We have good relations with the Coptic Orthodox churches here in the UK, and with the other Oriental Orthodox churches, because there are representatives of all of the churches here as well. Indeed in my own church at Chatham we have a Syrian English convert, and some Indian Orthodox.
The centre at Stevenage is very impressive and Abba Seraphim, some of our clergy, and other Fellowship members were able to be there a weekend or two ago for that event. When the Coptic church at Margate was consecrated by Pope Shenouda I was there with my priest and some of our people.
In fact whenever Pope Shenouda comes to England and holds a clergy conference all of the clergy of the British Orthodox Church are expected to attend, as clergy of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate.
I have been discussing with a young Copt the possibility of setting up a British Orthodox mission in the town where he lives. He is keen to work with us to be doing mission among British people in our own way of working.
I am sure the contacts could be better, but they will get better when we are ourselves a larger Church. At the moment we are a couple of hundred members and adherents. But we are working to plant at least two new communities every year and we are seeing this happening, so I am sure that as we grow we will be able to do more.
For myself, I am a subdeacon at Chatham and I have a priest, Father Michael, and a fellow subdeacon. We have about 12 people regularly each week, with another 6 or 8 people that come once or twice a month. At Easter we are full to capacity with other friends and family. If my fellow subdeacon is away on holiday then I need to make sure I am available every Sunday to serve with my priest, so it is hard to visit other communities. Indeed now I am working so much with the Fellowship I will be out and about supporting Fellowship groups, so I will have even less time to visit other Oriental Orthodox communities.
But just yesterday I was at Minster at a Roman Catholic - Oriental Orthodox conference and Archbishop Yohannes of the Syrian Orthodox was there. I greeted him and he remembered me from a conference in Sweden last year, and he immediately asked after Abba Seraphim, and I ended up giving him Abba Seraphim's mobile number so he could call him.
Likewise Abba Seraphim and the British Orthodox have warm relations with the Eritrean Orthodox community in Camberwell and Abba Seraphim, clergy and lay folk often attend the liturgy there for feasts, indeed Abba Seraphim is sometimes asked by the Eritrean bishops, who are not resident in Britain, to perform some episcopal function.
Sometimes some of our clergy celebrated the liturgy at Kirkcaldy in Scotland when they were without a priest, and one of our priests has the Coptic bishop +Angaelos as his father of confession. In fact in the Doncaster area there are both British Orthodox and Coptic Orthodox communities and these seem to support each other.
So I guess the relationships are good, but when everyone is busy it is hard to stop what you are busy doing and go and visit other folk.
There is an Oriental Orthodox Council of Churches, which of course Abba Seraphim is a member of, and I think that in the future that could be organised to do more in the way of practical expressions of unity among all Oriental Orthodox.
Does this help?