and the Church.
STATISTICAL INFORMATION :
- No. of Pastorates : 38
- No. of Congregations : 135
- No. of Communicant members : 12,214
- No. of Presbyters : 35
- Graduate level Science College : 1
- English Medium High Schools (ICSE) : 5
- Teachers' Training Institute (Govt Aided) : 1 (Centenary Celebrated in 2002)
- Oriya Medium Girls' High School (Govt Aided) : 1
- Oriya Medium Primary School (Govt Aided) : 1
- Hospital & Nursing School : 1 (Centenary Celebrated in 2000)
- Orphanages : 3
- Girls' Shelter Home : 1
- Tribal Boys' Home : 1
The Diocese has under its wings, 4 Pastorate Unions and a number of institutions.
The Pastorates are namely :
1. Gajapati Pastorate Union
2. Ganjam Pastorate Union
3. Puri Pastorate Union
4. Cuttack Pastorate Union
Each Pastorate Union has 2 to 10 Pastorates under it. Ganjam, Puri and Cuttack are in the coastal belt, while the rest consist of Tribal areas. The coastal Pastorates have a mix of urban and backward rural areas, while the other Pastorates are absolutely mountainous terrain, inhabited by Tribals. Given below is a profile of the Gajapati Pastorate.