Alumni Profile – Keerthisiri Fernando

Keerthisiri Fernando

What are you doing now?

My work is chiefly that of the Bishop of the Diocese of Kurunagala and also the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Ceylon. In this role I contribute in advocacy, strategy formulation, planning, relationship building and problem solving. One of my main objectives is to build peace with other religious communities in collaboration.

What attracted you to Kent?

I was mainly drawn by the academic culture that was present and the ability to meet persons who would develop what I had to offer. It was a welcoming place and it led a strong foundation to what I pursued in later life.

Which aspects of your degree did you enjoy the most, and why?

I was attracted both by the rich discussions we had pertaining all subjects. It was a time of sharing and dialogue as I had never experienced before. I also enjoyed the practical component of work which opened a wide avenue of experiences in theological reflection.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now in your career?

I can confidently say critical thinking and theological reflection. In my ministry these I deal a lot with these two aspects and Kent really engaged my capacity in enriching these two areas.

Are you still in touch with your fellow students?

With much thanks to social media, this is very much affirmed. And it is so nice to see how each other have grown in their careers past these many years.

Can you describe a typical day in your current role?

Usually the mornings are dedicated to liturgical aspects and planning for diocesan ministries. Depending on the day, I usually visit mission areas to discuss issues with local clergy and laity. Towards the afternoons I spend a lot of time engaged in meetings and further discussion. I do find some time to spend in reflection, writing and music as well.

What is favourite memory of Kent?

It is possibly the fellowship activities we joined together outside of College.

What advice would you give someone who wants to come to Kent?

I would wholeheartedly encourage them and wish them well in this task. It will be a fulfilling experience on their part. We as a diocese are also keen on building such links and we are very much open to partnership in this regard.

How would you describe your time in Kent in three words?

Exciting, welcoming, educative