On 30 July His All-Holiness the Oecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomaeus I, received Abba Seraphim at the Phanar, accompanied by Mr. Trevor Maskery and Archimandrite Deiniol of the Wales Orthodox Mission within the Oecumenical Patriarchate. The Patriarch expressed himself very happy to see Abba Seraphim again and gently reproved him for having not visited Constantinople for a number of years. During their meeting they were able to discuss matters of mutual concern and interest.
At the Patriarch’s invitation Abba Seraphim and his companions were invited to join him and members of the Holy Synod for lunch, after which they continued their conversation in the Throne Room of the Phanar. During his time at the Phanar Abba Seraphim also visited the Patriarchal Church of St. George.
On 26 July Abba Seraphim visited His Eminence Archbishop Aram Ateshian, General Vicar (Acting Patriarch) of the Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople at the Patriarchate in Kumkapi, Istanbul, accompanied by Mr. Trevor Maskery and Archimandrite Deiniol of the Wales Orthodox Mission, who was visiting the city at the same time. This was in return for Archbishop Aram’s visit to the British Orthodox Secretariat at Charlton in March. They were able to discuss a number of matters of common interest, including the progress of the Papal election and the current health of His Beatitude Patriarch Mesrob II, who since 2008 has been suffering from Frontal temporal degenerative dementia and has been unable to exercise his office. His physical and mental situation have steadily deteriorated and he is now being cared for at Surp Pirgic Armenian Hospital in Yedikule.
On Sunday, 29 July Abba Seraphim accompanied Archbishop Aram to the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at Surp Yerits Mangants (Three Holy Youths) Armenian Church at Boyacikoy and afterwards lunched with members of the congregation in their recently renovated church on the Bosphorus.
Warm fraternal links between the British Orthodox Church and the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul have existed for a number of years and go back to the time of the late Karekin II (Kazanjian), Patriarch of Istanbul (1995-1998). Abba Seraphim also participated in the enthronement of His Beatitude Patriarch Mesrob II.
During his recent visit to the Bournemouth Parish of Christ the Saviour on 1 July, Abba Seraphim ordained two new subdeacons for the Portsmouth Parish, James Anthony Kelly and Anthony-Paul Holland. During the Liturgy Abba Seraphim was assisted by Father Simon Smyth and Subdeacon Daniel Malyon. Preaching to a full church on the Sunday Gospel (Luke X: 1-20) he draw parallels between our Lord’s commission to the LXX and the present mission of the church. Following the Liturgy Abba Seraphim chaired a parish meeting to explain the electoral process for choosing a new Pope & Patriarch, answered questions from the congregation and passed on Metropolitan Bakhomios’s invitation to all church members to express their opinion on the selection of the future patriarch.
Abba Seraphim was pleased to welcome to Bournemouth, Archimandrite Deiniol of the Wales Orthodox Mission of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, who attended the Divine Liturgy. Afterwards Fr. Deiniol was able to chat to most of the people present.
On 16 May Abba Seraphim, accompanied by Archimandrite Deiniol, Administrator of the Wales Orthodox Mission, attended a lecture on “The Provision of Palliative Care: An Ethical and Legal Duty” at the House of Lords. The lecture was given by Professor John Keown of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University and was hosted by Baroness Ilora Findlay and sponsored by the Anscombe Bioethics Centre of Blackfriars Hall, Oxford.
The British Orthodox Church has long been a committed supporter of St. Christopher’s Hospice at Sydenham.
The congregation at St. Mary and St. Felix, Babingley, were delighted to welcome to their church Archimandrite Deiniol, Administrator of the Wales Orthodox Mission (Ecumenical Patriarchate), who was present for the Divine Liturgy and afterwards gave a talk on the “Holy Wells & Saints”of Wales” which was instructivive and showed how the historic church had supported local devotions but with the impact of the Reformation and modern secularism, there was a reversion to pre-Christian attitudes. Father Deiniol expressed his delight in visiting the church and meeting some of the flock and Deacon Mark marked the visit by presenting Father Deiniol with a carved wooden hand cross from the Monastery of St. Makarios.
It was a festive day at church as apart from the glorious weather, Abba Seraphim dedicated the fine new sanctuary veil which had been commissioned from the nuns of St. Theodore’s convent in Old Cairo. Gabriel Malheiro was warmly congratulated on the safe birth of his new baby daughter, who is to be called Stephanie, and love and good wishes sent from the congregation to his wife, Maria as well as singing “Happy Birthday” in honour of the new baby.