On 16 July the Anglican-Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum held its half-yearly meeting at St. John’s Church, Notting Hill. Chaired jointly by The Right Rev’d Geoffrey Rowell, Bishop of Europe, and His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church. This meeting had a very good attendance with the Anglican Bishops of Southwark and Reading also present as well as Metropolitan Seraphim (British Orthodox Church), Archbishop Athanasios Dawood (Syriac Orthodox Church) and Bishop Mathews Mar Thimothios (Malankara Orthodox Church) as well as other Anglican and Oriental Orthodox clergy who are members of the Forum. The Revd Roger Paul, National Adviser (Unity-in-Mission), Council for Christian Unity, spoke to the Forum about the role of the CCU and its relationship with AOORF. The main body of the meeting comprised detailed reports on the current situation of all the member churches churches with particular consideration of events in Egypt and Syria, as well as a report on the recent meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England.
The half yearly meeting of the Anglican-Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum took place at the Coptic Orthodox Church Centre at Stevenage on 10 January under the co-chairmanship of His Grace Bishop Angaelos and The Right Rev’d Dr. Geoffrey Rowell, Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe. Among other bishops attending were Their Eminences Metropolitan Seraphim (British Orthodox Church) and Archbishop Mar Athanasios (Syrian Orthodox Church) representing the Oriental Orthodox Churches and The Right Rev’d Andrew Proud, Bishop Suffragan of Reading representing the Anglican Church.
As usual the meeting was conducted in a positive spirit of fellowship and practical ways of ensuring closer co-operation between the two traditions explored. Bishop Proud, having previously served as Area Bishop for Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa, offered some insightful reflections on Orthodoxy and the Ethiopian Church, which were much appreciated by all present. In return Bishop Angaelos updated the forum on recent events in Egypt and Archbishop Athanasios did the same for Syria and Iraq.
The Anglican-Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum met for its half-yearly meeting on 24 January at the Syrian Orthodox Church in Acton. It was c0-chaired by Bishop Geoffrey Rowell of Gibraltar in Europe and Bishop Angaelos. Hosting the meeting was Archbishop Athanasios Thoma Dawood and the Anglican representatives were joined for the first time by Bishop Christopher Chessum, the newly appointed Bishop of Southwark. Abba Seraphim was unable to attend as he had another pastoral commitment. The meeting made good progress in refining the Forum’s aims and objectives which include encouraging opportunities for common prayer and worship within the discipline of the respective churches; the discussion of current pastoral, social and political issues; and discovering and educating one another, the clergy and laity about the traditions of each church tradition. The Forum is the result of international dialogue between the churches but does not seek to duplicate the theological work of those diagues but rather to receive and consider the documents issued by those dialogues and to take note of, diuscuss and explore relevent developments between both communions and to explore their local relevance and implications. The Forum plans to produxce a booklet containing all the relevant common statements between the Churches.
A meeting of the Anglican-Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum took place at Lambeth Palace on 15 June 2010.
This forum exists to promote contacts between the Anglican and Oriental Orthodox communities in the UK, and to provide a context in which discussions about the practical and spiritual challenges facing both communions can take place.
At this last meeting His Grace Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church was nominated as the Oriental Orthodox co-chairman, and Father Peter Farrington of the British Orthodox Church within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate was nominated the Oriental Orthodox co-secretary.
Other Orthodox bishops present were His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of the British Orthodox Church, and His Grace Archbishop Athanasios of the Syrian Orthodox Church, together with Bishop Geoffrey Rowell of Gibraltar in Europe, the Anglican co-chairman. Other Oriental Orthodox clergy represented their churches while the Anglican participation included a number of priests, including Canon Jonathan Goodall, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s chaplain and ecumenical officer.
A fruitful conversation took place among the representative Anglican and Oriental Orthodox bishops and priests, and plans were discussed for the future direction and membership of the Forum. The forum usually meets trwice a year.