Despite having to cancel the planned BOC Pilgrimage to Egypt as a result of the BA strike, Abba Seraphim will still attend the annual meeting of the Holy Synod in Cairo. Having re-booked with other airlines he will travel by a tortuous route via Paris (Air France) on the outward journey and Rome (Alitalia) on the return, with journey time being much longer because of the stopovers involved. Abba Seraphim will stay in Cairo just the two nights necessary for him to attend the Holy Synod and the Feast of Pentecost Liturgy at St. Mark’s Cathedral.
At the end of Holy Week, the British Orthodox parishes all celebrated the Feast of the Resurrection (4 April) with enthusiasm. This year Holy Pascha coincided with the western Easter so we received few ecumenical visitors, although attendance overall in all parishes was very good. The clergy also reported that the Holy Week services were well supported. Abba Seraphim officiated at Babingley, where the mild weather enabled the procession to go round the outside of the church; whilst at Bournemouth torrential rain made this impossible. However, for the traditional requiem service and visiting of the graves of former church members at Wimborne Road cemetery the next morning, there was a good gathering. Dyed eggs and other traditional Paschal foods were also included in the festivities, whilst “Christ is Risen!” was repeated in English, Greek, Coptic, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese, Romanian, Amharic and other tongues.