The British Orthodox Church

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Abba Seraphim’s Christmas Message, 2012

This year Abba Seraphim celebrated the Nativity Feast on Christmas Eve (24 December) at the Chatham Church. In his address Abba Seraphim spoke of the angelic proclamation of Peace on Earth, which he noted has always been elusive, “It seems almost alien to the natural condition of man and since the beginning of time, enmity and strife, whether domestic or between nations, has brought death, division and desolation in its wake.”

He especially addressed the current problems in the Middle East, “This year of grace we celebrate the Lord’s Nativity when the ancient biblical lands are more than unusually unsettled. That little town of Bethlehem and the Palestinian territories cry out for justice. We deplore the aggressive establishment of settlements by an intransigent Israeli state, but who can condone the charter of a corrupt and bloodthirsty Hamas which calls for the killing of Jews ? In Egypt we have seen the disappointment of a peaceful Revolution, which overthrew a corrupt regime, only to fall captive to narrow religious zealots who seek to promote their own interests rather than the common good. Blood has been shed and we may expect that more will follow, because in that divided society there can be no peace. Most of all we grieve for our brethren in Syria, torn apart by unspeakable savagery.”

With regard to the Syrian crisis, he felt that the current Coalition government, which prides itself on its promotion of civil liberties, equality and justice, both at home and abroad, has shown incredible short-sightedness in its response to the threat to Christian communities in the Middle-East. By supporting the so-called National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, which has been proved to be dominated by Islamist elements and financed by external regimes, our government has “effectively abandoned all possibilities to promote dialogue with both sides and has allied us to those who are destroying the significant Christian minority which has been there since apostolic times. Unlike Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, I cannot consider what he regards as Mr. Cameron’s “overtly Christian tone” in his Christmas address as being anything more than hollow words, when government policy doesn’t merely show casual indifference to the fate of our Christian brethren in Syria, but actively undermines them.”


Upcoming events

  • 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
  • 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


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