The British Orthodox Church

within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate

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09-09-2013, 09:16 PM,

Not sure if this is the right place for introductions, but I saw a few others posted here, so here's a quick one from me Smile

It's only within the last couple of years that I would call myself a Christian again. After 20-odd years of being a vague atheist or a lazy neo-pagan I seem to have inadvertently rediscovered Christ in my life.

I guess back in the past things would've been more simple, and I would probably just fall into the local/family church. But we have the Internet, so I'm able to find out about a vast plethora of Christian sub-divisions! (Sometimes I think we are presented with too many choices and too much information these days!).
I read C.S. Lewis' 'Mere Christianity' earlier this year and this pretty much describes how I feel:-

Quote:It is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If I can bring anyone into that hall, I have done what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall is a place to wait in, a place from which to try the various doors, not a place to live in. For that purpose the worst of the rooms (whichever that may be) is, I think preferable. It is true that some people may find they have to wait in the hall for a considerable time, while others feel certain almost at once which door they must knock at. I do not know why there is this difference, but I am sure God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait. When you do get into the room you will find that the long wait has done some kind of good which you would not have had otherwise. But you must regard it as waiting, not as camping. You must keep on praying for light: and, of course, even in the hall, you must begin trying to obey the rules which are common to the whole house. And above all you must be asking which door is the true one; not which pleases you best by its paint and paneling.

In plain language, the question should never be: "Do I like that kind of service?" but "Are these doctrines true: Is holiness here? Does my conscience move me towards this? Is my reluctance to knock at this door due to my pride, or my mere taste, or my personal dislike of this particular door-keeper?"

When you have reached your own room, be kind to those who have chosen different doors and to those who are still in the hall. If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then you are under orders to pray for them. This is one of the rules common to the whole house.

Anyway, I seem to be ravenously devouring books of late, and researching all I can. I'm very interested in the history of the early church in Britain. I quite like the whole 'celtic' thing, even though it is perhaps sometimes portrayed in modern times in a contrived, 'twee', harking-back to a supposed Golden Era. I'm also drawn to the Orthodox church, but have sometimes felt a bit alienated by my feeling that it is somewhat 'exotic'!
So, I would like to know more about the British Orthodox Church (which I never knew existed until a few days ago), and here I am, hoping to learn Smile

Thanks for reading.
14-09-2013, 04:31 PM,
RE: Hi!
Dear Plgrim,

I think that most of us in the BOC can identify with your feeling, because we are almost entirely converted from other Christian traditions or none. You are perceptive in seeking your pearl of great price from Lewis's hall. As you imagine it takes some appreciation of the rooms to determine which one you should enter.

Although we are a small church numerically, and hence rather thinly spread about the country, we are nevertheless able to offer material which will help you to understand Orthodoxy in general and the BOC in particular. Father Simon Smyth (see website) has such material which he can offer you if you get in touch with him. Depending upon where you live there are clergy or members who may be able to speak to you. You will always be most welcome at one of our church services - see the BOC website for dates times and locations - and please do not worry that you won't know what's going on, we have all been there!

To understand more about Orthodoxy I recommend that you read 'The Orthodox Way', originally by Timothy Ware before his ordination as Kallistos Ware in the Russian Orthodox tradition. It gives not only an outline of Orthodoxy in general, but also his personal pilgrimage into the church. Although not specifically BOC it is very helpful. Copies of the book are usually available from Amazon etc.

If you have specific queries don't hesitate to put them on this forum, and one of us will try to help.

Adding you to our prayers,
15-09-2013, 07:29 PM,
RE: Hi!
Thank you for your encouraging reply, Antony-Paul - much appreciated!

I shall certainly look out for a copy of the book you mention.
[Edit - just bought it on Amazon]
(Also, some of the publications by the BOC look interesting, on the Lulu site.)

Thanks for the 'heads up' about the church services. The nearest one to me is Doncaster I think. It's about an hour and twenty minutes away, but I have friends there I could stay with.

Looking forward to learning more... Smile
15-09-2013, 10:53 PM,
RE: Hi!
Hi Pilgrim,

Glad to be of help. Keep in touch!
With love and prayers,

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