MOTHER CHURCH: ST LAURENT's CATHEDRAL AMBOHIMANORO
Saint Laurent Cathedral was the first Cathedral built by the Episcopal Church of Madagascar. It is located on Ambohimanoro Hill, just off the east side of the Andohalo Garden. At present it is the Cathedral of the Diocese of Antananarivo; it is also one of Madagascar's national historic heritages.
The history of the Cathedral can not be separated from that of the Anglican Church in Madagascar. Church-led evangelization began during the reign of Radama II, thanks to the Society for the Propagation of Gospel (SPG) and the Church Missionary Society (CMS). A few years later, Bishop Robert Kestell Cornish became the first Bishop of Madagascar. The latter arrived at Toamasina in October 1874. Accompanied by several missionaries, he travelled to Antananarivo, and paid a visit to Queen Ranavaolna II, bringing with him a Bible and an Anglican Prayer book which were gifts from the Archbishop of Canterbury Archibald Tait. A small wooden church had been built at Ambatomasina, near the site on which the present Cathedral is located. But due to the growing number of the congregation, it was decided that a larger church be built.Construction work began on September 13, 1883, with the laying of the fondation stone by the Prime minister Rainilaiarivony and attended by Bishop Kestell-Cornish, and under the supervision of the Norwegian Architect Alfred Anker and according to plans by William White. It was inaugurated on August 17, 1889, Feast of St Laurent, with the presence of the the Prime Minister, representing the Queen, and the English Vice-Consul W. Clayton.
The diocese Antananarivo was one of the first 3 dioceses of Madagascar after the split of the Diocese of Madagascar. It covers the entire region of Antananarivo, bounded on the north by the Anosibe An'Ala district, on the south by the district of Antsirabe, on the east by the Ambatondrazaka district and on the west by the Mahitsy District.
St Lawrence Cathedral Ambohimanoro is the mother parish of the diocese
Together there are over 50 parishes and 20 internal organisations
The current Diocesan Bishop is The Right Reverend Samoela Jaona RANARIVELO, since 2008