The British Orthodox Church

within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate

Carol Service at Indian Orthodox Church, Brockley

On Saturday, 22nd December, Father Peter Farrington attended the Evening Prayers and Carol Service of the Indian Orthodox Church of St Gregorios, Brockley, London. He had been invited to give a homily to the congregation by Father Thomas John, and was very pleased indeed to be able to spend an evening in the company of fellow Orthodox Christians.

The evening began with the regular prayers of the Indian Orthodox tradition, offered in English, at which Father Peter assisted Father Thomas John. Then a programme of English carols, and songs in Malayalam had been organised, with a Nativity Play performed by the younger members of the congregation.

The range of talent in the congregation was most impressive and it seemed that there were three or four different choirs of great ability, which together with the enthusiastic performances of the children of the congregation made for a most delightful evening. At one point a choir of deacons sang some of the traditional Malayalam hymns of the Church and were joined by Father Thomas John and Father Mathew Abraham.

Father Peter spoke on the theme of Christ becoming man as the Prince of Peace, and particularly reflected on the prophecy of Isaiah and the angelic proclamation to the shepherds.

At the end of the evening Father Christmas distributed gifts to the excited children, and Father Peter was then fortunate to be able to share in some of the excellent and authentic Indian food which the hospitable community provided. This was a most enjoyable evening, and the opportunity to share in fellowship with the Indian Orthodox clergy and faithful was a most blessed beginning to the Nativity season.

Abba Seraphim joins Festival for Saint Gregorios

Abba Seraphim was able to join the Indian Orthodox Parish of St. Gregorios at Brockley, in south-east London, for the celebration of their patronal festival over the weekend of 4 & 5 November. The parish was also privileged to have visiting His Grace Yuhanon Mar Dioscorus, Bishop of Chennai (Madras), who presided at all the services. Abba Seraphim joined them for Saturday Evening Prayer after which there was a procession around the outside of the church. This was followed by “Divyarchana”, traditional Christian Folk Arts, in which both the choir and many of the younger members of the congreagation participated enthusiastically.

On Sunday morning, 6 November, Abba Seraphim concelebrated the Divine Liturgy with Mar Dioscorus and the Indian Orthodox clergy. Also assisting was Father Haile Maskel Samuels of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. At the conclusion of the Liturgy Abba Seraphim gave a short address about the contemporary significance  of Saint Gregorios, and spoke of his own delight in having been a pilgrim to the saint’s shrine when he visited Paramula in 2010. This was followed by the “Raza”, the procession with crosses and umbrellas around the streets surrounding  the church.


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