The British Orthodox Church

within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate

The State of Ecumenism fifty years on from Vatican II

On the evening of Thursday 11 October, Fr. Peter Farrington and Subdeacon Daniel Malyon represented the British Orthodox Church at an event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. This was held at Heythrop College and organised by the Society for Ecumenical Studies. The event involved talks by the Most Rev’d Kevin McDonald, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Southwark, and the Rev’d Dr James Hawkey, a Minor Canon of Westminster Abbey, on the state of ecumenism in the fifty years following the Second Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic Church.

Archbishop Kevin Mcdonald looked at his experiences working with the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity (later renamed The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity). He covered key parts of the development of Rome’s Ecumenical relationships with the Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox and Anglicans as well as a number of protestant groups. He then went on to discuss the Roman Catholic policy towards other religions, especially Judaism. The talk was well received due to its in-depth detail and the relevance of his experience in the field.

This was followed by Rev’d Dr James Hawkey, who responded to the talk by highlighting the gains and challenges to be faced in the future of the movement. This talk also looked at the social challenges we are facing as Christian communities, such as the varying approaches to secularism and the vastly changing modern society.

The two talks were followed by observations from Methodist and United reformed Church ministers and some very well thought out questions from the audience which tackled the issues of the role of women in Roman Catholicism, inter-faith dialogue and grass-roots responses to the Ecumenical movement. These reminded us again of the many issues facing all Christian communities in the modern world.

Altogether, the night was extremely educational and informative for all there, from those who have been involved in ecumenical relations for decades to those who are new to the concept. It also demonstrated the willingness of the Christian Community to come together and work to understand each other and our shared Christian faith without compromising on their own values and practices, which is the key value of the movement itself.

 

Orthodox Mission begins in Windsor

 

The first service of Orthodox prayer at the Orthodox Mission of St Andrew, Windsor, went very well indeed, far exceeding what had been hoped for. Father Peter had prepared to pray with one person he had been visiting for some months, but as the prayers from the Agpeya, or Coptic Daily Office, began there were eight people from a variety of backgrounds who had come together to begin this new service. And a further eight people had wanted to be present but were unable to do so for various reasons.

The Church of St Andrew is a beautiful and ancient place of prayer and the mission gathered in the smaller of three chapels. During the prayers Father Peter preached on the Gospel of the Miraculous Catch of Fish, and spoke of the need for perseverance in the Christian life and in the service of God.

After this encouraging start the next service of prayer will take place on Monday, November 12th, 6:30 pm at St Andrew’s, Mill Lane, Clewer, Windsor.

This will be a regular monthly event which will develop according to the will of God.

For further information, or for any enquiries, please contact Father Peter at fatherpeter@britishorthodox.org

New Indian Orthodox Church consecrated

31 August and 1 September were significant dates in the history of the Oriental Orthodox churches in the United Kingdom, as His Grace Dr. Mathews Mar Timotheos, Bishop of the Indian Orthodox Diocese of Europe & Africa, consecrated the second Indian Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom. The new church, dedicated to Saint Thomas, which is to serve the growing Indian  Orthodox community in North London – now estimated at some 130 families, is situated just north of the M25 at St. Agnells Lane, Hemel Hemstead, HP2 7AY.  The building is a redundant Church which had fallen into disrepair but had undergone extensive renovation, including the construction of a new Western entrance in the style of Malankara churches.

On the Eve of the consecration, Mar Timotheos laid the foundation stone for the altar, which was then solemnly consecrated the next morning.  A large congregation attended as well as a number of ecumenical visitors. From the British Orthodox Church, Abba Seraphim, Father Peter Farrington and subdeacon Daniel Malyon assisted in the sanctuary, whilst Father Mina from St. Mary & Archangel Michael Church at Golders Green, represented H.G. Bishop Angaelos and Father Haile Meskel Samuels represented the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Father George Joy, the parish priest, and his congregation provided a warm welcome and added to the general celebratory nature of the occasion.

Archbishop Elisey’s birthday celebration

On 1 August Father Peter Farrington represented Abba Seraphim (who was out of the country at the time) at a Festive Reception to mark the fiftieth birthday of His Eminence Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh, the diocesan of the Russian Orthodox Church in Great Britain. This was held at The Cavalry & Guards Club in Piccadilly, London, and was hosted by the Trustees of the Diocese of Sourozh.

A Chopin Recital by Nelly Akopian-Tamarina, the distinguished Russian pianist, who studied at the Moscow Conservatoire under the legendary Alexander Boroisovich Goldenweise was followed by a celebratory dinner. Among the distinguished guests were H.R.H. Prince Michael of Kent, Archbishop Innokenty, the previous hierarch responsible for the Russian Orthodox Church in the British Isles, His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and the Ambassadors of Belorussia and the Ukraine.

Father Peter offered congratulations to Archbishop Elisey on behalf of Abba Seraphim and the British Orthodox Church, and was especially pleased to be able to meet Father John Chapman, the Bishop of London’s Chaplain for International Churches, and Father Benedict Ramsden of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Image source: http://www.sourozh.org/photogallery/01082012/

Tina & Youhanna marry in Luxor

We were very happy to hear the news of the marriage of Tina Hammond of the British Orthodox Chatham parish with Youhanna Said Hakim Georgious of Luxor. This took place on 31 July at St. Antony & St. Paul Coptic Orthodox Church in Luxor and was performed by Abouna Gladious Gerges and Abouna Bolis in the presence of a congregation of more than a thousand people. The wedding had originally been planned for last year, but the sad death of Youhanna’s mother in August 2011 resulted in a year’s delay until the periods of mourning had been accomplished.

Tina will continue to share her time between Luxor and Kent, from where she runs her travel company. Abba Seraphim and Father Peter Farrington with her many friends in the British Orthodox congregations at Chatham, Charlton, the London Mission and the South Coast parishes all send their warmest greetings to Tina and Youhanna and look forward to welcoming him to England.


Upcoming events

  • 17 April 2014
    • Holy & Great Thursday: Babingley
      10.30 a.m. Third Hour Prayer & Office of the Footwashing
    • Holy Thursday: Bournemouth
      Thursday Prayers & Incense15.00
      Liturgy of the Blessing of Water & Lacan (foot washing) 19.00
      Divine Liturgy for Holy Thursday 20.30
      11th Hour Prayers and Eve of Friday Prayers 22.00
    • Holy Thursday: Portsmouth
      At 167 Stubbington Avenue, Portsmouth

      Eve of Thursday Prayers 19.00
  • 18 April 2014
    • Good Friday: Bournemouth
      1st Hour Prayers 07.00
      3rd Hour Prayers 09.00
      6th Hour Prayers 12.00
      9th Hour Prayer 15.00
      11th Hour Prayers 17.00
      12th Hour Prayers including the Burial Service of our Lord 18.00
    • Holy & Great Friday: Babingley
      1.30 p.m. Sixth & Ninth Hour Prayers


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