On 23 January, as part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity the Catholic-Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum launched its first publication, Joint Statements between the Catholic and Oriental Orthodox Churches. The event was marked by a press conference and reception at the headquarters of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales at Eccleston Square, Westminster. It was introduced by the two co-chairs, His Grace Bishop Angaelos, President of the Council of Oriental Orthodox Churches in the UK and His Excellency Mgr. Kevin McDonald, Archbishop Emeritus of Southwark. Other members of the Forum attending were Abba Seraphim; His Grace Bishop Vahan Hovhannesian; Mgr. Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham; Mgr. Paul Hendriks, Auxilary Bishop of Southwark, and Father Peter Farrington (co-Secretary).
Archbishop Kevin described the various statements as “rather a well-kept secret” especially as some of the most remarkable achievements of the ecumenical movement have been precisely with the Oriental Orthodox Churches. The Joint Declarations made by both Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II with the heads of the Coptic and Syriac Orthodox Churches were “real milestones.” Bishop Angaelos spoke of the real bonds of friendship which had been established within the Forum since its establishment in 2007 and of the very clear aims and objectives which continue to animate it.
Abba Seraphim is one of a great number of people to mourn the passing of Mgr. Michael Evans, Catholic Bishop of East Anglia, who died on 11 July after a long battle with prostate cancer. Bishop Michael was widely respected and loved in East Anglia and as chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference Committee for Christian Unity had forged deep links with Christians from many traditions. Consecrated to the episcopate in 2003, he preached at St. Felix Orthodox Church at Babingley during the 2005 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. He and Abba Seraphim both served on the Catholic-Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum, where he was active until his health seriously deteriorated towards the end.
“We have been praying for Bishop Michael throughout his illness and found inspiration in the way he calmly faced death, insisting on fulfilling his ministry to the very last. He was an able theologian with a sharp intellect and a loving, pastoral heart. We will miss him and our prayers and sympathy goes out to his flock, who have lost an outstanding bishop and pastor. Memory Eternal !”
- 5 December 2013
- Southampton: Midday PrayerMidday Prayer (12.00) (22 Hurstbourne Place)
- 7 December 2013
- Raising of Incense & Divine Liturgy: Shadwell9.30 am Raising of Incense
10.00 am Liturgy of St. James
11.45 am Refreshments
- 8 December 2013
- Morning Incense & Divine Liturgy: BournemouthWorship commences 09.30
- Raising of Incense & Divine Liturgy: DoncasterRaising of Incense – 9:45am
Divine Liturgy – 10:30am
- Morning Prayer: Babingley10.30am Morning Prayer