On Tuesday, 3rd March, Father Peter Farrington travelled to Milan at the invitation of Anba Kyrillos, the Coptic Orthodox Bishop of Milan, and with the blessing of Metropolitan Seraphim, to serve in the Diocese for 10 days. He arrived at Milan Linate airport and was driven to the Coptic Orthodox Monastery of St Shenouda in the village of Mettone, outside Milan. After praying in one of the churches in the monastic compound, he greeted Anba Kyrillos and conveyed the warm wishes and respects of Metropolitan Seraphim.
During his visit Father Peter led a study of one of the New Testament Letters each day, with the monks, priests and some of the priest’s wives of the Diocese of Milan. These studies were conducted in English with a translation of the teaching and discussion into Arabic or Italian, to facilitate the participation of all the clergy. Father Peter also celebrated the Liturgy of St Basil every morning, in the smallest of the monastery churches, with Father Abraam, one of the monks of the monastery.
On Sunday, 8th March, Father Peter accompanied Father Giovanni, one of the monks, to the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral and Episcopal Residence in Milan. He spent much of the afternoon with Anba Kyrillos, and was then invited to speak to a youth meeting in the Cathedral. On the journey back to the Monastery of St Shenouda, Father Peter visited the new Church of St Simeon which has recently begun to serve the Coptic Orthodox community in a new area of Milan.
Father Peter continued to teach in the monastery each morning, and enjoyed lengthy conversations with members of the monastic community, who were unfailing in their kindness, as was each priest of the Diocese of Milan. Anba Kyrillos was generous in giving of his time, despite being very busy.
Father Peter returned to England on Thursday, 12th March, after a very fruitful and encouraging period of service in the Coptic Orthodox Diocese.