The Right Revd Dr P.J. Lawrence serves in the Diocese of Nandyal in the Church of South India. dioceseofnandyal.org/
In this short interview he shares about the challenges of ministering in a community that is almost exclusively Dalit.
The etymological meaning for the Sanskrit word ‘Nandi’ means a Bull, and ‘Alaya(m)’ means Temple . Traditionally it is a belief that ‘Nava Nandis’ ruled this area under Sir Krishna Devaraya dynasty who constructed 9 bull temples and the name Nandyal is derived from these Nandi Alaya [Nandyal(a)]. Hindu religion in this area is very predominant. Nandyal is major center for education, agriculture, wildlife, pilgrimage and has some of the most fertile land in Rayalaseema , as it is surrounded by water on four sides.
The Diocese of Nandyal lies in the Deccan Plateau in Andhra Pradesh, a state created in 1956 with Hyderabad as its capital and formerly it was in Madras State . The people are Telugu speaking Dravidians, prevalence of Hinduism exist. Anglicans specially the S P G Missionaries preached the Gospel among ‘Malas’ a scheduled caste whose traditional occupation was weaving. The Diocese geographically lies mostly in Kurnool District, also extended in Cuddapah, Prakasham, Mahaboobnagar and Anantapur Districts. Nandyal lies in the western part of Andhra Pradesh. This region is bounded by thick Nallamala forests. Due to meager rainfall the drought conditions frequently occur and may be followed by famines. Because of the configuration of the land, its climate and its remoteness, the area is economically poor.
Bishop Lawrence preached at Christ Church, Virginia Water last Sunday in the lead up to our Passion for Life mission. His message focussed on having a passion for the lost.