The British Orthodox Church

within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate

Successful day-seminar at Glastonbury


The second Glastonbury Studies Seminar was held at the Abbey House, Glastonbury, on 31 January on the theme “Glastonbury Abbey and Throne.”

Chaired by Abba Seraphim, it followed on the previously successful seminar “Glastonbury Abbey – Influence and Legacy”, held in 2013, and was jointly sponsored by the British Orthodox Church and the Glastonbury Antiquarian Society. The seminar, was fully subscribed, with a third of those present having attended the 2013 seminar.  


The distinguished speakers included Paul Ashdown, who spoke on the abbey’s royal links prior to the Norman Conquest; Jerry Sampson, archaeological consultant and conservationist, who examined the evidence for King Henry II’s financing of the repairs to the Abbey following the Great Fire of 1184; Dr. Tim Hopkinson-Ball on the Cultus of St. Edgar at Glastonbury Abbey; and Professor James Carley on John Leland, Henry VIII’s antiquary, and his association with Glastonbury Abbey before and after the Dissolution.

A third seminar is planned for February 2017.

Joyce Edwards dies

Joyce Alice Edwards, the oldest member of the British Orthodox Church and mother of Abba Seraphim died at 2.00 a.m. on 15 December, in her 101st year. Memory Eternal !  

Since 28 November when she was released from Lewisham Hospital following a stroke, Joyce Edwards has been staying at the Bevan Rehabilitation Unit in West Thamesmead. She had entered the Unit suffering from pneumonia but responded well to the treatment given there and her health had been showing signs of improvement. During Sunday evening, however, the staff became concerned about her breathing and she was transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at Woolwich, where her condition rapidly deteriorated and she lapsed into unconsciousness. She passed away as Abba Seraphim was arriving at the hospital but he was able to pray the commendatory prayers over her and took the last kiss. 


Father Michel Jalkh, Secretary of MECC, meets COOC leaders


On 26 November His Grace Bishop Vahan Hovhannesian, in his capacity as President of the Council of Oriental Orthodox Churches (COOC) hosted a luncheon at the Randa Restaurant, Kensington, in order to introduce The Reverend Dr. Michel Jalkh, General Secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) to some of the senior members of the Council. Among those present were HG Bishop Angaelos, HE Archbishop Athanasios Touma, HE Metropolitan Seraphim, Father Aphrem and Dr. Harry Hagopian and Dr. David Ryall ( Secretary of the Department of International Affairs of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference for England & Wales [CBCEW]). Father Michel, who is a priest of the Maronite Church, was visiting London as the guest of CBCEW as well as meeting other religious leaders and politicians to discuss the current situation of the churches in the Middle East. 

Morden College ministry comes to an end

Writing to Father Brian Walton, the chaplain of Morden College, Blackheath, on 25 November, the eve of the fortieth day since the repose of Father Michael Robson, Abba Seraphim noted that his passing marked the end of the bi-monthly celebrations of the Divine Liturgy, which had been held in the College Chapel since 2010. He felt that this was an appropriate occasion to express his profound appreciation (and also that of Father Peter Farrington, who had shared this ministry) and thanks to the College  for this privilege and for so generously making  the Chapel available for the Orthodox Liturgy. He wrote of the unfailing support they had received from the chaplains and for the spiritual comfort and fraternal love shown to Father Michael throughout his time at Morden College.  “The supportive attendance of other members of the College whenever we celebrated the Liturgy was a witness to their love and respect for Father Michael, but also a manifestation of a deeply prayerful ecumenism … [which]  expressed the love of Christ which infuses all that we do in His name.” In conclusion he said that although the time of ministry at Morden College had now come to an end, they were left with such strong feelings of respect and affection for both the institution and those who are its living members, that they will continue to pray for the prosperity and maintenance of the remarkable way it serves those who come under its protective covering.

Abba Seraphim’s mother suffers stroke

On 6 November, Mrs. Joyce Edwards, the centenarian mother of Abba Seraphim, suffered a cerebral haemorrhage and was admitted to the specialist Stroke Unit of the Princess Royal University Hospital at Farnborough, Kent. Initially her entire left arm was paralysed, but over the next few days she began to move the upper arm. She has suffers no other paralysis and her speech and intellectual powers remained unimpaired.  On 10 November she was transferred to the Stroke Unit at Lewisham Hospital, which is nearer to her home. 

Upcoming events

1 February 2015
Raising of Incense & Divine Liturgy: Doncaster

Raising of Incense – 9:45am
Divine Liturgy – 10:30am

Morning Prayer: Babingley

10.30am Morning Prayer

7 February 2015
Raising of Incense & Divine Liturgy: Shadwell

9.30 am Raising of Incense
10.00 am Liturgy of St. James
11.45 am Refreshments

8 February 2015
Raising of Incense & Divine Liturgy: Doncaster

Raising of Incense – 9:45am
Divine Liturgy – 10:30am

Morning Prayer: Babingley

10.30am Morning Prayer

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