The Coptic Language Summer School held at King’s College, London over the 5th-8th September was a complete success and even exceeded the expectations of those who participated, and myself who organised it.
Over four very intensive days of study a group of eight students progressed with growing understanding and enthusiasm through the first third of Thomas Lambdin’s Introduction to Sahidic Coptic through the inspiring teaching of Dr. Carol Downer, one of the few experts in Coptic teaching in the UK at the present time.
The group of participants included a variety of university lecturers from different institutions, several PhD students, and a handful of independent students such as myself. The class turned out to be ideally matched and we progressed through the studies at a very fast pace while also working together so that no-one was left behind.
We were fortunate to be able to hold the Summer School at King’s College, London, at the Strand campus, and some of the faculty and students at King’s were participants on the course. The excellent cafeteria facilities on site meant that we did not have to spend time each day looking for somewhere to have lunch together. The room we used was just the right size and had a view out over the Strand.
Many of the group were already competent in a variety of other ancient languages, but thanks to the teaching ability of Dr. Carol Downer even those of us whose willingness to learn was greater than our present grasp of Sahidic Coptic were soon able to translate increasingly complex sentences. Working through the exercises, both together in the class, and on our own in the evening, meant that the lessons we were learning took root.
By the end of the intensive course we were even able to begin to read passages from the Scripture with some understanding and each participant was able to measure the real progress they had made. Having studied the first third of our text book many of the class asked if a second and even a third such intensive week of studies could be organised in January and at Easter so that a more complete grasp of Sahidic Coptic could be acquired over the course of the year.
Some of the comments I have received from participants are as follows:
I absolutely loved the course – the atmosphere was friendly and open, and I felt welcome at once even though I am no language expert. It was just the push I needed to get me interested and motivated to continue pursuing Sahidic Coptic, and the encouragement and support I received has increased my love for the language even further.
The British Orthodox Church is pleased to announce that a Coptic Language Summer School has been organised by Father Peter Farrington with the blessing and support of H.E. Metropolitan Seraphim and the sponsorship of the British Orthodox Church.
The student numbers are limited to approximately 10, and places are already filling up.
The details are as follows:
Coptic Language Summer School
King’s College, London
Monday 5th – Thursday 8th September, 2011
Session 1: 11:00-13:00
Lunch and Discussion Break: 13:00-14:00
Session 2: 14:00-16:00
The tutor will be Dr Carol Downer, an experienced and well qualified lecturer in the Coptic language.
The course material will be based on Introduction to Sahidic Coptic by Thomas O. Lambdin.
The cost of the School is £60, payable in advance.
Those wishing to book a place should urgently contact the School organiser:
Father Peter Farrington – firstname.lastname@example.org
and make an online payment of £60 using the following link..
On 27 February Abba Seraphim marked the fortieth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood as well as his 63rd birthday. There were no special celebrations organised but thanksgiving prayers were held in all British Orthodox churches and congratulations were received from many clergy in other churches. Abba Seraphim visited Father Michael Robson at Morden College in the morning and was delighted to find him sitting up out of bed and much improved in health and spirits. Later he celebrated the monthly Liturgy at St. Thomas’s Church in Charlton, assisted by Father Sergius Scott and Deacon Theodore de Quincey and preached on the Spiritual Purpose of Great Lent. The regular congregation were delighted to be joined by Reader Seraphim-Mark Boorman and his wife, Susannah, from the Chatham Church also Father Deacon Richard & Dr. Carol Downer from the Melkite Church who had come to greet Abba Seraphim. After the service everyone stayed for tea with a small portion of birthday cake.
Monday, 28 February is the thirty-second anniversary of the death of the late Metropolitan Georgius and Abba Seraphim’s succession as head of the British Orthodox Church.
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