Following initial contact by Mary Goodchild, co-ordinator for the British Orthodox Fellowship in Southampton, with the Rev’d Richard Burningham, vicar ofHolyTrinityChurch, Weston,Southampton, Father Simon made an ecumenical visit to the Church on 28 August. The British British Orthodox Church plans to worship there on Saturday mornings once a month in Holy Trinity Church and discussions are ongoing with other church users so as to ensure a regular Saturday each month. Current planning is for 9.00 a.m. on the third Saturday each month, hopefully starting in October. As soon as the discussions are concluded a further announcement will follow. Most months the worship will be Morning Prayer but it is also hoped to celebrate occasional Liturgies and certainly at least annually around the Feast Day of Saint Polycarp, the patron of the British Orthodox Southampton Fellowship.
Father Simon expressed great delight at this development in the work of the British Orthodox Church on the South Coast. “Some twenty years ago when I joined the British Orthodox Church our only South Coast presence was the Bournemouth Church. We have recently celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of that Church building, Christ the Saviour, have seen the development of the Portsmouth Mission founded just a few years ago into the Church of Saint Mary the Mother of God and Saint Moses the Black and now we have the new work in Southampton under the patronage of Saint Polycarp. As well as providing a more local presence for our Southampton members, enquirers and friends the Southampton Fellowship further consolidates our presence along the South Coast: Bournemouth, Southampton, Portsmouth… This is an encouraging move forward in our work and witness and I commend the British Orthodox Fellowship in Southampton to the prayers of all our people.”