The Rt. Rev. Ashoke Biswas
(Bishop of Calcutta, CNI 2008 – till date)

 

A son of the soil”, remarked Bishop D. C. Gorai.  Indeed it is so as Bishop Ashoke is the first city boy and a “son of the soil” to take charge of this episcopate as Bishop of Calcutta in June 2008.  His father, Mr. Harsho Biswas, originally from Ballarpur, Nadia, now in Bangladesh (the then East Bengal) and his mother, Mrs. Aroti Biswas is from Barisal (in Bangladesh).  They are settled in Kolkata.  Bishop has a brother and four sisters

 

The family belongs to the Holy Trinity Church, Raja Rammohan Sarani (formerly Amherst Street) in North Kolkata, where the young Ashoke was initiated into the scriptures at Sunday school.  He completed his schooling from the St. Paul’s School in Kolkata.  After passing Higher Secondary, he graduated in 1975 from St. Paul’s Cathedral Mission College under Calcutta University.  Thereafter, for some time he worked as the Assistant Librarian of Scottish Church Collegiate School.   Subsequently receiving the call to serve in the full time ministry, with the encouragement of Bishop Gorai (the then Bishop of Calcutta), Bishop Ashoke joined Bishop’s College and completed theological training in 1985.

Ordained as Deacon, Bishop Ashoke was posted to St. Peter’s Church, Barisha.  He was ordained as a full time presbyter on Ash Wednesday on the 12th of February, 1986.  The then Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. and Right Honourable Robert Runice who was in Calcutta at that time was present at the ordination of Bishop Ashoke Biswas to the full time presbyterate.  Subsequently to his ordination, Bishop Ashoke Biswas was appointed as Presbyter-in-Charge of St. Peter’s Church.  For a brief period he went to Birmingham for a faith formation programme.  He has been the Presbyter-in-Charge of Duff Church, Christ Church, Union Chapel and St. George’s Church.  Lastly he was given the dual charge of Duff Church (for the second time) and St. James’ Church (AJC Bose Road), before becoming the 19th Bishop of Calcutta.

Along with his pastoral responsibilities, he has also served on the boards of various schools.  He has served as Vice-Chairman of the Diocese for two terms.  He also served as Secretary of the Bengal Christian Council and Union Christian Training College, Behrampur.  He has also served in the Scottish Church College Council.  He is also a member of the national Council of Churches.

Apart from acquiring valuable experience in the service of various churches and religious organisations Bishop Ashoke Biswas has outstanding qualities for being kind, understanding and approachable.  He possesses a strong sense of efficient administration.  His love and concern for children is evident wherever he happens to be.  Under his leadership the diocese is striding forward from strength to strength.

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