- About Myanmar Anglican Church
The Church of the Province of Myanmar (CPM) in Asia is a member church of the Anglican Communion. The province comprises the entire country of Myanmar. The current Archbishop of Myanmar and Bishop of Myitkyina is Stephen Than Myint Oo.The Anglican Church was established in today's Myanmar, bordered by India to its west, Thailand to its east and China to its northeast, geographically the largest country in South East Asia, by British army chaplains on the west coast around 1825. In 1877 the diocese of Rangoon was inaugurated. After World War II, no foreign missions which were not already operating in the country before the war were allowed to enter.
The Province of Burma was formed in 1970 with four dioceses; there are now six. The church is not involved in social work as this field of action is totally taken over by the government. In times of catastrophes affecting the country, the church provides relief aid. The primary concerns of the church are evangelism, the training of clergy evangelists and the improvement of teaching programmes. The Church of the Province of Myanmar is actively involved with other member churches in the Myanmar Council of Churches.
Today there are at more than 60,000 Anglicans in an estimated population of 58 millions in Myanmar.The polity of the Church of the Province of Myanmar is episcopacy (church governance with the three-fold ministry), the same as other Anglican churches around the world. The church maintains a system of geographical parishes organized into dioceses (there are eight of these, each headed by a bishop and assistant bishop).
The Diocese of Myitkyina (formerly Rangoon) is the Church of the Province of Myanmar (Anglican) jurisdiction in and around the old capital Myitkyina, and under the care of the Bishop of Myitkyina and Archbishop of Myanmar. The diocese (then called Rangoon) was in the Church of England province of Calcutta from 1877 to 1930, then the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon until 1970. Beforehand, British Burma, had come under the guidance of the Bishop of Calcutta, Metropolitan of India. In 1966, the last non-Burmese bishop was evicted by the Burmese authorities and in 1970 the Diocese of Rangoon became the Church of the Province of Burma, and the bishop was elevated to Archbishop in that church.
The area today known as Myanmar was in 1877 part of the British Indian Empire, and known as Burma. It was decided that the area of Southern Burma required a more substantial ecclesiastical presence than the Bishop of Calcutta could provide. For decades the American baptist, Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG) and Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK) missionaries had been making inroads among the Burmese and Karenni peoples. In recognition of this, the Diocese of Winchester created an Endowment Fund for the establishment of a bishopric in Burma; the diocese itself contributed £10,000. The SPG, SPCK. and the Colonial Bishoprics' Fund together contributed £10,000 to the creation of the diocese. Therefore in 1877 the diocese of Rangoon, subject to the diocese of Calcutta was established by Letters Patent. Jonathan Holt Titcomb, a parish priest in Winchester diocese, was elected the first Bishop of Rangoon and so appointed on 17 December 1877.
At first the diocese encompassed only the southern half of Burma, but was later extended to cover the whole of the country. The Bishop was formerly appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Secretary of State for India. However, in 1927 in response to growing agitation on the part of the bishops in India the British Parliament passed legislation to bring to an end the Church of England's jurisdiction over the church in India. Consequently, the Diocese of Rangoon became a major part of the new, autonomous Church of India, Burma and Ceylon. Covering the entirety of Burma, the diocese was in effect the Church of Burma. In Burma, the Bishop was permitted to title himself as head of the Church of Burma.
The Bishop continued to assume his duties in Burma after the independence of that country in 1948. There were eight Bishops of Rangoon before the Church of Burma became autocephalous. However, in 1966 the Burmese government forced all Western missionaries to leave, including the then-bishop V.G. Shearburn. His assistant bishop, Francis Ah Mya was appointed Bishop in his place. In 1970, the Church of Burma, hitherto part of the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon (the then-current incarnation of the 1927 creation) became the Anglican Church of the Province of Burma (later of Myanmar), and the See of Rangoon was permanently attached to (and held ex officio with) the elected Primatial and Metropolitan archepiscopal See.
Bishops of Myitkyina
• 1877–1882: Jonathan Titcomb
• 1882–1903: John Strachan
• 1903–1909: Arthur Knight
• 1910–1928: Rolleston Fyffe
• 1928–1934: Norman Tubbs
• 1935–1954: George West
• 1941 (appointed): A. T. (Alfred Thomas) "Tim" Houghton, assistant bishop-designate
• 1955–1966: Victor Shearburn
• 1949–1966: Francis Ah Mya, assistant bishop
• 1949–1973: John Aung Hla, assistant bishop
• 1966 – 1970: Francis Ah Mya
Bishops of Myitkyina and Archbishops of Myanmar
• 1970–1973: Francis Ah Mya
• 1973–1979: John Aung Hla
• 1979–1987: Gregory Hla Kyaw
• 1988–1989: Andrew Mya Han
• 1988–1993: Samuel San Si Htay, assistant bishop
Bishops of Myitkyina and Archbishops of Myanmar
• 1989–2001: Andrew Mya Han
• 1993–2007: Joseph Than Pe, assistant bishop
• 2001–2008: Samuel San Si Htay
• 2008–present: Stephen Than Myint Oo