On 23 October the Anglican Diocese of Europe held a Thanksgiving Eucharist at St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster, to mark the retirement of The Right Rev’d Geoffrey Rowell, Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe. Bishop Geoffrey’s affection for and close involvement with the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches (which goes back to his days as a student at the Greek Orthodox Seminary at Halki) was symbolised by the presence in the sanctuary of His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira (Ecumenical Patriarchate), His Eminence Abba Seraphim and His Grace Bishop Angaelos (Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate) as well as Father Shnork Bagdassarion and Father Thomas John representing the Armenian and Indian Orthodox Churches respectively. At the end of the service Archbishop Gregorios was invited to consecrate a newly commissioned ikon of the Saints of Europe, which was presented to Bishop Geoffrey.
Bishop Geoffrey will continue his work as co-chairman of the Anglican-Oriental Orthodox International Commission as well as the Anglican-Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum.
On 16 July the Anglican-Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum held its half-yearly meeting at St. John’s Church, Notting Hill. Chaired jointly by The Right Rev’d Geoffrey Rowell, Bishop of Europe, and His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church. This meeting had a very good attendance with the Anglican Bishops of Southwark and Reading also present as well as Metropolitan Seraphim (British Orthodox Church), Archbishop Athanasios Dawood (Syriac Orthodox Church) and Bishop Mathews Mar Thimothios (Malankara Orthodox Church) as well as other Anglican and Oriental Orthodox clergy who are members of the Forum. The Revd Roger Paul, National Adviser (Unity-in-Mission), Council for Christian Unity, spoke to the Forum about the role of the CCU and its relationship with AOORF. The main body of the meeting comprised detailed reports on the current situation of all the member churches churches with particular consideration of events in Egypt and Syria, as well as a report on the recent meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England.