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November 2009

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On 22 May 2009 the Indian Orthodox community in the United Kingdom welcomed its new bishop, His Grace Dr. Mathews Mar Thimotheos. The bishop heads a new diocese of the United Kingdom, Europe & Africa and on 3 July will preside over his first diocesan assembly representing some twenty-eight Indian Orthodox parishes across Europe, although London will be his principal residence. We rejoice in the joy of the Indian Orthodox community but also in the knowledge that the number of Oriental Orthodox bishops now residing in the United Kingdom has risen to eight, whereas fifteen years ago it was only two.

The Armenian community in London has been served by a succession of distinguished bishops for more than half a century but it was not until 1980, when the Coptic Orthodox Church erected the diocese of Birmingham, that a second Oriental Orthodox diocese was established. The Coptic Church now has Bishop Missael of Birmingham (1980), Metropolitan Seraphim of Glastonbury (1994), Bishop Antony of Scotland, Ireland & N.E  England (1995) and Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop in Stevenage (1999). The other Oriental Orthodox communities  have Bishop Nathan for the Armenians (2000), Archbishop Antonios for the Ethiopians (2006), Archbishop Athanasios for the Syrians (2006) and now Mar Thimotheos for the Indians. Of these eight hierarchs, all but two reside in or around London.

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