John Perumbalath

The Venerable Dr John Perumbalath
Archdeacon of Barking
Diocese Diocese of Chelmsford
In office 2013–present
Predecessor Elwin Cockett (Acting)
Other posts Proctor in Convocation (2010–2013 & 2015–present)
Trustee, USPG (2009–2014)
Chairman, Committee for the Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns (CMEAC)
Ordination 1994 (deacon); 1995 (priest)
Personal details

1966 (age 4950)

Kerala, India

Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Spouse Jessy
Education BA, BD, MA, MTh, PhD
Alma mater Calicut University

John Perumbalath[1] (born 1966)[2] is a senior Anglican priest in England and has been Archdeacon of Barking[3] in the Diocese of Chelmsford since 2013.[4] Perumbalath was born and brought up in the ancient Syrian Christian community in Kerala, India, and was later ordained in the Church of North India.


Perumbalath was educated at Calicut University, Osmania University, Serampore Theological College, King's College London and the North-West University.[5] He holds post-graduate degrees in philosophy and theology, and a doctoral degree in hermeneutics.


Perumbalath worked as a staff worker of the Union of Evangelical Students of India for two years before doing his post-graduate research in theology. Then he joined the faculty of Serampore Collega as Lecturer in New Testament. He was ordained deacon in 1994 and priest in 1995 in the diocese of Calcutta (Church of North India). After a short curacy at St John's Church, Kolkata, in 1995 he was appointed Vicar of St James's Church, Kolkata. After moving to the UK in 2001, he served at Beckenham St George's as Associate Rector, at Rosherville St Mark's as Priest-in-Charge/Team Vicar and at Northfleet All Saints (all in the Diocese of Rochester) as Vicar before his appointment[6] as Archdeacon of Barking, a newly created post.[7] He was the chair of North Kent Council for Inter-faith Relations from 2008 to 2013. From 2008 to 2013, he was also the Diocese of Rochester's Urban Adviser and Link Officer for the Church Urban Fund.

Perumbalath has been a Proctor in Convocation (member of the House of Clergy) of the General Synod of the Church of England: for the Diocese of Rochester, elected in 2010 and serving until his move to Barking in 2013;[8] and for the Diocese of Chelmsford since the 2015 election.[9] He was a trustee of Us (formerly USPG), an international charity of the Church of England, from 2009 to 2014. Perumbalath currently chairs the London Churches Refugee Network, the ecumenical body that brings together various Christian responses supporting refugees and their rights. He also serves on the Appointments Committee of the Church of England and chairs the Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns (CMEAC). He is also a member of the Mission and PUblic Affairs Council of the Church of England. Perumbalath holds the interfaith, ecumenical and urban portfolios in his diocese. He lectures widely on Faith and social engagement and in Biblical theology.

Personal life

Perumbalath is married to Jessy, a mathematics teaher, who he met first when he went to lead a parish retreat in her church in Kerala. They have one daughter, Anugraha, a medical student in Liverpool


  1. British South Indians
  2. "J Perumbalath". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 29 November 2015. (subscription required)
  3. Diocese of Chelmsford web-site
  4. Romford Recorder
  5. ‘PERUMBALATH, Ven. Dr John’, Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014 ; online edn, Nov 2014 accessed 30 May 2015
  6. Collation sermon
  7. St John, South Hornchurch
  8. Peter Owen — General Synod List of Members 2010–2015 (Accessed 15 August 2016)
  9. Peter Owen — General Synod List of Members — current (Accessed 15 August 2016)
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