Bishop Swithin Fernando, former Bishop of the Diocese of Colombo, Church of Ceylon, passed away yesterday.
He was made Archdeacon of Colombo in 1971 and consecrated Bishop of Colombo in January 1978. He retired in 1987, and after a brief stay in Australia returned to spend the evening of his life in his beloved motherland.
Bishop Swithin was educated at Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa, and prepared for the priesthood at Divinity School, Colombo. He was ordained as a deacon in December 1942 and as a priest in 1944.
Bishop Swithin was ecumenical in outlook and worked towards forging a closer relationship with other denominations of the Christian church. He also believed in developing a closer understanding of other faiths, and built up close friendships with the leaders of other religions.
He was a guiding spirit in the Church Union Movement of the ’60s and ’70s.
His remains will be taken from his residence within the cathedral premises to the Cathedral of Christ the Living Saviour, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7, this morning. The funeral service takes place at 4 pm and the cremation at 5.30 pm at the General Cemetery, Kanatte.