The Church of England existed in Sri Lanka since 1815. The Diocese of Colombo was founded in 1845. It was established by law in 1886.
Consequent to the Anglican Churches of South India, North India and Pakistan becoming part of United Churches in their respective Countries and the Anglican Dioceses of Burma becoming an autonomous Province, the wider historic Province of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon ceased to exist. This situation resulted in the two Diocese of the Church of Ceylon, namely, the Diocese of Colombo and Diocese of Kurunagala, becoming what is known as “extra provincial Diocese”, and continued to be governed by the CCR of the former Province.
The Diocese of Kurunagala was established in 1946 and was recognized legally in 1972.The Diocese of Colombo and the Diocese of Kurunagala together constitute the Church of Ceylon.
The first Constitution of our Diocese, (including Fundamental Provisions and Regulations Non-Fundamental) was framed by the Diocesan Synod in 1886 under the provisions of the Church of England Ordinance No. 06 of 1885. This Constitution was subsequently amended and a Constitution which was published as a supplement to the Ceylon Government Gazette No. 8378 of 1st July 1938.
With a view to dealing with anomalies of our two “extra provincial Diocese” having to be governed by a Constitution written for a much wider Province, as well as to enable the Church of Ceylon to be free to manage its own affairs, the Church of Ceylon (Incorporation) Act No. 43 of 1998 was enacted by the Parliament. This Act repealed the Church of England Ordinance, No. 06 of 1885 (Chapter 334), the Church of Ceylon Act No. 06 of 1972 and the Episcopal Churches Ordinance, No. 12 of 1846 (Chapter335). It also made provision for the constitution of a Constituent Assembly comprising members of both the Dioceses of Colombo and the Diocese of Kurunagala, to draft and adopt a Constitution for the whole of the Church of Ceylon. This new Constitution which replaced the CCR of the former Province was adopted on the 15th of December 2007.
The adoption of the Church of Ceylon Constitution of 2007 required certain changes to be made in the Diocesan Constitution of the Diocese of Colombo and the gave an opportunity to improve the Constitution, the result in the adoption of a new Constitution for the Diocese of Colombo in October 2011 which is now in force.