The British Orthodox Church

within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate

Discovering Orthodoxy online catechesis launches

The Discovering Orthodoxy online catechesis has now been launched by the London School of Orthodox Christian Studies, and the course website can be visited at www.discoveringorthodoxy.org

The first two units available to any visitors to the site, but a user account system will be implemented over the course of this week and so that only registered students will be able to access future units. This is to allow the provision of proper support to those engaged in catechesis. Registered students will receive their account details before the next unit is published.

Several other units are already in production. The next unit to be published will be Beginning with Church History which will be presented by H.E. Metropolitan Seraphim. Father Peter Farrington is producing a unit looking at the evidence for our faith in God.

There are over 800 students registered for the Discovering Orthodox online catechesis from around the world. This is truly a global and pan-Orthodox and ecumenical project. The long term target throughout 2013 is to produce 50 interesting units of study, and to have registered 2000 students.

Each of the units will contain a short written introduction which will include some important references from the Fathers of the Church relevant to the topic. The main content will be a video/audio presentation by one of the course contributors. Followed by a short Bible study on the topic. There will be a few simple questions just to allow us to make sure that the learning material is working and you have understood the topic.

There are over 200 topics for which we material is being planned, and this phase of the project will take several years to complete. It is hoped to produce a serious and useful library of resources that will remain helpful to Orthodox Christians and those interested in the Orthodox Faith.

H.E Metropolitan Seraphim says of this project..

Catechesis is an essential component of the church’s ministry and I warmly support this latest initiative of the London School of Orthodox Studies. A commitment to sharing the Apostolic faith and tradition is not only a witness to the catholicity of the Orthodox Church but also a precious token of love to those of other Christian traditions or none. In each generation our fathers have faced the challenges of their Age but this inexhaustible spiritual nourishment has never failed to sustain and strengthen those who feast on it.

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.

Farewell to Archbishop Rowan

This year’s Archbishop of Canterbury’s Ecumenical Reception, held at Lambeth Palace on 28 November, marked the retirement of the Most Rev’d Rowan Williams from the See of Canterbury.  Abba Seraphim and Father Peter Farrington were among the many ecumenical guests attending to show their appreciation for the past decade of Dr. Williams’s ministry. The evening began with Common Worship Evening Prayer conducted in the Archbishop’s Chapel at which Dr. Williams preached the homily, followed by a Reception in the Guard Room, organised by the Nikaean Club. Bishop Christopher Hill of Guildford introduced the archbishop with an entertaining and anecdotal speech, following which Dr. Williams spoke of the considerable progress and deepening of ecumenical relationships over the past few decades and how it would continue to have increasing influence in the future.   

Annual Constantinople Lecture

On 22 November Abba Seraphim, Father Peter Farrington and Reader Trevor Maskery attended the annual Constantinople Lecture held at Lambeth Palace.  This year’s lecture was delivered by His Grace Bishop Vahan Hovhanessian, Primate of the Armenian Church in the UK & Ireland,  on the subject, “The New Testament Apocrypha and The Armenian Church Canon of the Bible.” The lecture, which was organised by the Anglican & Eastern Churches Association  in conjunction with the Nikaean Club, was preceded by Choral Evensong in the Archbishop’s Chapel for St. Cecilia’s Day.  Following the lecture all those present sat down for supper in the Palace’s Guard Room .

The full text of Bishop Vahan’s talk is published in the current issue of the Anglican & Eastern Churches Association journal, Koinonia, New Series No. 60 (All Saintstide 2012)

New series of Shadwell Study meetings on The Apostolic Fathers

The new series of monthly meetings under the auspices of the British Orthodox London Mission at Shadwell got off to a good start with a well-attended session on The Didache on 18 October.  This was the first of an Introductory Course of Study and Discussion of the earliest Patristic sources under the title, “The Apostolic Fathers.” Abba Seraphim led the discussion and study and Father Peter Farrington will follow up with the second in the series on “St. Ignatius of Antioch” on Thursday, 15 November at 7.30 p.m. 

The British Orthodox London Mission of SS George & St. Paul meets at St. George-in-the-East, Cannon Street Road, London, E1 0BH (nearest station Shadwell DLR). The next Liturgy will be on Saturday, 3 November, the day before the Altar Ballot in Cairo to select the new Pope & Patriarch of Alexandria.   


Upcoming events

  • 19 April 2014
    • Joyous Saturday: Bournemouth
      Saturday Worship 10.00
      Paschal Vigil Liturgy 22.00
    • Eve of the Feast of Holy Pascha: Babingley
      Eve of the Feast of Holy Pascha (Orthodox Easter)
      4.00 -6.00 p.m A priest will be available for confessions.
      7.00 p.m. Divine Liturgy for Holy Pascha
  • 20 April 2014
    • Raising of Incense & Divine Liturgy: Doncaster
      Raising of Incense – 9:45am
      Divine Liturgy – 10:30am
    • Holy Pascha: Bournemouth
      Morning Prayer with Holy Communion 10.00
      Followed by Memorial Prayers, commencing at Church & continuing in
      Wimborne Road cemetery
    • No service: Babingley
      10.30 a.m. No service because of the celebration on Pascha Eve.


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